How DBT Can Help With Anxiety Management in Recovery

anxiety management

Written By: Molly Groo

Molly is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Case Manager and Vocational Services. She has a Bachelor’s in International Relations, is a Certified Addiction Counselor, and it’s currently working towards her Master’s in Social Work. Molly’s experience allows her to provide expert knowledge about solution-based methods to help people in recovery maintain long-term sobriety.

Published on Apr 28, 2020 | Drug & Alcohol Recovery, Rehab Treatment Options

The Importance of Anxiety Management

anxiety management

Anxiety can be a significant trigger for drinking and using drugs. Millions of Americans suffer from dual diagnosis disorders, such as addiction and anxiety. There are a few reasons for this.

Many people with anxiety turn to substances to cope. Also, many receive medications for anxiety that can be addictive. Benzodiazepine addiction is one example of this. For these reasons, useful tools for anxiety management can also help addicts and alcoholics achieve lifelong recovery.

What Does Alcohol Really Do Your Brain?

What is DBT?

In the 1980s, therapist Marsha Linehan developed dialectical behavioral therapy or DBT. Since then, it has been effective in helping patients with anxiety, addiction, depression, and more. DBT focuses on mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation. DBT can be used as a supplement or alternative to replacing benzodiazepines, such as Diazepam, for anxiety treatment.

This approach involves skills such as communicating more effectively and coping with complicated feelings. In a DBT-focused group therapy session, a therapist and patient might work on identifying triggers for difficult emotions or accepting circumstances outside of the patient’s control. Patients also learn how to replace negative behaviors with healthy ones. For someone struggling with anxiety, this may take the form of practicing grounding skills, like identifying physical sensations.

How Does DBT Help With Anxiety Management?

Anxiety comes from many sources. For example, conflict in relationships, irrational thinking, and unhealthy habits can all trigger anxiety.

Here’s How DBT Can Help:

  • DBT can help patients learn to communicate effectively and form healthier relationships.
  • DBT teaches skills for coping with distress.
  • Patients learn how to manage challenging feelings without drugs or alcohol.
  • Radical acceptance and increasing positive experiences are examples of these skills.
  • Mindfulness skills, like grounding techniques, can help the patient focus on the present moment and reduce “stress chemicals” in the brain.
  • Patients learn how to shift their emotions, balance feelings vs. reason, and accept rather than judge their feelings.

One of the significant benefits of DBT is that it addresses distorted thoughts like black and white thinking. Anxiety can come from assuming the worst. Extreme ideology, such as “I never get any credit at work, my boss must hate me!” can make anxiety worse. Thus, DBT teaches patients to “find the middle ground.” For example, DBT might turn that statement into “I feel like I get passed over at work, but I also know I put in much time into that project. I’m going to discuss this with my boss when I feel less upset.”

Where Can I Find DBT Therapy?

Anxiety management is a big part of recovery. Other essential elements of recovery are having healthy relationships, learning to change thinking and behavior, and coping with painful emotions. DBT addresses all of this, and it’s also a vital part of any quality addiction treatment program. For this reason, our experienced staff uses DBT to help patients transform their lives. So, if you’re looking for a drug treatment center that includes this proven method, call us today!

Written By: Molly Groo

Molly is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Case Manager and Vocational Services. She has a Bachelor’s in International Relations, is a Certified Addiction Counselor, and it’s currently working towards her Master’s in Social Work. Molly’s experience allows her to provide expert knowledge about solution-based methods to help people in recovery maintain long-term sobriety.
Cite This Article
Molly Groo. "How DBT Can Help With Anxiety Management in Recovery." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on Apr 28, 2020, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/dbt-for-anxiety-management-in-recovery/.

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