The Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Those with mental health disorders often struggle to reach out for help due to fear or shame. However, therapy and treatment can open doors to a healthy and satisfying lifestyle that reaches beyond the barriers of mental health disorders. It is important to reach out and find therapy and/or treatment options that are right for you.

At Roots Recovery, a specialized team is created for each client in order to guide them through their mental health journey. Different group and individual therapies are offered, and clients develop a deeper understanding of self in order to heal and persevere past their mental health disorder. One of the therapies offered at Roots Recovery for clients struggling with mental health disorders is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). 

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy is often a part of outpatient treatment that uses cognitive-behavioral principles. DBT typically has four components: a skills training group, individual psychotherapy, telephone consultations, and a therapist consultation team. Behavioral skills through these four components are taught in order to target symptoms of mental health disorders. Often the symptoms targeted are an unstable sense of self, chaotic relationships, fear of abandonment, emotional lability, and impulsivity. The skills taught include mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. 

At Roots Recovery, DBT can be implemented into one’s outpatient treatment (OP). OP allows clients to remain in their home environment while working through their mental health disorder(s) and/or SUDs. This is a flexible program offered where clients attend group or individual therapies up to five days per week for as many weeks as necessary. A team is created to guide clients in developing tools and skills needed to integrate back into daily life and foster a positive, healthy lifestyle. 

The intensive outpatient program (IOP) at Roots Recovery works in a similar way where clients uncover underlying issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms. With the intensive program, clients are introduced to DBT and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), experiential therapy groups, and educational groups in order to develop a better relationship with themselves and their loved ones. IOP runs five days a week for three hours a day, letting clients choose which time of the day works best for their daily routine. This is a client-centered approach to care, guiding clients as they integrate back into their daily routines. The team created for each client continues to offer support even as client sessions decrease.  

Who May Benefit From DBT?

This therapy is usually used to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), substance use disorders (SUDs), mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. At Roots Recovery, clients with SUDs and/or PTSD are offered treatment and therapy and may benefit from DBT. It is important to reach out and begin treatment or therapy for both PTSD and SUDs.

Clients with PTSD may experience intrusive memories of the traumatic event through nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance symptoms, hopelessness, negative perceptions of the world, emotional numbness, and changes in their physical and emotional responses to situations which can manifest as self-destructive behaviors, irritability or rage, and guilt. Receiving therapy or treatment can help clients reduce these symptoms and benefit their ability to maintain employment, maintain personal relationships, and cope with social situations.

Those with SUDs often experience changes in behavior, increases irritability or paranoia, management troubles in work, school, or home life, decreased motivation, troubles focusing, seeking the abused substance, hallucinations, changes in sleep including fatigue and difficulty waking up, mood swings, seizures, and the inability to stop using the substance even when symptoms arise. 

DBT at Roots Recovery may benefit those with PTSD or SUDs, allowing them to lead a more positive life and understand their symptoms while targeting them directly. 

Successes From DBT

Clients who go through DBT have positive outcomes from the therapy, including a reduction in parasuicidal behaviors, an increase in the effectiveness of treatment, and a reduction in the number of hospitalization. DBT also proves to be effective in reducing disorder-related direct and indirect monetary costs. 

In the OP program at Roots Recovery, clients experience long-term success and continue to have contact with their team and peers to ensure support and success moving forward in life. Clients experience benefits to their self-care, mental health, and general well-being from this program.

For clients who struggled with SUDs, patients find themselves remaining consistent in recovery and maintaining abstinence months after treatment and therapy. For those who struggled with PTSD, many clients experience a decrease in their trauma symptoms after treatment and therapy at Roots. Especially when paired with OP or IOP, clients continue to have contact with peers and their team to support them with the recovery journey. This team and client connections do not disappear after programs subside, and treatment and/or therapy are always available for clients who find themselves needing to return to Roots.

Here at Roots Recovery, we implement dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to support clients struggling with substance use disorders (SUDs) and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). DBT is typically incorporated into outpatient (OP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) in four stages alongside cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Behavioral skills are taught in DBT in order to combat PTSD and SUD symptoms. As clients go through these stages, a specialized team is there to guide and support them. After OP or IOP, this team and community of peers remain in contact with every client to ensure their success and maintain consistency in their support. To learn more about DBT at Roots Recovery, call (562) 473-0827

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


“I am so grateful to be an alumni of Roots. Roots took me from my darkest of places, to the brightest and most beautiful part of life I've ever lived. They genuinely care about their clients. You will not be a number or a paycheck here. After discharging in February, I still receive help and words of wisdom whenever needed. Roots helped me battle things I'd been struggling with for over 14 years and finally put them behind me. I love roots with all my heart, and always will.”


“Just got 365 days sober today all thanks to these people at Roots. And saved my marriage.”


“It's great to see such a high quality of care program in Long Beach! The entire staff shows great care and compassion for their clients. The therapists are among the best around. Their admissions and case management is compassionate and driven to help you succeed! If your looking for help with trauma or substance abuse, this is the place for help!”


“Very serene setting, you feel right at home when you walk in. The staff are super nice and really care about their clients.”


“The most compassionate and knowledgeable staff! Roots Through Recovery offers the best addiction care and treatment available. They use multiple disciplines to cater to a wide variety of clients. Music therapy, art name it, Roots has it! Do yourself a kindness and check them out. You'll be glad you did.”