Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was initially developed for severe and chronic multi-diagnosed clients. Since its inception, there has been extensive research using DBT with a variety of populations, such as those with personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-harm behaviors and suicidal thoughts, anxiety, eating disorders and substance use disorders.

In light of the research and descriptive articles written describing the success in using DBT in substance abuse treatment, many treatment centers have begun using this treatment modality. Addiction literature has also clearly demonstrated the utility of Twelve Step programming in supporting recovery. DBT and Twelve Step philosophy have many conceptual similarities. Both are empirically supported treatments. Because they both work well, it makes sense to integrate these two approaches.

At CeDAR, the Coping Skills group utilizes the curriculum that Bari K Platter and Osvaldo Cabral (both CeDAR staff) developed, Integrating Dialectical Behavior Therapy with the Twelve Steps. This curriculum was recently published by Hazelden and is used in many substance treatment programs throughout the United States.

In Coping Skills Group, patients learn and practice skills to utilize when they experience unwanted emotions or distress. The goal of the Coping Skills Group is to provide patients with the tools necessary to live a successful life in recovery. In addition to learning and practicing skills in group, all CeDAR patients receive a Participant Workbook that includes over eighty Coping Skills Worksheets. These worksheets assist patients in learning more about how to use the skills learned in group and to reflect upon how they can successfully use those skills after discharge.

Ms. Platter also offers individual DBT coaching sessions for those patients who will benefit from developing an individualized approach to utilizing the skills learned and practiced in the group setting.