When it comes to individual therapies, there are three main types that counselors practice. These are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Every patient’s journey is different, so multiple different techniques may be used during your treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is often the most well-known individual therapy used during substance use treatment. It allows our patients to start to identify and cope with changes in their lives that are out of their control. It gives insight into a patient’s mental health that they may not have had before. CBT involves a lot of talking about one’s feelings and thought process.
The normal steps taken during CBT identify troubling situations in an individual’s life and then give them the knowledge to identify negative thinking. Once identified, our therapists help to reshape how their negative thought processes.
Some life skills our patients learn from CBT include:
- How to cope with stressful situations
- Overcome past traumas
- Cope with physical and mental illnesses
- Learn effective ways to communicate
- Strengthen relationships with others
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
DBT is a type of CBT that allows patients to begin to understand their emotions and begin having healthier relationships. This type of therapy was developed for individuals who have trouble controlling their emotions. Based on a four-module setup, DBT allows our patients to know when a mood change is coming on.
The four modules used in DBT include mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The mindfulness portion shows patients how to observe and recognize emotional exchanges more effectively. Emotional regulation and distress tolerance focus on allowing them to regulate their strong emotions. Interpersonal effectiveness gives them the tools to interpret and work through conflict.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
ACT is based on a type of theory called the relational frame theory. This theory was developed to help understand how individual’s process and heal from pain. As a result, ACT was created to treat emotional disturbance and pain in a different way.
ACT focuses on acceptance of the circumstances that occur throughout one’s life, both good and bad. Instead of allowing individuals to view themselves as “damaged,” ACT helps to bring awareness to living a full life. In this thought process, living fully means going through the hard situations and coming out stronger on the other side. It also aims to strengthen the core values of individuals, so they don’t lose sight of those during difficult times.