Dialectical behavioral therapy was created as an alternative therapeutic approach to cognitive behavioral therapy. As CBT was gaining renown and praise for its efficacy in treatment, a small population of individuals were not finding any support from it. Individuals with mental illnesses which include extreme mood swings or intensified experiences of emotion needed more support than CBT could offer. Dr. Marsha Linehan invented DBT as a way to help those prone to magnified emotional outbursts find a center of operation which grounds them to reality. Today’s teens and adolescents are experiencing their addictions and mental health in frustratingly personal ways. DBT helps teens and adolescents embody distinct truths which cut through the confusion of their emotional experiences. Many of these truths, sometimes called “assumptions” can be seen as spiritual in nature when viewed through the lens of universal application.
Everyone is doing the best they can
A profound recognition teens come upon in treatment is their own expectations and the way those expectations clouded judgment or acceptance of others. Adults are vulnerable to such conditioning as well when we want to believe that other people should be better, do better, and act better than they are now. Teens realize that everyone is, at any moment, only the total sum of their experiences. Meaning, they are doing the very best they are capable of doing, in any given moment, with what they have knowledge of, in any given moment. For teens who are pursuing faith as part of their recovery, this resonates with the idea that everyone is acting on God’s plan on God’s time, and God’s plan is never off schedule.
Everyone experiences pain
Teens are quick to categorize and discard people as a means of social survival. Comparison is the art of surviving for teens. In a group setting like treatment, teens have to recognize that everyone is struggling with something, everyone has suffered in some way. Realizing that pain is something everyone experiences, teens begin to cultivate empathy and compassion. Spiritual living asks us to live compassionately toward others with empathy for their experiences. We all go through pain and suffering in life, though on different degrees. We can have patience and tolerance for one another by understanding that everyone experiences pain. Doing so eliminates the damaging control of the ego and self-centered thinking.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long term residential treatment programs for addiction recovery. Our Teen Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program involves the whole family for foundation building and life cleansing change.
Call us today to start living your recovery: 662-598-4214