There is a range of treatment methods that can be utilized to treat individuals who are suffering from behavioral health problems. Each style of therapy takes a different approach to the treatment process.

Psychotherapy, known as talk therapy, is an integral component of mental disorder treatments. Talk therapy aims to provide a secure and private setting for a person with mental health issues to chat with a mental health professional and develop new coping skills and insights.

To support the work of the people working on, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a CBT or DBT therapist online.

difference between cbt and dbt

5/5 - (1 vote)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are two different types of psychotherapy. In both, you engage with a mental health professional to learn more about the difficulties you are having and to develop skills to help you deal with them on your own.

Both CBT and DBT aim to increase patients’ awareness of their strengths and shortcomings, and their ability to tackle life’s obstacles on their own. CBT and DBT are similar in certain aspects, the variations between the two therapies may make one the better option in some instances.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a sort of talk therapy that involves you communicating with a mental health counselor on a regular basis. This form of treatment is frequently a quick and effective solution to address specific problems.

Your therapist will assist you in addressing issues such as addiction, depression, or anxiety. To begin, you must first recognize problematic ideas and habits. Your therapist will next work with you to develop techniques for dealing with and altering these challenges.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is organized, short-term, goal-oriented, and present-oriented. It all starts with information about the specific mental disease or difficulty you are dealing with, as well as how that sickness or challenge impacts you.

Then, to help you improve your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, you will study and practice skills and methods like problem-solving and realistic thinking. You will learn how to put your new talents to work in the future to solve challenges.

CBT focuses mainly on talk therapy between the patient and the therapist.  The client must also be willing to put in the effort to discover and modify problematic thought patterns.

To understand CBT, you need to be familiar with the concept that our ideas influence our feelings, which influence our actions. So, by altering our thinking, we can alter our feelings and behaviors, resulting in a significant improvement in our lives.

Stages of CBT Therapy

CBT depends on a strong therapist-client relationship to teach the client appropriate coping mechanisms for emotional or behavioral issues.

Furthermore, CBT assists people in overcoming unhealthy thoughts and gaining better control over their actions. Following are three common tactics employed by CBT therapists to help clients:

  1. Therapy strategies are structured based on the client’s particular objectives, and therapists choose the most beneficial treatment methods for each session.
  2. Because CBT emphasizes that ideas directly impact feelings, modifying how a client thinks and reacts to certain events is critical to successful therapy.
  3. During CBT, individuals are taught to apply logic and reason to their habitual thought patterns.

A therapist actively works with the individual throughout CBT therapy to break dysfunctional thought patterns and reveal how certain ways of thinking lead to self-destructive actions and attitudes.

The client and therapist work together to develop better beliefs and actions based on more productive ways of thinking by addressing harmful thought patterns.

To support the work of the people working on, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a CBT or DBT therapist online.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Marsha Linehan created Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in the late 1970s. She began to notice certain issues as her CBT therapy progressed.

Linehan believed that acceptance and validation are important parts of the healing process, therefore she developed DBT, a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, based on CBT concepts.

DBT was developed to aid patients with a specific type of problem, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), but it is now used to treat a wide range of personality disorders and mental health issues.

The goal of DBT is to help patients balance their emotions and change their behavior patterns. DBT helps people acquire a more balanced view rather than trying to completely modify their actions and attitudes.

Both types of therapy aim to discover and change self-defeating thought patterns, and both frequently include homework to practice new skills in between sessions. Individuals learn new skills from four modules in DBT, which is a more structured form of therapy.

Stages of DBT Therapy

On a weekly basis, DBT normally conducts an individual psychotherapy session and a group session. DBT assists people in identifying their strengths and weaknesses in life.

Hence, improving their ability to regulate emotions and manage the obstacles they face on a daily basis. The goal of DBT therapy is to replace self-destructive attitudes and behaviors. Following are the four stages of DBT therapy:

  1. Control: The first stage focuses on assisting clients in recovering control of their conduct after feeling as if it is out of their control.
  2. Emotions: Clients focus on completely feeling and comprehending their emotions after their behavior has been stabilized.
  3. Quality of life: Individuals focus on building a healthy lifestyle and enhancing their quality of life. After they have a greater knowledge of their emotions and the tools to manage them effectively.
  4. Spiritual satisfaction: The fourth stage is offered for people seeking greater purpose, connection, and fullness through spiritual fulfillment, while it is not required for therapy.

DBT assists the therapist and client to keep a healthy balance within treatment by having a good balance of acceptance and transformation. The client and therapist collaborate to create the perfect balance of acceptance and transformation.

While ensuring that neither party is on the wrong side of the spectrum. Maintaining this balance throughout treatment sessions is critical in assisting the client in regaining emotional and mental health.


Differences Between CBT and DBT

CBT can help a patient recognize their problem when they are anxious and discover a healthier approach to deal with stress.

Whereas, DBT dives further into the problem, analyzing the stress itself. DBT’s mindfulness practices can assist with emotional imbalances that are frequent in addiction.


The most notable distinction between CBT and DBT is the type of change they bring about in the client. CBT primarily assists clients in recognizing and changing harmful thought and behavior patterns.

Whereas, DBT focuses on using validation, acceptance, and behavior modification to help clients manage strong emotions and strengthen interpersonal relationships.


Studies have shown CBT to be the most effective treatment for OCD, depression, PTSD, anxiety, and phobias. While, DBT is usually the superior option for borderline personality disorder, recurrent suicide thoughts, and self-harm behaviors.

Session Goals

While CBT can focus on specific relationships, DBT places a far greater emphasis on interpersonal ties. DBT provides techniques to moderate powerful emotional responses in circumstances where friends, family, or partners are present.

Types of Sessions

CBT sessions are often shorter than DBT ones. CBT can be completed in a matter of weeks, whereas DBT might take months. DBT often includes a group treatment component, which is a crucial distinction.

People who are interested in opting for CBT and DBT online therapy will have a variety of therapy alternatives. Those looking for a more customized experience should have no trouble finding therapists at has experts that have different levels of education and experience. All of their experts are licensed to work as mental health practitioners in their respective states.

All of your online CBT and DBT sessions can take place in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Betterhelp is best for people experiencing symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and other disorders.

Final Statement

Both types of psychotherapy have advantages. Despite the fact that they both treat the same mental problems, some individuals reacted better to one than the other.

People who complete CBT or DBT find that the learned skills are quite beneficial. CBT and DBT are both beneficial in treating a variety of mental illnesses.

Their new skills and techniques eventually become second nature to them, assisting them for the rest of their lives. It may take some trial and error to figure out which type of therapy is most effective for you.

Talking with a mental health expert is the best method to determine which sort of therapy treatment is right for you. They will take into account your symptoms, treatment history, and the goals you have set for yourself in therapy before recommending the best next steps.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a CBT or DBT therapist online.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *