Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are classified as psychotherapy, a form of talk therapy that treatment specialists use to help clients with behavioral problems and mental health issues. Addiction treatment centers utilize both forms of therapy as a part of a more comprehensive treatment program. Although there are some similarities between CBT and DBT, there are also some key differences between these addiction therapies.
One of the main differences between both therapies is that CBT is primarily used to treat depression and anxiety. The focus of DBT is to treat borderline personality disorder. However, because they effectively treat mental health conditions, therapists often use them to help clients manage drug or alcohol addiction. Knowing the differences between the two types of therapies can help you get the right treatment for your condition.
Different Therapy Philosophies Between CBT and DBT
Treatment specialists approach CBT and DBT uniquely due to their underlying philosophies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps clients utilize reason and rationale that is commonly found in the Socratic Method. The client uses critical thinking to challenge assumptions about their condition or current situation. A person who has anxiety or depression may have feelings of despair, inadequacy, or failure. CBT challenges the underlying thoughts that lead to these feelings by looking at the facts instead of focusing on their feelings.
Dialectical behavior therapy relies heavily on mindfulness. A person who becomes more aware of what is going on inside their mind can manage their emotions. Once they manage their emotions, they have more control over their behaviors. DBT may incorporate Zen or Buddhist practices into each therapy session. Clients learn mindfulness through meditation or other techniques. They learn to accept what is happening so that they can successfully navigate conflict or stress.
Treating Mental Health Issues
How you respond to treatment depends on your condition. Each treatment is best suited for treating specific concerns. However, both cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy can be part of a client’s treatment plan. However, there are some distinct advantages to seeking either treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
If you have depression or anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy is more likely to treat your condition. CBT gives you more control over negative thoughts that lead to negative behaviors. CBT is also effective in treating other conditions such as:
- Sleeping issues
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Through CBT, many people are able to identify negative or adverse behaviors and replace them with healthier alternatives.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy is used for people who have a borderline personality disorder. Therapists use DBT in addiction therapy to help clients change behavior patterns instead of talking through issues, as is done in CBT. For instance, a client who develops a pattern of responding to stress by drinking or taking drugs learns to develop healthier responses and create new behavior patterns. DBT is effective in treating disorders such as:
- Sexual trauma survivors
- Chronic suicidal ideation
- Eating disorders
- Self-harm or cutting
In addition, DBT can support recovery as it allows clients to manage and address emotions that may overwhelm them ordinarily.
CBT identifies the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You develop the ability to recognize when your thoughts might cause problems. In addition, you learn skills that help you redirect your thoughts to avoid harmful or destructive behaviors. You may participate in up to 20 sessions until you have learned to master these skills.
DBT emphasizes teaching skills that regulate your emotions while helping you be mindful when your emotions are triggered by conflict or stress. Your therapist uses mindfulness to help you accept your current situation. DBT skills training often occurs in group therapy within four modules. People in the group work together when given challenging activities.
Learn More About CBT and DBT at Fresh Start Recovery Center
At Fresh Start Recovery Center, we understand the intricacies involved with both cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. In addition, we offer an additional variety of addiction treatment therapies for all types of addictions and mental health conditions, including:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma therapy