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DBT vs. CBT: What’s the Difference?

a therapist writes down notes while listening to a patient describe her experiences with dbt vs cbt

Therapy is an essential part of addiction recovery and overall mental wellness. At least half of people living with addiction live with co-occurring mood disorders like depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder. Studies show that by treating mental health conditions, someone will experience a decrease in addiction triggers and cravings. Behavioral therapies are the most common approach to addiction therapy.

Both dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy are popular options for those in addiction recovery. Looking for mental health care for addiction recovery? At A Better State, we provide comprehensive outpatient treatment programs for addiction recovery and mental health, including dialectical behavioral therapy. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the differences between DBT vs. CBT and find the right treatment plan for your needs.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy vs. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

As the name suggests, behavioral therapy is talk therapy that focuses on slowly changing someone’s behaviors. To do this, they begin by recognizing and changing emotions, thought patterns, and belief systems. CBT and DBT both help clients change behaviors through evidence-based therapeutic approaches.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a highly individualized talk therapy to help clients unpack, understand, and change their thoughts, moods, belief systems, and behaviors. In many cases, through CBT, someone develops the self-awareness to change a harmful thought pattern by recognizing they have a choice. Designed to help shift behavior through various exercises and techniques, CBT is highly adaptable and one of the most popular therapies in the United States.

Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on emotions. Many clients struggle to withstand difficult emotions, regulate emotional states and realize that, like thoughts, emotions pass quickly. Like CBT, DBT focuses on developing the ability to withstand painful emotions without self-medicating or avoidance while also increasing stress tolerance and emotional intelligence. Both types of therapy are often essential for recovery. A professional assessment can help if you’re unsure where to start.

Benefits of DBT vs. CBT for Addiction Recovery

CBT and DBT are highly regarded approaches to addiction recovery and mood disorders. Both behavioral therapies are popular because they work. Benefits of CBT and DBT can include:

  • Better sense of self
  • Understanding of behavioral choices
  • Processing unresolved trauma
  • Higher stress tolerance
  • Lower addiction triggers
  • Changes in behavior
  • Improved communication
  • Increased emotional intelligence
  • Tools for mental health
  • Emotional tolerance
  • Lower addiction triggers
  • Increased empathy
  • Ability to change emotions, thoughts, and behaviors

The self-awareness gained through behavioral therapies can help anyone at any stage of life, not just those struggling with mental health conditions or addiction.

Begin CBT or DBT in New Hampshire Today for Addiction Recovery

Clients often thrive with CBT, DBT, and alternative therapies. By working with multiple therapeutic approaches, clients can make changes more quickly, reducing the risk of relapse or worsening mental health. If you or someone you love is struggling to find the right therapist, A Better State can help. With individual, group, and family therapy programs, our holistic intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) help clients across the New Hampshire area recover together with CBT and DBT. Our therapy programs also include:

  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy
  • 12-step recovery
  • Anxiety treatment
  • Depression treatment
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment

Mental health and addiction are treatable. Whether you’re looking to learn more about behavioral therapies or find the right individual, group, or family therapy program, our Hudson, NH clinic can help.

Understand the Difference Between CBT and DBT from A Better State

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are two of the most popular forms of talk therapy. While they share some common features, there are also significant differences between the two approaches. If you’re struggling with mental health, substance abuse, or family dynamics, behavioral therapy can help. Reach our staff now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about how cognitive-behavioral and dialectical behavior therapy can help you and your loved ones thrive.