At Sage Recovery, we offer dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills groups for both adolescents and adults. We believe that DBT skills play a very important part in our evidence-based treatment. This approach can help ensure our clients are as prepared as possible for life outside of our treatment facility.
The skills learned in DBT are valuable skills that will play an important role in not only the success of your recovery from addiction but can improve many other aspects of your life as well. Some of these specific skills and strategies that we teach using DBT include mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance.
As you read through these specific strategies, perhaps you are thinking that these are skills you already know and use all of the time. Some of these skills may indeed be taught to us early in life. They can play an important role in how we relate to and communicate with others. Additionally, these skills can be crucial in how we choose to handle obstacles and connect with the world around us.
However, as time goes on, we may begin to forget about the importance of some of these seemingly basic skills. Through the struggle of addiction, some of these skills can be lost altogether. However, through recovery, learning, and practice, it is possible to regain all of these skills once again. You can also learn how to apply them to your everyday life as you move forward with the recovery process.
Have you ever thought about how much time you spend agonizing over things that happened in the past? It is an easy habit to fall into. Like many other people who are in recovery, there may be things from your past that you aren’t proud of and that you wish you could change. However, focusing too heavily on these things that are no longer in your control will only drain the energy that you could be using in the present moment.
Maybe it isn’t the past that has you consumed with worry, but perhaps it is the future. You might find yourself often thinking ahead, coming up with possible situations or scenarios that may or may not ever end up happening. Likewise, spending too much time worrying about the future can cause stress, anxiety, and depression. It can rob you of the joy of being fully present today.
Mindfulness is one of the many important DBT skills. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to ground yourself and be fully present in the current moment. It can take time, but you will likely find that it can bring about a great sense of peace.
Interpersonal effectiveness is another one of the very important DBT skills that we teach at Sage Recovery. This skill has to do with how you connect with others and set boundaries in your day-to-day life. It can involve learning to set personal boundaries for yourself as well as asking others for help and support when you need it.
Part of practicing this skill can involve learning to be more in tune with your thoughts and emotions. It can also mean coming to a deeper understanding of how your moods, words, and actions can affect other people. By learning to practice this skill, you can improve your relationships with others.
Emotional regulation is one of the very important DBT skills that play a role in recovery. Everybody experiences some form of negative emotion from time to time. This negative emotion could come in the form of stress, frustration, disappointment, or even anger. While these emotions are common and normal, it is crucial to learn to properly regulate them while in recovery.
Without being able to regulate your emotions, you may be tempted to turn back to give in to cravings and turn back to substance use. Learning emotional regulation and being able to better control your emotions can provide you with better, healthier ways to cope.
Consider how you have responded to stress or feelings of being overwhelmed in the past. Maybe you did what many people did and sought relief from drugs or alcohol. While this may seem like an easy fix, it is not going to bring lasting relief, and the stress at hand is not going to truly go away. When you learn to practice distress tolerance, you will be able to develop a better stress response.
It might not be possible for us to completely avoid negative situations or eradicate all the stress from our lives. Yet, what we can control is how we respond to stress. By learning ways to increase your distress tolerance, you will be able to effectively respond to stress, anxiety, and other obstacles in recovery with greater awareness and ease.
Going through recovery isn’t just about the process of living without drugs or alcohol; it is about learning, growing, and establishing a healthier and more effective way to go through life. A major aspect of this process is developing important skills that are going to help make life a lot easier as you move forward. You are never too old to learn life skills like the ones taught through DBT skills therapy. You may be surprised by just how much of a positive impact they have on your life. If you are ready to start your recovery journey, our team at Sage Recovery can help. Give us a call at (512) 306-1394 today to learn more.