Integrating DBT and the 12-Steps in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorder


The 12-Step model of treatment and support for substance use disorders has been widely adopted by treatment programs and individuals alike. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has been expanded beyond its initial focus on treating Borderline Personality Disorder and been found to be effective in addressing a wide range of behavioral conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance use. Although some patients and clinicians see approaches like DBT as alternatives to the 12-Steps, the two share many underlying concepts and can function in a complimentary manner. This training will present a holistic approach to integrating the 12-Steps and DBT to address the challenged of early recovery. The focus of the first three steps includes acceptance and surrender, learning how the disease and pathology of substance use disorder contribute to emotional, social, and behavioral impairment. DBT supports emotional regulation for empowering stress reduction and relapse prevention coping skills necessary for practicing a committed holistic daily program of recovery.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn about the underlying models of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and the 12-Steps with regard to substance use disorders.
  2. Participants will be able to describe the introductory steps (steps 1-3) and how they relate to the principles of DBT.
  3. Participants will apply the core principles of DBT to support patients working the introductory steps of a 12-Step model.

1.5 Credits NBCC

Presented by Dr. Pete Vernig, PhD, MBA

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Apr 24 2024


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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