What Is the Difference Between CBT and DBT?

What Is the Difference Between CBT and DBT?

Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are popular forms of psychotherapy. CBT focuses on helping patients get to the root of their problems and change their thinking. DBT is focused on those who experience extreme, overwhelming emotions, providing the patient with ways to augment their reactions to specific triggers. CBT and DBT benefit those struggling with substance use disorders co-existing with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. CBT is often confused with DBT. Understanding the difference can help individuals choose the best fit for their recovery.

Distinguishing Between CBT and DBT

CBT targets a person’s destructive thoughts and learned patterns of behavior, learning healthier ways of coping with the symptoms of their particular condition. During therapy, unique CBT techniques help patients overcome fears and develop problem-solving skills to help manage their emotions and behaviors. Methods include role-playing, muscle relaxation activities, exposure therapy, and journaling. 

Since many people compare DBT vs. CBT, understanding what dialectical behavior therapy offers is essential before treatment. DBT, in a way, is a modified version of CBT since the goals are to manage stress, regulate emotions, and improve interpersonal relationships. Initially, the methods used in DBT were meant to treat borderline personality disorder but branched out to treat other mental health conditions, especially ones associated with substance abuse.

While CBT focuses on how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors connect, DBT therapy centers on techniques to regulate emotions and improve responses through self-confidence and validation.

How to Choose Between CBT and DBT Therapy

If you seek to develop mindfulness skills, manage impulses, and avoid or control reactions to triggers, then DBT therapy is an excellent option. CBT is best if you want to get to the root of maladaptive thought patterns and learn to break free of unhelpful learned behaviors.

Dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy both offer powerful therapeutic results. Best of all, CBT and DBT are programs that work well together, meaning a choice doesn’t have to be made between the two services. Your therapist may suggest starting with CBT and then moving on to DBT practices.

Addiction can worsen or trigger harmful emotional or psychological symptoms in the user. It is essential to seek treatment as early as possible to avoid any adverse mental health side effects from substance abuse.

Recovery at Sunshine Care Centers 

 At Sunshine Care Centers, we are dedicated to providing patients with the resources they need to recover. From music therapy to cognitive-behavioral and trauma therapy, we have a program to fit your needs. 

Sunshine Care Centers has a suite of specialists with over 30 years of experience in drug and alcohol rehabilitation to assist you on the road to recovery. Whether in North Texas or Southern California, Sunshine Care Centers offers the highest level of care available. We pride ourselves on our clean, compassionate, and secure environment. We use evidence-based addiction treatment with flexible programs that cater to your needs. 

Don’t wait to receive the help you deserve. 

Speak to a specialist at Sunshine Care Centers by calling 883-597-CARE or message us today! 


Related Readings: 

Trauma Based Therapies

What Is Therapy for Trauma? 

Benefits of Music Therapy