Addiction Therapy: DBT Residential Treatment Centers 

Luxe Recovery LA is a luxury detox and rehabilitation center offering world-class mental health and substance abuse treatment. We treat a wide range of substance abuse disorders and our treatment plans are individualized to each patient.

Recovery from addiction is a complex and multifaceted journey. It’s something that can require multiple therapeutic modalities. One of these evidence-based treatment programs that Luxe Recovery LA uses is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

This treatment process has helped numerous individuals transform their thinking and achieve lasting recovery from addiction disorders.

What is a Residential Program?

A residential treatment program is, essentially, rehab. A patient checks into a treatment facility of their own volition or with the strong encouragement of loved ones. Inside this facility, they detox and wean themselves off of their drug(s) of choice.

They also undergo intense therapy and other treatment programs so they don’t relapse once they check out of the facility. The length of stay in a facility can vary from one person to another, but it’s usually between 30 to 90 days, depending on the severity of someone’s addiction. 

Residential programs can also be a prelude to an outpatient program. Many people who are in outpatient treatment often go through inpatient treatment first and use their current program as a means to continue treatment while continuing to live their lives.

Inpatient treatment can be vital for patients who have a history of self-harm or suicidal ideation, as residential staff can monitor their behavior to protect them from themselves.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is an offshoot of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It was initially used as a treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Presently, many programs use DBT as it has proven to be an effective treatment for a variety of mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder.

DBT treatment has been proven particularly effective in helping individuals who struggle with emotional regulation, self-harm, and suicidal ideation be better at regulating their emotions.

DBT combines cognitive behavioral techniques with the concepts of mindfulness and acceptance. It’s based primarily on dialectics, which focuses on finding the balance between two opposing forces. In the context of treatment, the opposing forces are change and acceptance.

Goals of DBT

The primary goal is to help a patient learn the skills of DBT in four key modules. These modules are mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Developing skills in these four areas helps a person become more well-rounded and less prone to turning to self-destructive behaviors or harmful thought patterns when under emotional duress without turning to substance use.


Detoxification, or detox, is often the first step in the recovery process. It involves medically supervised withdrawal, helping individuals safely manage withdrawal symptoms as they rid their bodies of substances.

United Healthcare typically covers this critical phase, understanding its importance as the foundation for successful long-term recovery.


This is centered around helping patients be more present in the moment, to observe and describe their present moments without any judgment. The goal of developing this skill is to help patients be more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 

Emotion Regulation

Difficult emotions can lead to an individual spiraling out of control and cause them to turn to destructive behaviors as a means of coping. This module aims to help people be more aware of their emotions as well as develop strategies to regulate and manage their emotions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

This module is aimed at helping people develop their interpersonal skills. By developing this skill, patients become better at communicating as well as building and maintaining healthy relationships.

Patients also become more assertive in a relationship and are better able to set and maintain boundaries.

Enhancing Distress Tolerance 

High-stress situations can cause people to turn to substances as a means of self-medicating. This module aims to help people cope and manage high-stress and crises in healthier ways.

These methods include distraction, self-soothing, and other ways to practice healthy coping skills without making impulsive or harmful decisions.

Techniques used in DBT

DBT uses several different techniques in both individual and group therapy. These techniques are designed to help people develop and practice the skills in the four modules listed above. These techniques can include:

Observing and recording

Patients are encouraged to observe and describe their experience in the present moment without any judgment.

Mindful breathing

Patients are taught breathing exercises to be more present in the moment and be more relaxed.

Mindful eating

Patients are encouraged to fully observe the sensory experience of eating food. This is an important technique for someone with an eating disorder.


Patients are taught healthy ways to soothe themselves when they are under duress.

Identifying and labeling emotions

To foster a healthy emotional identity, patients are taught to accurately label what emotions they are feeling.

Opposite action

Patients are taught to do the opposite of what they normally do when they become emotional. This helps them to change their emotional responses.

Validation and Self-Validation

Therapists validate – but do not agree with or encourage – the patient’s self-destructive or harmful behaviors so that the patient knows that someone is listening to them and that their past is acknowledged. 

Patients are also taught to validate their feelings and their pasts in order to be more compassionate towards themselves.

Behavioral Chain Analysis

This technique is about analyzing the chain of events that led to a specific behavior. This helps patients be more aware of their triggers, emotions, and thought patterns that lead to self-destructive behaviors.


Patients are encouraged to keep diaries to monitor their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on a daily basis. This is to help identify harmful patterns and make better progress in their recovery.

It should be noted that while the techniques above are often used in DBT, some aspects of DBT may not be effective at treating an individual patient.

Treatment plans at Luxe Recovery LA are personalized to the individual and not everyone will have the same treatment approach.

Is DBT for Me?

A comprehensive treatment plan will often integrate DBT. But not everyone needs it and not everyone will respond to it in the same way.

If you’re struggling with borderline personality disorder, substance use, or other mental health issues, maybe DBT can help you. But how do you know that it’s the right approach to your treatment?

If you’re someone who struggles with their emotions, interpersonal relationships, self-harms, and has co-occurring mental health issues along with your addiction, then DBT may align with your needs and provide you with the skills and tools you need to achieve lasting recovery.

Get help now

Too many don’t get help for their addiction disorders because they feel as if becoming an addict in the first place is a moral failure on their part and that getting treatment for that perceived failure is yet another failure.

They think that seeking out addiction or mental health treatment is a sign of weakness. 

But becoming an addict isn’t a moral failure, and neither is looking for treatment. Finding a therapist to help you get control over your addictions and manage your mental health conditions doesn’t make you weak. It makes you strong enough to know you need help to make a life worth living.

If you’re struggling with an addiction or a mental health disorder, the treatment team at Luxe Recovery LA will develop an individualized treatment plan for you.

Please don’t wait to get better; contact us. We take most forms of insurance, and we’re ready to help you on your recovery journey.

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