CBT and DBT are common therapeutic methods that treat many different mental conditions. These treatments are Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) respectively. It is understandable to have questions about these common therapeutic models. Today we are taking a closer look to define DBT vs CBT.
What Is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a time-tested treatment used for many forms of mental illnesses. The most common disorders treated with CBT include depression, anxiety, and phobias. CBT is also useful for short-term treatment.
Also, in CBT, the client can quickly gain an understanding of their problems and deal with them with immediate exercises aimed at changing behavioral patterns. In dual-diagnosis treatment programs, CBT can be useful in a variety of ways including:
- Learning or unlearning certain belief structures that are affecting recovery
- Meeting specific treatment objectives
- Building rational thought patterns based in reality and not perceptions of reality
While a tremendously useful therapy, CBT is not a panacea for all mental conditions and in some cases treatment professionals will prefer to refer a client to DBT for their treatment plan.
What Is DBT?
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) treats individuals with personality disorders that are not responding to psychotherapy. It incorporates education and life skills training into treatment services for other conditions. In conclusion, the goal is to empower patients to manage their emotional state.
Additionally, the treatment consists of working closely with a therapist to set goals and develop plans. The most common goal set in addiction recovery treatment is to develop healthier coping mechanisms. Therapists often turn to DBT for complex cases where dual diagnosis treatment is necessary and CBT exercises may not provide a long-term solution.
The Differences Between DBT vs CBT
As you can see, there is a lot of overlap between DBT and CBT when it comes to the shared goal of individual wellness. The main areas of difference between DBT and CBT include the following:
- CBT is a short-term treatment aimed at thinking patterns whereas DBT is a long-term process to address multiple issues in life
- DBT is specifically adapted to deal with personality disorders and suicidal ideation while CBT is more appropriate for anxiety, depression, and substance abuse
- CBT focuses on reorganizing unhealthy or negative thoughts and DBT is more concerned with managing stress and/or interpersonal relationships
Do you have any more questions regarding DBT vs CBT and which may be right for you? Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to schedule an initial consultation. First Step Center is here to help you or those you care about overcome substance abuse. Call us at 866.832.6398 and begin the recovery process.