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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

When you struggle with addiction, mental health disorders, or unresolved trauma, different forms of psychotherapies can be used to help you. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are two more commonly used therapies. To help you determine whether these therapies could benefit you, let’s look at what they are and the differences between CBT versus DBT.

What Is CBT?

CBT is a form of talk therapy structured to meet your specific needs and objectives. It is one of the most often-used therapies and is based on the following principles:

  • A person’s addiction, mental health disorder, or unresolved traumatic experience is related to negative and problematic thought patterns.
  • A person’s issues are tied to negative beliefs, including one’s perception of self and how others see them.
  • How a person currently behaves is related to negative behaviors and patterns one has learned over time.
  • It is possible to change one’s thinking and perceptions by learning new positive methods and coping strategies to improve their physical and mental health and well-being.

What Is DBT?

DBT is another type of talk therapy based on the principles of CBT. However, DBT provides a deeper understanding of addiction, mental health disorders, and unresolved trauma by helping one better accept and understand the underlying causes of their feelings and behaviors.

How Does CBT Work?

CBT follows the idea that one’s behaviors and thoughts stem from our emotions. By changing how one thinks about themselves and how they react when placed in various situations, it will help them start to feel better and address their negative issues.

During therapy sessions, a therapist helps guide the individual to help them uncover negative behaviors and thoughts. As they uncover these, they are guided on how they can alter their negative thinking. In addition, an individual is given tasks to do outside of therapy to make them more aware of and help discover more negative behaviors and thoughts that need to be worked on.

The primary treatment method for CBT is to help the individual change their thought patterns and processes so they can positively deal with and manage various situations that previously contributed to their addiction, mental health disorder, or traumatic experience. In addition, an individual learns how to change their behaviors, which changes their beliefs.

How Does DBT Work?

DBT helps the individual examine how they react in various social settings with family, friends, co-workers, and complete strangers. The primary focus of DBT is on interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, mindfulness, and distress tolerance.

During therapy sessions, the individual learns more about these four modules and how to apply them to their life. The process is gradual and follows a systematic approach. The objective of DBT is to help the person improve how they live their day-to-day life by using skills, coping mechanisms, and skills reinforcement.

Key Differences Between CBT vs. DBT

One of the primary differences between CBT vs. DBT is CBT focuses on the individual’s behaviors and emotions. The objective is to teach the person how to replace negative emotions with positive ones. This will improve their behaviors and their emotions.

CBT sessions usually are one-on-one between the individual and the therapist. Therefore, the number of therapy sessions varies depending on the person’s specific needs. On average, most people should expect to complete around 20 sessions initially. Afterward, medical professionals re-evaluate and determine if further therapy sessions are necessary.

Another of the primary differences between CBT vs. DBT is that DBT can take place in one-on-one or group settings. In group settings, therapy sessions focus on learning specific skills within the different modules. In addition, group participants can share some of the techniques they use to help learn the skills, so others can try the same techniques when they are having difficulties.

Group therapy also reinforces the social aspect of DBT. It helps participants learn how to respond positively in social settings and allows them to practice the skills they learned as they progress through the different modules.

The Benefits of Using Both CBT and DBT

Even though CBT and DBT have different approaches and different focuses in helping a person, the two psychotherapies have several benefits when they are used together as part of a complete treatment program, including the following:

  • Reduces the risk of relapse during and after detox and addiction treatment.
  • Enables the individual to better manage their emotions and feelings, such as aggression, anger, depression, anxiety, and irrational thoughts.
  • Helps the person build, repair, and strengthen relationships with others.
  • Helps the person become more conscious about their behaviors and thoughts so they can replace negativity with positivity.

CBT and DBT Treatment in Pompano Beach, FL

When you are struggling with addiction, mental health problems, or an unresolved traumatic experience, JCA-accredited Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL, offers CBT and DBT treatment. To learn more about CBT and DBT or to schedule your initial therapy session, contact us today.

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