Skip to main content

Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Creative Care

Therapists developed dialectical behavior therapy dual diagnosis as a response to treatment-resistant conditions like borderline personality disorder and chronic suicidal ideation. It focuses on a synthesis of opposites: acceptance and change. Therapists guide clients towards a deeper understanding of their intense feelings and with this understanding comes acceptance. Much like in mindfulness interventions, clients begin to learn that they are not at the mercy of their feelings. They work to note them, accept them, and let them pass without reacting to them. In the process, they begin to develop stress tolerance and emotional regulation. As the clients learn acceptance of their emotions, they also begin to examine patterns of dysfunctional behavior that previously attended these feelings and ways they can change them. With their therapist, they develop healthy and positive alternatives.

The Efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Mental health professionals initially developed dialectical behavior therapy as a response to treatment-resistant conditions like borderline personality disorder and chronic suicidal ideations. Because these conditions co-occur so often with substance use disorders, therapists realized a need for a dialectical approach for SUDs and the results have been positive. Dimeff and Linehan found that dialectical behavior therapy decreased problematic substance use in participants suffering from borderline personality disorder. A similar study by Axelrod et al revealed that participants receiving dialectical behavior therapy improved emotional regulation and mood while reducing symptoms of their co-occurring substance use disorder.

Be Heard. Be Nurtured. Be Healed.™

Dual diagnosis treatment requires a holistic approach to a multi-faceted problem. Creative Care offers activities groups alongside evidence-based therapies as part of our “whole person” solution to the problem of co-occurring substance use disorders. We understand the no two clients are alike and we honor this individuality by tailoring each treatment plan with a blend of evidence-based strategies designed to give each client the best possible chance at a lasting recovery. For example, a personalized treatment plan may also include:

  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Mindfulness interventions and meditation
  • Activities groups
  • Psychological and diagnostic testing
  • Family therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Attachment-based therapy
  • Art therapy
  • EMDR
  • Yoga

Our fully equipped staff, including a consulting psychiatrist, psychotherapists, registered nurses, counselors, and other highly trained professionals, works as a team to get to the root of each client’s needs. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, please give Creative Care a call today.