Therapeutic Methods
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

At Immersion Recovery Center, we utilize a wide range of evidence-based therapeutic methods, including dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) developed to help people struggling with persistent negative emotions and related behavioral patterns. DBT is a skills training that includes four modules. The four modules that are presented in the DBT skills training are: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. The overarching goal of DBT is to help clients live a “life worth living.” Clients reach this goal as they learn to live in the present moment, develop personal goals, decrease negative emotions and increase positive emotions, and improve their interpersonal relationships.

In early recovery from addiction, we tend to be preoccupied with regrets from the past and fear of the future. We need to intentionally practice living in the present moment to reduce our distress. The mindfulness skills of DBT allow us to focus on today. This is in alignment with the 12-step recovery concept of “one day at a time.” The emotional regulation skills of DBT allow us to stabilize our emotions. While actively using, the neurochemical effects on the brain have contributed to emotional dysregulation. DBT provides us with coping skills that can expedite the process of reaching neurochemical homeostasis.

At Immersion Recovery Center, we provide each of our clients with an effective program of addiction recovery that combines evidence-based therapies like CBT and DBT, 12-Step recovery and holistic treatments. To learn more, contact us today.

The History & Application of DBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was developed in the late 1970s by Dr. Marsha Linehan. DBT is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and it is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. It highly effective in treating all personality disorders and it is one of the only effective treatments for antisocial personality disorder.

DBT was the first psychotherapy to formally incorporate mindfulness techniques. DBT blends Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Zen Buddhism. The dictionary definition of dialectics is “the art of investigating or discussing the truth of options; inquiry into metaphysical contradictions and their solutions-the existence or action of opposing forces and concepts.” Being able to think and act more dialectically allows clients to reduce black and white thinking which leads to relapse. The ability to think more dialectically allows clients to reduce negative emotions, reduce distress, increase emotional regulation, decrease mood-dependent behaviors and decrease impulsivity.

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About DBT

Immersion offers Comprehensive DBT. The comprehensive program was implemented by Dr. Michelle Quilter. Dr. Quilter is DBT-LBC (Linehan Board Certified). Dr. Quilter is one in 9 individuals in the state of Florida who are board certified in DBT.

DBT Immersion Recovery Center

In order for DBT to be considered comprehensive, it must include four aspects: DBT skills training groups, Individual DBT therapy, Phone Coaching, and the therapist must be on a DBT consultation team. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer individual therapy sessions weekly and DBT group therapy sessions weekly. The DBT program at Immersion is based on Marsha Linehan’s 13-week curriculum.

The Four Modules of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

  • Distress Tolerance – This module provides skills to allow clients to tolerate high-stress situations without making the situation worse. This module significantly contributes to reduction relapse risk.
  • Core Mindfulness –Mindfulness Skills teach clients to live in the present moment and stay grounded. Clients learn to use their five senses to tune into what’s around them while slowing down their breathing and avoiding impulsive and self-destructive behaviors.
  • Emotional Regulation – This module provides skills related to decreasing uncomfortable emotions. This module also provides skills for overall reduction in stress level.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness – This module is focused on helping clients express their needs in interpersonal relationships in a calm and effective manner. They learn to set healthy boundaries and listen more actively.

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Benefits of DBT

  • Reduces emotional dysregulation — mood lability and anger problems.
  • Reduces interpersonal dysregulation — chaotic relationships, fear of abandonment idealizing and devaluing.
  • Reduces self dysregulation — sense of emptiness, confusion about self.
  • Reduces behavioral dysregulation — suicidal ideation, non-suicidal self injury, and impulsive behaviors.
  • Reduces cognitive dysregulation — dissociative responses and paranoid ideation.
  • Increases positive emotional experiencing.
  • Increases motivation for living.
  • Increases knowledge of effective coping skills.
  • Increases overall quality of life.

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Other Therapeutic Methods We Utilize:

In Addition to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy We Offer:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Also known as CBT, this therapeutic method is geared towards altering the ways in which people think, ultimately relapsing unhealthy and self-destructive thinking patterns with positive patterns of thought that have a positive impact on behavior. CBT focuses on addressing current circumstances rather than the ways in which the past has impacted the present.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and ReprocessingEMDR was initially developed for people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This therapeutic method addresses the symptoms of unresolved trauma, which can include emotional impulsivity, hypersensitivity, hypervigilance, persistent anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, self-destructive behaviors and depression. These emotions, which deeply affect the individual’s current relationships and ability to live joyously, are a direct result of disturbing memories that were never adequately processed. This model utilizes a technique that helps individuals process memories on an emotional and factual level. Once these memories are processed, the symptoms of PTSD usually resolve.
  • Holistic Therapies – At Immersion Recovery Center we provide our clients with a range of proven holistic approaches to recovery, including yoga therapy, nutrition therapy and mindfulness meditation.
  • Individual, Group and Family Therapy – In addition to offering individual therapy sessions at least once every week and group therapy sessions on a daily basis, we offer family therapy sessions geared towards healing damaged family dynamics.

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Immersion Recovery Center is one of the only true 12 Step Immersion programs in the country. However, in addition to an intensive focus on the 12 Steps and their associated principles, we provide each and every one of our clients with a whole-person approach to recovery which also includes a range of evidence-based therapies and holistic methods of healing. We believe with the right set of coping mechanisms in place it is entirely possible for anyone to overcome addiction and go on to lead a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. In order to make our recovery program as accessible as possible we have developed an admissions process that is simple and straightforward. The moment you or your loved one makes the decision to reach out we begin developing a viable plan of action. We conduct a brief pre-assessment to ensure our program is an ideal fit, we offer a free, no obligation health insurance benefit check and we arrange local transportation to our Southern Florida facility. At Immersion Recovery Center we offer medical detox services, residential inpatient treatment and intensive outpatient treatment. Our multi-phased recovery program is individualized and effective. The only step you need to take is reaching out for help, and we will walk you through every single step of the early recovery process from start to finish. Contact us today to learn more.

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