What Makes DBT Different Than CBT?

When a loved one is struggling with a mental health issue, narrowing down treatment options can be overwhelming. Of course, family and friends want to ensure that they are making the best decisions regarding their mental health treatment. During this time, remember to be patient and take things one step at a time. 

The best thing a person can do for themself when deciding on a course of action is to become educated. Individuals can look up information online, talk with their general care provider, or speak with a mental health professional. Psychotherapy is often a good option for managing mental health issues. There are different forms of psychotherapy to choose from, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Learning about these two forms of psychotherapy can be paramount for choosing a best-fit treatment option. 

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy, or ‘talk therapy’ is a form of mental health treatment. Its purpose is to help a person closely examine their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. With the help of a mental health professional, a person is able to identify things that are unhealthy or unhelpful to them in their lives. This can help empower them to make changes for the better. 

There are a few different formats that psychotherapy sessions might take. The most common is one-on-one with a mental health professional. Sometimes it is also helpful to participate in group psychotherapy sessions. The basis of psychotherapy is a trusting and respectful relationship between the therapist and the client. This is essential for honest dialogue to take place.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that closely studies the relationship between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is based on the idea that faulty thinking can lead to negative emotional reactions which, in turn, can lead to unproductive behaviors. CBT focuses on identifying faulty thought processes and facilitating changes in perspective that can help a person in their lives. During CBT, a person will develop healthy coping skills and tools to help them be more successful in achieving their goals.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is another form of talk therapy that is closely related to CBT but is specially geared toward helping individuals who experience very intense emotional states. It can help a person find the balance between accepting emotional conditions and recognizing the benefits that might come from adjusting how they experience them. It helps individuals stop trying to control their emotional reactions and instead develop new mindfulness skills to navigate emotional distress

The Benefits of DBT for Healing

DBT is helpful in several ways. First, it can be a valuable tool for people to reframe their perceptions. DBT can help a person be more mindful of how they are experiencing emotions from moment to moment. This can help them recognize if their emotions are influencing how they behave. 

When a person is experiencing intense emotions, it can lead them to feel overwhelmed easily. This is especially true when it comes to disruptions in their daily routines. Developing healthy coping skills for how to deal with change and stress is also a focus of DBT. Often, these coping skills will focus on regulating and navigating emotions as they surface.

Lastly, DBT can also be useful for helping people improve their relationships with others. Sometimes a person might need support when figuring out how to improve the way they relate to others. DBT can help people develop interpersonal skills to help them thrive in their relationships, from learning to be more assertive to learning how to develop mutual respect.

What Does DBT Treat?

DBT was first developed as an effective treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD). Since then, it has become a widely accepted treatment for many mental health disorders. People who are struggling with any problematic behavior can benefit from DBT. Self-destructive behaviors associated with mental health challenges, such as eating disorders or substance use disorder (SUD), can also be managed with DBT. 

Seeking Support

Asking for help with a mental health-related issue can be one of the best decisions a person makes for themself. Everyone needs a little extra support now and again. It is best to seek help as soon as a problem is recognized, as leaving symptoms unmanaged can worsen symptoms over time. Talking with a primary care physician is often a good start. Additionally, reaching out to friends and loved ones can also be extremely helpful. 

When a person is struggling with their mental health, they need a strong support system that will treat them with compassion and respect. At Alter Wellness Care, we are all about making people feel welcome, validated, and supported. We want to make sure that our clients feel safe and respected so that they can get the support they need. Our goal is to help individuals develop the skills they need to be successful in their life. 

There are many different options available for the treatment of mental health challenges, and finding the right path forward can seem overwhelming. If you or a loved one are interested in more information to help find the right fit for you, Alter Wellness Care can help. Our compassionate team is dedicated to helping each of our clients find the tools and resources they need to be the best versions of themselves. We offer a variety of evidence-based therapies and group sessions as part of our individualized treatment plans. Call Alter Wellness Care today at (866) 311-3510 to find out more about our programs and resources. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.   

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