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Why are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) important during an Intensive Outpatient Program?


Once you or a loved one decides to get clean from drugs or alcohol, use that momentum to enroll into a rehab or outpatient treatment program. Getting clean is just one step in the journey of sobriety, but to maintain sobriety and combat relapse, you most likely need to do some deep diving to uncover the underlying causes of addiction and learn how to fight them. That’s where an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) comes in. IOP therapy through Lighthouse Recovery is, as the name suggests, an intensive and comprehensive program designed to achieve long-lasting sobriety. Through our well-rounded IOP therapy, our experienced therapists provide a variety of evidence-based and experimental therapies, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

Here are a few reasons CBT and DBT are important in an Intensive Outpatient Program:


  • To prevent relapse

With CBT, addicts learn to “identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and to address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it”’ via Simply put, this therapy is often utilized by our Master’s level clinicians to help Clients, when not in the trenches of addiction or confronted face-to-face with triggers, figure out solutions and ways to stop it.  During CBT, Clients and therapists work through coping strategies, identifying future problems and cravings, and discussing consequences of continued alcohol or drug use. And, the evidence is behind this therapy! Research shows that the skills developed through CBT persist outside of therapy. Having those skills already in place once graduating an IOP helps addicts prevent relapse.

  • To assist in Clients with co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis

According to NCBI, DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) for substance abusers was found to decrease substance abuse, across multiple trials, in patients with personality disorder. They summize DBT should also help prevent substance abuse for patients with other severe disorders, or dual diagnosis, along with substance abuse disorder. We often see Clients who suffer from dual diagnosis, so evidence-based DBT during our intensive outpatient program is a strategy our trained therapists often employ.

  • Because all Clients are individual, and need multiple types of IOP therapy

Though the evidence stands behind CBT, DBT, and a range of therapies, our therapists and our team treats every individual who enters Lighthouse Recovery just as that: an individual. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy and staying sober. That’s why our therapists use proven therapies as well as experimental and experiential therapies in their treatment plan. We work individually and in intimate groups to truly uncover the underlying causes and conditions of addiction with every patient. 

At Lighthouse Recovery, we believe in individualized IOP therapy to treat the individual Client. This includes individual, group, and family therapy sessions that employ a wide range of evidence-based behavioral therapies, like CBT and DBT. We incorporate small sizes in our intensive outpatient program and use only experienced, Master’s carrying clinicians who all work to provide a holistic therapy designed to achieve lasting sobriety. If you’re curious about our IOP therapy or have any questions about if it’s right for you or a loved one, give us a call – it’s confidential and free!


Learn more about our services or contact us below to discover how Lighthouse can help you on your road to recovery today. Thank you for your trust.