Difference Between CBT and DBT

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are both effective in treating both mental disorders and drug or alcohol addiction. These evidence-based methods include both individual and group therapy led by a licensed treatment specialist. However, there are some differences between CBT and DBT. Ultimately, Dialectical behavioral therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, they encompass different techniques used to treat different conditions. Let’s take a closer look at CBT and DBT, and the benefits they provide for clients who are recovering from addiction or mental disorders.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

CBT suggests that there is a connection between thoughts and behaviors. More specifically, how a client thinks, believes, or feels about themselves determines what behavior they will engage in. Negative thoughts often lead to destructive behaviors such as substance abuse. One of the main differences between CBT and DBT is that cognitive-behavioral therapy helps a client focus on the present moment. Your therapist is unconcerned about the past (which is covered in other forms of therapy). Once the therapist identifies the negative thought patterns, they help the client reprogram their thinking, which, in turn, gets them on the path to recovery. The main benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy include:

  • Becoming more aware of thoughts and emotions
  • Learning to be more mindful of the present in difficult situations
  • Transitioning to the next level of recovery
  • Being interactive – the client and therapist work together during sessions
  • Learning how to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy is beneficial for clients who have a borderline personality disorder. It is designed to help those who struggle with managing their emotions or dealing with stressful situations. Part of the DBT therapy model includes acceptance. A person must learn first to accept themselves, their situation, and the people around them. Whereas CBT focuses more on identifying and managing thoughts, DBT more focused on developing skills that lead to more productive behaviors and controlling emotions in intense situations. When someone learns to accept what is in front of them and can control their emotions/feelings, then they can handle conflict, stress, or other problems that arise more effectively. The benefits of dialectical behavioral therapy include:

  • Reducing the risk of suicide or self-harm when a person faces anxiety
  • Teaching emotions and behaviors that promote a productive life
  • Learning how to navigate changing moods
  • Learning how to sustain healthy relationships and manage conflict
  • Having a greater sense of self-love and self-respect

While there are some differences between CBT and DBT, both are often used together to provide a more comprehensive treatment program.

Difference Between CBT and DBT

If you need help with mental disorders or addiction, then contact Promises P.A.T.H. We offer complete detox, rehab, and aftercare for all types of addiction, and can help you understand treatment options such as CBT vs DBT. Find out more about CBT and DBT by calling 844.875.5609. We will help you start your treatment today.

Scroll to Top