What is DBT?
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT for short, is commonly used to treat complex mental health issues like suicidal thoughts and behaviours and Borderline Personality Disorder.
In more recent times, its use has been extended to treat substance misuse issues amongst young people.
The therapy takes a multi-pronged approach, blending mindfulness and meditation with Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy (CBT), interpersonal skills training to promote healthier relationships, managing emotions and distress tolerance.
How does Triple Care Farm use DBT?
Triple Care Farm uses DBT in a holistic way. All staff members have DBT training, including life skills trainers, youth workers, case managers and even sport and recreation workers.
DBT is integrated into the program in diverse ways, including: roleplays, practising present moment awareness in conversations, learning to cook and even playing Celebrity Heads. As Triple Care Farm senior psychologist, Sarah Green explains, “We try to make it fun”.
In this video, Ms. Green explains how Triple Care Farm encorporates DBT into all aspects of its program.
What does a young person's Treatment Plan at the Farm look like?
More traditional DBT methods are also used during the residential programs, such as mandatory groups and optional one-on-one sessions with a counsellor.
Young people can regularly meet with their chosen counsellor, and integrate other therapies like art therapy and motivational interviewing.
DBT is also taught in skills training workshop, for example, distress tolerance training when a student is struggling with filling out a Maths workbook.
Why does DBT work well with addiction?
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is all about ‘wiring a new routine into the brain. It’s an opportunity to choose a different way to behave to triggers.’
This is why DBT is particularly effective in treating addiction.
By focussing on mindfulness and the present moment, young people learn to “ride the wave” of their urges.
In the accompanying video, Ms. Green explains why DBT is effective in treating addiction.
An innovative model
Triple Care Farm is one of the only rehabilitation centres in Australia to use DBT, a highly effective, evidence based therapy model.
In particular, the use of DBT to treat young people battling with substance misuse issues makes TCF a pioneer in its field.
Students continue to use practical DBT skills in their everyday lives after the program, to better cope with difficulties when they arise, and gain a clearer perspective.
Want to learn more about DBT? Below are some useful online resources:
- A modified DBT group therapy manual – For clinicians working with adolescents and young adults experiencing substance misuse
- DBT Regulator – ongoing self-help resources that provides refresher material for both clients and clinicians
- Behavioral Tech – general info about DBT
- Project Air Strategy – the peak organisation for personality disorders, based in Wollongong
- The Smiling Mind – modern meditation and mindfulness tracks