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Alternative and holistic treatment plans for mental health conditions are becoming more common today. This may be because there has been an improvement in holistic treatment programs throughout many mental health clinics and program centers. However, if you have ever wondered or have found it challenging to add the right kind of therapy to your holistic treatment plan, you are not alone. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) may be a great fit for you.
What Is DBT?
DBT is a form of psychotherapy that is aimed at developing existing skills. Utilizing various aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), DBT focuses on the emotional and social aspects of your life. It also incorporates four key traits that help a person heal. These four factors include:
- Emotional regulation
- Distress tolerance
- Interpersonal effectiveness
Participating in DBT does not require you to take medication. All it requires is an open mind ready to heal from trauma, substance abuse, or emotional damage. DBT has been proven effective for many reasons and can be considered a big booster to your holistic treatment plan.
Breaking Down the 4 Factors of DBT
DBT is a valuable therapy to your holistic treatment plan. This is an alternative type of therapy to CBT but can also work in tandem if you are currently seeking help through CBT.
Mindfulness is the art of staying in the present moment. Releasing thoughts about the past and worries about the future for keeping your focus on the here and now. Mindful-based practices have been shown to reduce stress, help calm the mind, and improve overall well-being.
Mindfulness also has an aspect of meditation to improve on reducing the stress your triggers or anxieties may give you. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), mindfulness-based practices also lead to discussions and other useful strategies. This helps a person to cope with their symptoms in stressful situations.
DBT incorporates mindfulness into its practice so you can learn how to manage your symptoms when you are stressed or feel overwhelmed. When you are focusing on the present moment, you can also focus on behaviors and emotions that serve your well-being instead of overthinking and overanalyzing thoughts of the past.
#2. Emotional Regulation
In a research study published by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), researchers found DBT to be effective in young adults and those struggling with suicide and suicidal ideation. They define the emotional regulation method in DBT as “managing sensitivity to emotional stimuli and intensity of emotional reactions.”
The article goes on to state that “because difficulties in emotion regulation are believed to be drivers of suicidal and self-harm behaviors, a goal of DBT is to strengthen skills that lead to improved emotion regulation or managing painful emotions in healthy, safe ways.” DBT teaches the skills needed to help you gain strength over your emotions to live a healthier life. By not relying on your emotions to get the better of you in stressful situations, you can feel happier and safer. Holistically, this can help you find peace in moments of distress.
#3. Distress Tolerance
When incorporating DBT into your holistic plan, you will learn about distress tolerance. This is about learning how to distress your emotions in a healthy way. Instead of focusing on what you cannot control, distress tolerance focuses on what you can control. This would be your emotional response.
Distress tolerance teaches us that no matter the circumstance, our anxieties can sometimes stem from present moments that are highly stressful. Knowing how to distance your emotions from these moments can help you remain calm and in control of yourself. This also helps you overcome or manage your anxieties in healthier and more manageable ways.
#4. Interpersonal Effectiveness
Building and maintaining healthy relationships can be a challenge when you have certain mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. It can also be a challenge if you are experiencing addiction. However, DBT gets to the primary goal of your relationships through building interpersonal effectiveness. Healthy relationships stem from having a sense of well-being within.
Interpersonal effectiveness teaches those experiencing certain mental health conditions that by managing their symptoms and knowing what they want out of relationships, they can maintain healthy relationships.
How to Incorporate DBT Into Your Holistic Plan
If you are interested in incorporating DBT into your holistic treatment plan, talk to your therapist or your doctor. Knowing what kind of therapy works for you may be a challenge at first. However, DBT may be right for you if you feel you need to learn more about distressing and regulating your emotions.
Looking to build healthy relationships is a good goal to aim for. DBT also helps you identify what a healthy relationship looks like. It then helps you build the skills necessary for you to find, keep, and foster those relationships.
Work with your therapist or an expert at Alter Wellness Care to decide if DBT is right for you. You may find that you have enhanced your treatment plan because of DBT. All it takes is a little determination and hope and you can accomplish anything.
Building the foundation of an effective holistic treatment plan can be a challenging process to overcome. The experts here at Alter Wellness Care want to help you with the mission. We offer outpatient programs like DBT and CBT that offer you the chance to incorporate therapy into your holistic treatment plan. Our outpatient programs can help you get your mental health on track or help you strengthen your addiction recovery journey. We are here to help you live healthier and happier. Give our clinic a call at (866) 311-3510 to learn more about our programs and how you can get the help you need to release your fears and emotions.