Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a relatively new form of treatment for the care of persons diagnosed with certain psychiatric illnesses and chemical dependencies. The technique was introduced approximately 15 years ago and is based on the idea that psychosocial (treating the person in relation to their environment) treatment for those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder is just as critical to controlling the condition and its symptoms as more traditional psychotherapy and medication are.
One of the most significant goals of the DBT intervention is to reduce self-injuring and potentially life-threatening behaviors. Reducing behaviors that interfere with the treatment process, and reducing those behaviors that negatively impact upon a person's quality of life, often follow in the DBT progression.
DBT theorists believe that some people react with great difficulty to emotional stimulation in part due to their upbringing or due to certain biological factors that may not have been identified. A person's level or arousal increases much more quickly, peaks at a much higher level, and they might take a longer time to return to a comfortable baseline. This could explain why some people with Borderline Personality Disorders or those addicted to drugs and alcohol often experience more crises in their lives.
They are also prone to frequent shifts in their emotional level. DBT can help some people cope with these sudden and intense surges in their emotions.
Usually, DBT is provided in two parts: First-weekly psychotherapy sessions are provided in which a particular problem behavior or event from the past week is explored in detail. Sessions are used to analyze the chain of events leading up to the problem, discuss alternative solutions that might have been considered, and examine what kept the person from using more adaptive solutions to the problem. Second-weekly group therapy sessions are offered in which interpersonal effectiveness, acceptance skills, emotion regulation, and mindfulness skills are taught.
The Community Program at Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services is forming a new Dialectical Behavior Therapy group to help people with drug and alcohol issues. By using DBT, clients will learn behavioral skills to practice in their daily lives. These skills include combining mindfulness techniques along with self-regulation of your emotions, tolerating and responding productively to daily stress and crisis situations, and improving your coping skills in conflict-prone relationships. They will also learn how to identify stress triggers and then use the skills to help remain clean and sober, while leading a more productive life.
There will be an informational meeting for prospective participants on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services, 950 South Oyster Bay Road in Hicksville. The community program provides outpatient substance abuse treatment to individuals and their families as well as offers a variety of specialized groups including education, relapse prevention and anger management as well as individual therapy and medication management.
To register or to inquire about programs, call 822-4060.