How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Help PTSD

therapist explaining to distraught adolescent how dialectical behavior therapy can help PTSD.

Treating your teen’s mental health is as important as treating overall bodily health. The societal stigma around mental health is slowly becoming less, and treatment options are becoming more widely available. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can be highly beneficial for teens struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It helps young patients better understand their emotions and feelings and the actions that result. Along with individual and group therapy, DBT works to refocus negative thoughts and encourage positive thinking and a healthier lifestyle for long-term success in managing symptoms of PTSD. Take the first step by learning how dialectical behavior therapy can help PTSD, and then take the next step to get your teen or adolescent the treatment they need.

Imagine Boise offers mental health treatment programs for individuals aged 12 to 18, including dialectical behavior therapy.

What Is DBT?

DBT is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) designed to help those receiving treatment for mental, behavioral, and substance use disorders. In DBT, behaviors are refocused to avoid the negative and embrace the positive. Empowering patients in this way has proven very effective in their recovery.

Teens struggling with PTSD tend to have trouble managing the negative emotions that result from past trauma. Learning not to fall victim to negative thoughts can be hard to do on one’s own. With the support of professionals, as well as peers going through similar issues, DBT helps teens develop effective coping skills for managing their emotions.

In addition to treating PTSD, DBT can be used to treat:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

This mindfulness approach to therapy is the core of receiving treatment at Imagine Omaha. DBT works alongside individual and group therapy. Patients will put the coping skills they learn into place in a safe and structured environment—among peers also receiving treatment—before integrating back into everyday life. With continued implementation of what they learn, they will find success in their long-term recovery.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for PTSD

PTSD is classified as a mental health disorder. It arises following a traumatic event that the patient has experienced. Traumatic events can include an accident, physical abuse, sexual assault, and military trauma from war. DBT provides an effective therapeutic modality that teens can use in everyday life to better manage emotions and redirect their thoughts positively. This is especially true when the negative thoughts associated with the trauma are severe, such as self-harm and thoughts of suicide.

Customized treatment plans are available to promote a plan that works for each individual’s unique needs. DBT works as part of a holistic approach, along with other therapies. This can be part of a partial hospitalization program (PHP) for more structure or a more flexible intensive outpatient program (IOP). Many treatment centers—like Imagine Omaha—will also offer trauma-informed care and medication management services for those who need that extra layer of care as part of the treatment experience.

Contact Imagine Omaha for DBT for PTSD

At Imagine Omaha, DBT is used as an integral part of treating PTSD in teens. The DBT program at Imagine Omaha includes a focus on:

  • Strong relationships – Healthy relationships with peers and family are one of the cornerstones of a successful treatment program.
  • Coping skills – Learning ways to deal with stressors and triggers is a benefit not only during treatment but for life.
  • Quality of life – Improving a patient’s overall quality of life is the goal of any mental health treatment program focusing on PTSD.

Imagine Omaha is ready to answer any questions you have about DBT and how it can help treat your teen’s PTSD. Call 888.306.2681 or reach out online to get a response from a treatment team member.