There tends to be a variability in the extent to which individuals react, become excited or aroused by certain situations, which results in some individuals responding to such scenarios by attaining a higher level of emotional intensity than others; in turn, it takes these individuals more time to return to a state of emotional equilibrium than others. Whereas cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on understanding how one’s thoughts and perceptions can influence feelings and behaviors, dialectical behavior therapy is useful in exploring the ways that individuals interact in certain environments, situations, relationships, and so on, as well as the underlying factors that guide those reactions.
Why Dialectical Behavior Therapy is Used in Intensive Outpatient Programs
Cognitive behavioral therapy—though also often used in a group setting—is most commonly employed for short-term, individual psychotherapy and counseling due to being a very introspective modality. In contrast, dialectical behavior therapy has a strong psychosocial component, which makes it especially useful in group settings, which is why DBT therapy tends to be commonly employed as a form of treatment in intensive outpatient programs for addiction. More specifically, there are four important components, or modules, of dialectical behavior group therapy, which are interpersonal effectiveness, developing a tolerance to stress while accepting reality, regulation of emotions, and learning mindfulness skills. Used for the treatment of addiction and substance abuse, dialectical behavior therapy affords the means of achieving what seem to be two conflicting goals: supporting and validating individuals for who they innately are while also challenging them to make beneficial changes and self-improvements.