Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are two of the most popular forms of talk therapy. They both have their roots in cognitive therapy, which was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Aaron Beck. However, there are also some significant differences between these two approaches. Keep reading to learn more about CBT vs DBT and which therapy is right for you.
What is cognitive behavioral therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can be repeated as often as needed. It is a short-term, goal-oriented treatment that helps people learn how to change the way they think and behave. CBT is often used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and addiction. CBT is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion), and how we behave (action) are all connected. CBT helps people identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to their mental health condition. CBT is a collaborative treatment. The therapist works with the person to set goals and develop a treatment plan. The therapist also provides feedback and support and helps the person to practice new skills.
What is dialectical behavior therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment developed by Marsha M. Linehan to help people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT is also used to treat people with eating disorders, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions. DBT is a mindfulness-based treatment that teaches people how to regulate their emotions. The goal of DBT is to help people create a life worth living.
How do CBT and DBT differ?
Both CBT and DBT involve changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, but they differ in a few key ways. CBT is more focused on solving specific problems, while DBT is more holistic in its approach. Also, CBT tends to be more directive and problem-focused, while DBT is more flexible and client-centered. When it comes to therapist methods, the two differ significantly. In CBT, the therapist and client work together to come up with solutions to problems, and in DBT, therapists help clients develop skills they can use themselves.
The number of sessions required for patients also differs. CBT typically lasts for 12-16 sessions, while DBT usually lasts for 24 sessions. In CBT, the therapist and client may meet once a week or every other week, while DBT sessions are typically held twice a week. DBT also focuses on teaching skills to help people regulate their emotions, whereas CBT does not typically teach specific emotion-regulation skills. Finally, DBT includes a focus on helping people build relationships that are supportive and healthy, while CBT does not typically address this aspect of treatment.
What similarities do DBT and CBT share?
DBT and CBT are both forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a type of therapy that aims to help people change the way they think and behave. Both DBT and CBT are based on the idea that our thoughts and behaviors are interconnected—that our thoughts affect our emotions, and our emotions affect our behaviors. Both DBT and CBT are also based on the idea that our thoughts and behaviors can be changed.
CBT therapists often use “behavioral activation” to help people change their behavior. This technique involves helping people identify and change the behaviors contributing to their mental health problems. DBT therapists use “dialectical behavior therapy” to help people change their thoughts and behaviors. Dialectical behavior therapy is based on the idea that people can change their thoughts and behaviors by balancing opposite extremes. For example, DBT therapists might help people balance the need to be independent with the need to be supported by others.
Which therapy is right for me?
The best therapy for you will depend on your specific needs and situation. However, here is a general overview of the differences between DBT and CBT to better understand which therapy might be right for you. DBT is often used to treat individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, as it can help them learn how to regulate their emotions better and manage their behavior. CBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, so it’s ideal for patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression. CBT helps people learn how to identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to their mental health condition.
Overall, both CBT and DBT are effective in treating various mental health disorders. However, CBT may be more beneficial for treating disorders that are characterized by cognitive distortions, while DBT may be more beneficial for treating disorders that are characterized by emotional dysregulation, such as dialectical behavior therapy. Keep this guide in mind when you choose the therapy that’s right for you.