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Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)


Build a foundation for lasting recovery from addiction

a person touches another person's folded hands while in a dialectical behavior therapy programDialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment. The main goal is to teach people how to develop healthy ways of coping with stress, regulate emotions, improve relationships with others, and learn how to live in the moment. DBT was initially meant to treat borderline personality disorder but has since been adapted to treat other forms of mental health conditions.

Evoke Waltham understand the challenges associated with mental health disorders and are committed to helping our patients overcome them. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue and addiction, we encourage you to reach out to professional help. Contact Evoke Waltham at 866.276.1920 for more information on our addiction therapy programs and dialectical behavior therapy’s benefits to recovery.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is helpful for those who have difficulty regulating their emotions or may be exhibiting self-destructive behaviors. This can include but is not limited to eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, bipolar disorder, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). DBT helps patients understand and accept the positive and negative aspects in their lives. It also teaches skills on how to cope with difficult situations in a more productive way. The goal is to help patients find a balance between two extremes: acceptance and change.

In the late 1980s, Dr. Marsha Linehan and her colleagues found that cognitive-behavioral therapy did not work as well as they had hoped for patients with borderline personality disorder. They took the initiative to add techniques and develop a new treatment that met the unique needs of these patients. DBT integrates a philosophical process that is called dialects. Dialectics makes three basic assumptions:

  • All things are interconnected.
  • Opposites can be combined to form a closer calculation of the truth.
  • Change is constant and inevitable.

The dialectical behavior therapy program at Evoke Waltham supports people suffering from mental health conditions such as borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression. We understand how mental health issues affect addiction and are committed to helping our patients overcome them.

What Happens During DBT Addiction Therapy

During DBT addiction therapy, patients will participate in weekly individual and group sessions. They will learn mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. These skills will help patients deal with difficult situations in a more productive way. DBT addiction therapy has become an evidence-based psychotherapy approach to treating many conditions. It is used in three different kinds of settings, including:

  • Individual setting – Includes only a trained professional and the patient, and a patient’s learned behavioral skills are adapted to their life challenges.
  • Group settings – Patients are shown behavioral skills by completing “homework” assignments and role-playing new ways to interact with others.
  • Phone coaching – A patient’s ability to call the therapist in between therapy sessions to receive guidance on how to cope with existing challenging situations.

A dialectical behavior therapy program can help patients suffering from mental health issues and addiction.

If you're ready to start your journey to recovery, we're here to help.

Techniques for Lasting Recovery in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Those who undergo dialectical behavior therapy are taught to change their behavior using four primary techniques.


Mindfulness is possibly the more important strategy in DBT. Mindfulness allows you to focus on the present moment, which helps you pay attention to what is happening inside you and fine-tune your senses to what is happening around you.

Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance helps you to accept yourself in your current situation. These techniques help you prepare for intense emotions while empowering you to cope with them more positively in the long term.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness allows you to become more assertive in a relationship by allowing you to say no or express your needs. It shows you how to listen and communicate effectively, deal with difficult people, and respect yourself.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation teaches you how to navigate through powerful feelings more effectively. It will show you how to identify and change your emotions. When you can recognize and cope with negative emotions, you will reduce your emotional vulnerability and become more positive.

Learn About Our Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at Contact Evoke Waltham

Evoke Waltham offers dialectical behavior therapy for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Our team of highly trained professionals will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, contact Evoke Waltham to learn more about our dialectical behavior therapy program at our Waltham, Massachusetts, facility. We are available to assist men, women, and families on the journey to lasting sobriety from substance use disorders and other co-occurring disorders. Contact us at 866.276.1920.