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Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Orange County Addictions

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Addiction and Mental Health Conditions

At Harmony Junction, we develop individualized treatment plans to help with addiction and mental health conditions. In our treatment plans, we recommend therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to help an individual struggling with intense emotions and addictive cravings to release and recover.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based talk therapy based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It can be implemented as group therapy or individual therapy and is designed for individuals who experience intense emotions, such as patients with borderline personality disorder. The term “dialectical” refers to the combination of opposite ideas. This means that DBT looks at the reality of a person’s life and behaviors and works toward changing problematic areas.

How Does DBT Help Treat Addiction and Mental Disorders?

DBT focuses on behaviors that are harmful to an individual’s recovery from addiction or mental illness, like reducing suicidal behaviors, self-harm, relapse triggers, and dissociation during therapy sessions. Looking at these behaviors and beginning to shape them shapes the person’s perspective, gives them a greater sense of control over their situation, and increases motivation in recovery.

Our Approach to Treating Addiction and Mental Health with DBT

At Harmony Junction Recovery, DBT is one of our primary therapies used in the treatment of addiction and mental illness. We’re committed to seeing our patients overcome their challenges in recovery and feel confident in DBT’s ability to make real change. Our DBT therapists work closely with each patient to uncover the underlying behaviors associated with their addiction and mental health disorders. Once we pinpoint what’s inhibiting your progress, we can reduce these demeanors through different strategies of rewiring the mind and gaining a greater understanding of your thoughts and behaviors.

What are the Four Main Points of Dialectical Behavior Therapy?


The mind is a powerful thing, and when addiction or mental illness is in the front seat, we’re often left feeling like we’re on autopilot mode. With mindfulness training, patients learn greater awareness and engagement in their environment. Mindfulness is critical to overcoming triggers and urges to relapse. Rather than making compulsive decisions, mindfulness helps you to ground yourself and think through your options.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation skills focus on the big emotions people feel and how to manage them. It’s easy to let our feelings control our choices and behaviors, which is a massive component of addiction. When we can process our emotions in a healthy manner and use management strategies, it can help us get through moments of feeling overwhelmed and prevent making decisions that hinder recovery.

Distress Tolerance

Recovery isn’t a smooth road; in fact, it can come with even more challenges as you learn to fight back against relapse urges and unhealthy behavior. A common cause of addiction is the slippery slope of unhealthy coping mechanisms. Distress tolerance skills help you to work through difficult situations and emotions using healthy coping. When you replace the power of addiction or other harmful coping with beneficial tools and behaviors, it sets you up for greater success in your recovery journey.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal skills involve things like communication and conflict resolution. When you can practice these effectively, it allows you to nurture healthy relationships and foster more significant support. Strong interpersonal relationships are associated with more positive experiences and fulfillment in daily life. Recovery isn’t a solo journey, and reaching out to others and feeling supported is crucial.

Who is DBT for?

DBT is a common therapy used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and it’s also an effective method for reducing harmful behaviors in other mental health disorders or substance abuse.

What Mental Disorders Does DBT Treat?

DBT can be helpful for numerous mental disorders, especially those like borderline personality disorder, which can cause intense emotions. Other conditions that may be treated with DBT include:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Eating disorders, binge eating disorder, bulimia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Getting Started with DBT at Harmony Junction

There’s a reason you’re here reading this today. Maybe you’re concerned for a loved one, or you’ve recognized your own problems with addiction and mental health. Don’t hold off recovery any longer; change is possible. Our team can help put together a comprehensive plan of action to see real results for a greater quality of life and long-term sobriety.


Both CBT and DBT are forms of psychotherapy. However, CBT works to identify, address, and change negative thoughts and behaviors, while DBT is an extension of CBT that focuses more on emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT can help reduce anxious thoughts and behaviors by building healthy coping skills and reinforcing grounding in stressful or overwhelming situations.

The DBT model of addiction states that by reducing harmful behaviors, such as those associated with substance use and mental health conditions, you equip yourself with stronger cognitive and behavioral skills, improving emotional regulation.

Contact Harmony Junction Recovery to Get Started with Your Own Intensive Outpatient Program

IOPs are a highly effective way to transition away from substance abuse. They offer extensive opportunities to receive professional care, build a recovery support system, and work towards your long-term recovery goals.

When you’re ready to start an intensive outpatient program, Harmony Junction Recovery has you covered. We provide personalized programs at our Southern California location that can meet your every need. Call us at (855) 906-4088 to learn more.