What’s the Difference Between CBT vs DBT?

Jan 2020 What’s the Difference Between CBT vs DBT?

The abbreviations CBT and DBT are standard terminology in addiction treatment but may be difficult to differentiate between, especially for the average person. CBT and DBT are two treatments that you will likely see as you research different rehab facilities. Learn the differences between DBT vs CBT from our article below.

CBT Therapy vs DBT Therapy

DBT is a form of CBT, but there are differences. For one thing, cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term process. There is a time limitation on this therapy, and it is typically goal-focused.

The Mayo Clinic defines cognitive behavioral therapy as a form of talk therapy that deals with inaccurate or negative thinking. It’s a tool seen in many kinds of treatment, including addiction. CBT is what many people think of as psychotherapy. For those with a substance use disorder, CBT can help reframe their mindset to push past denial and negative thinking and create a healthier thought pattern.

Dialectical behavioral therapy is a long-term process broken down into distinct sections: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT builds on the foundations of cognitive-behavioral therapy but goes beyond it. DBT is also a conventional treatment for people with borderline personality disorder, a mental health condition.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Fits Into Addiction Recovery

One common thing about these two kinds of therapy is you may see them both as you look at different drug and alcohol treatment programs. People suffering from addiction often have negative thoughts that influence their recovery. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps to identify and break them down to rebuild thought patterns. Without this process, the negative thoughts could continue and interfere with healing plus trigger a relapse every time something changes.

Woman deciding between CBT vs DBT at the Palm Springs treatment center

How Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Fits Into Addiction Treatment

DBT is less common in addiction treatment because not everyone needs it. It is helpful for those with a dual diagnosis, though. Dual diagnosis means they have an underlying mental health condition that feeds the addiction like a borderline personality disorder or depression. Often those suffering from addiction fit into this category.

CBT works to change thought patterns, while DBT works on personality issues like self-image and destructive behaviors. DBT assumes that change and growth are necessary for the healing to begin.

How Do You Know if You Need CBT vs DBT?

It’s a tough call until you work with addiction professionals to create a care plan. The best approach may be to look for a program that offers both. Phoenix Rising in Palm, Springs, California, is such a program. They feature both CBT and DBT in their services along with dual diagnosis treatment, trauma-informed care, family therapy, group therapy, and psychotherapy for addiction.

Services at Phoenix Rising include:

Begin CBT or DBT Therapy in Palm Springs, California

This treatment facility sits on a four-acre ranch and offers some enticing amenities, as well. As a client, you will enjoy access to a gym and rec room plus time in the in-house pool and jacuzzi. There are standard treatments like CBT and DBT, as well as innovative approaches such as equine therapy.

If you have any questions about CBT vs DBT or if you think someone you love can benefit from this type of therapy, contact us today to learn more about Phoenix Rising.