Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is essentially a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as CBT encompasses a broad range of treatments for behavioral problems. However, there are some differences between CBT and DBT that make them equally valuable in addiction therapy programs.
The differences in CBT and DBT can be seen in how the terms are understood, how they are used to treat mental disorders, the principles upon which they are built, and the difference in treatment methods. Learn more about these differences and contact Midwest Detox Center to begin treatment today.
1. How the Terms CBT and DBT Are Understood
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a catch-all phrase of various therapies that share many of the same features, including:
- Ability to treat emotional responses
- Short-term or introductory treatment
- Positive patient-therapist relationship
- Application of logic and reason to manage mental disorders
- Structurally-guided treatment
Many of these features can be found in dialectical behavior therapy. The main difference is that the focus of DBT is helping clients acknowledge and accept the discomfort and pain they feel in certain situations. DBT encourages a person to embrace positive behaviors instead of harmful or impulsive actions.
2. Treatment for Specific Illnesses
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for every mental health issue. While CBT has been proven to help clients who suffer from a wide range of mental disorders, DBT may be more effective for treating other disorders. The key difference is that CBT helps clients talk through their issues, and DBT helps people change behavioral patterns.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often used to treat insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, phobias, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dialectical behavior therapy is effective in treating borderline personality disorder, self-harm behaviors, chronic suicidal ideation, and sexual trauma survivors.
3. Guiding Principles for CBT and DBT
The differences in CBT and DBT are most noticeable in the principles or philosophies that guide the type of therapy. CBT stems from the Socratic Method, which utilizes critical thinking and rational to question a person’s thinking or behavior. A person who is struggling with feelings of anger, regret, or guilt may be asked to see the difference between their feelings and the facts.
DBT also draws from the same concept of awareness: the ability to distinguish between thoughts and reality. The difference is that DBT relies more heavily on mindfulness, Zen practices, and Buddhism. The client is encouraged to acknowledge and live with the pain or emotions they witness or feel instead of resisting them.
4. Treatment Methods
CBT focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There is more emphasis on regulating emotions, accepting pain, and being mindful. Clients are taught to recognize when their thoughts can become harmful. They learn techniques to redirect their thoughts, become more self-accepting, and manage their emotions.
DBT is centered around skill training that is taught in both individual and group settings. Clients use techniques to regulate emotions, improve relationships, and develop mindfulness in their everyday lives. Once they learn to develop certain skills, they can transition more into CBT-oriented individual or group therapy.
Since each condition responds differently to various treatment methods, assessment is required to determine the nature and severity of the problem. A therapist, psychologist, or psychologist can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether DBT or CBT is the right form of treatment.
Learn More About CBT and DBT at Midwest Detox Center
Midwest Detox Center offers a variety of treatments such as CBT and DBT for addiction and mental disorders. Our substance abuse treatment programs are designed to help you end your addiction to drugs or alcohol. Call Midwest Detox Center today at 833.647.0392 to find out more about our addiction therapy programs and how to get started with your treatment.