Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) are two forms of psychotherapy that can be used to treat mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and many others. Both CBT and DBT have become popular therapies in recent years, but it can be difficult to understand the differences between the two. Here are four big differences between CBT and DBT.
What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive behaviour therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change problematic behaviours. It’s most often used to treat anxiety, depression, addictions, eating disorders, sleep problems and other issues. It can also be useful in treating many physical illnesses—because mental health is tied to physical health. For example, a person who avoids doing tasks because of agoraphobia or panic attacks could benefit from CBT to help her face these fears. A person who overeats due to emotional issues would also likely benefit from cognitive behaviour therapy to help with food cravings and binging. In short: if you’re feeling bad about how you think or act, CBT may be able to help!
What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a treatment modality developed by Marsha Linehan in Seattle. The main objective of DBT is to give patients with extreme mood swings and behaviour issues tools to manage their emotions. Essentially, it is a cognitive-behavioural based approach that works as follows:
- The therapist teaches you skills for managing strong emotions in yourself
- You practice those skills through exercises given to you by your therapist
- You share your progress with your therapist, who offers suggestions on how to continue practicing
How Does CBT Work?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be very effective in treating depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and PTSD. But how does it work? The basic idea is that your thoughts affect your feelings and behaviours. So if you think positive thoughts, you will feel happier. If you are feeling down or anxious but are able to identify irrational beliefs that are fuelling your feelings, then you can try to alter those thoughts. For example, if you find yourself fixating on a negative thought about a situation or circumstance that feels out of your control–such as an upcoming exam or job interview–you might find yourself getting worked up over it.
How Does DBT Work?
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy designed to treat people with a variety of mental health disorders, including borderline personality disorder (BPD). The basic tenets of DBT are very similar to those of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which seeks to help patients modify unhealthy or self-destructive thought patterns. Both therapies teach patients how to break down overwhelming problems into smaller parts that are easier to manage. In addition, both use techniques such as problem solving, mindfulness meditation, and emotional training to change problematic behaviours in order to increase a patient’s quality of life. However, there are several key differences between CBT and DBT that make them suitable for different patient groups.