woman sitting on couch excited to explain cbt vs dbt


With all the different types of therapy available, it can get confusing. When two types of therapy have similar names, the confusion can be even greater. This is true of CBT vs DBT. It can also be confusing trying to determine what type of therapy is best suited for the problems you experience. This is normally determined by a therapist that has taken time to get to know and understand you and then give a diagnosis. It helps, however, if you can understand the difference in therapies. Today we are covering CBT vs DBT and when each is indicated as the better treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts influence our feelings. By changing these thoughts, we can change how we feel. Utilizing one-on-one talk therapy, CBT allows you to examine your thoughts and then apply logic to understand where these thoughts are faulty. By finding that fault, you can then start to change those thoughts. For example, you are depressed because you think you are a failure. By examining that thought, you can start to examine what success and failure mean to you. This allows you to remember the times you did succeed at something. This, in turn, helps you feel better about yourself and the depression lifts.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT is a type of CBT but it focuses more on trying to accept your feelings but changing the way you react to those feelings. This therapy may start as a one-on-one therapy but normally includes group therapy to help you practice appropriate reactions. This helps you understand that you have a tendency to react strongly to situations that can’t be changed and your extreme reaction ends up making things worse. As an example, let’s consider that any time someone you care about disagrees with you, you get the feeling they are going to walk away and abandon you. In reality, one small disagreement does not mean a person is ready to throw away a whole relationship.

With DBT, you accept the fact that you feel imminent abandonment but screaming and crying aren’t going to make the person stay if they want to leave. However, enough extreme reactions may push them to eventually leave. You learn to curb the tantrums and accept that you can’t change their opinion but maybe calmly explaining your feelings will gain you the reassurance you need.

CBT vs DBT Which Is Best?

When it comes down to CBT vs DBT, which is better therapy? The answer can best be determined by your diagnosis. CBT has proven to be especially effective in treating things like depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and sleep disorders. These are disorders that do well with using logic and reason to change your thoughts. These are all things that can be improved by changing the way you think and don’t necessarily involve reacting to the outside world. DBT was developed especially to treat borderline personality disorder.

Also, it has worked well in cases involving self-harm or suicidal thoughts or actions. These things usually result from extreme reactions to circumstances and relief is better achieved by changing the reaction to events, while accepting the fact that you can’t change the actual event or another person’s actions. A quick way to remember the difference where CBT vs DBT is that the first deals with internal thoughts and the second with external actions.

CBT vs DBT: Seeking Help

At Five Palms, we offer both CBT and DBT. When determining CBT vs DBT, we’ll do a thorough background on you. Also, we work with the psychiatrist to get a diagnosis. At this point, we can decide which course of treatment will be most helpful for your individual needs. You don’t have to keep feeling like there is no hope. Contact us today and start feeling better about the world and your place in it before long. 1.844.675.1022

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