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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) - Anyone have experience with this therapy?


[Kl...]

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Hi,

 

I am wondering if anyone at BB has any experience with DBT and is willing to share their feelings concerning this type of therapy?  In particular, I would like to know if DBT was helpful during withdrawal. 

 

Thanks so much.

 

:)  Laurie

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DBT is in the neighborhood of CBT with some differences.  They both have merit in dealing with anxiety and panic and offer good life coping skills.  The challenge that both present in w/d is that the emotions experienced in w/d are fundimentally physical, caused by physiological changes in the body and not psychologically based.  They can't be addressed or resolved with logic or exposure therapy. As a result it's even possible that these can contribute to unnecessary distress while in w/d.  If there was pre-exisiting anxiety before benzos were introduced, once w/d is complete either DBT or CBT may be very valuable in addressing those issues and teaching coping skills.  IMHO
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[2b...]

When I worked, I was a Master's-level psychiatric social worker and over the years I've taken what amounts to probably several days' training in DBT. It's used primarily as the most effective therapy addressing Borderline Personality Disorder, and, yes, shares a lot of similarities with CBT. I think the difference between the two is that DBT is much more structured and uses a combination of both group and one-to-one therapy, as well as "homework" to address the challenges faced by Borderlines.

 

If it's a "true" DBT regimen, it's so specific that blowing off groups or individual therapy can result in someone being asked to leave the group until the next group of participants starts upon a round of treatment. If your primary issues are with anxiety and you haven't been diagnosed with BPD, I'd suggest finding a therapist who does CBT. DBT can be pretty intense, as Borderlines can be very challenging to work with, and if you're fragile after recovery the stress in the groups might overwhelm you.

 

I hope this was helpful. I agree with the earlier comment that much of benzo withdrawal is physical. It's also psychological, but not anything I'd feel comfortable dealing with until I was at least probably 3-4 months into recovery. The thinking and self-exploration required by therapy is something that I, in all honesty, could not deal with right now at the 1-month point.

 

Best wishes,

 

Tucson

Me at Day 30 of my final c/t:  :D

 

 

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@[Wi...]:) Laurie

 

@Tucson - Thank you so much for your input regarding DBT. I have not been diagnosed with BPD.  I was thinking that because DBT deals with skill building tools such as Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance, that it might be helpful in dealing with the psychological fall-out of withdrawal and learning how to cope with the sleep disruption.  I have not found CBT to be of any help to me in dealing with my fears surrounding my symptoms.

 

You bring up an excellent point concerning whether or not I will be able to have good attendance in group.  I never know how I am going to feel moment to moment, less day by day.  Another excellent point that you made was whether a person can really tolerate processing feelings at this time.  I think it would be very, very difficult and add yet another unnecessarily stressor. 

 

It may be that in time, DBT or CBT might be helpful to me i the future when I have gone through my taper, through my withdrawal and have achieved a certain amount of recovery.

 

Thank you, Tucson for the great information.  I have been following some of your posts and I want to tell you that I really admire your strength and courage.  I think you are doing an awesome job!  :)  All the best, Laurie

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I know about DBT but I like CBT.  It helps me feel better.  A nice example of a healthy CBT statement is "I am a whole person navigating benzo withdrawal intellectually".  I like that.  It reminds me when things seem overwhelming.  That the benzo w/d is only part of my life and not my whole life. 
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