Differences Between CBT And DBT

CBT Vs. DBT: What Are The Differences?

CBT vs DBT: If you or a loved one is going through a rough time, there is always therapy you can turn to. It may not seem much from the outside, but therapy can help you make sense of your thoughts and emotions as well as pull you out of dark times. With so many forms and types of therapies available, it is easy to get confused.

That is why, in this article, we will talk about the differences between CBT and DBT, two very popular forms of therapy. After you are done reading, you will know all about these two forms of therapy and how they can help you or your loved ones.


What Are CBT and DBT?

CBT and DBT, both of these methods are backed by science and research as well as practiced by countless practitioners around the world.

CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy, while DBT stands for dialectic behavioral therapy.

CBT mainly helps those who are having issues with emotion, cognition, thoughts, negative feelings, etc.

DBT is technically a modified version of CBT, and the difference lies in the approach and the part of the lessons.


Differences Between CBT And DBT

dbt therapy vs cbt

CBT and DBT are two hugely important topics that surely are very helpful to the patients. Let us take a look at the key differences these two forms of therapy have.


Suitable For

DBT is said to be most helpful for those who have a border personality disorder, self-harm thoughts or tendencies, relationship problems, or suicidal tendencies. CBT works for almost anyone who wants to address a negative thought or to feel through working on emotional responses.

More specifically, CBT can be used to treat a wide range of diseases such as social anxiety, panic disorders, trauma experiences, eating disorders, self-esteem problems, and in many cases, eating disorders.



CBT and DBT also differ in the ways they help patients react to a certain trauma, feeling, or thought.

CBT often asks patients to channel their energy by reacting in an alternative way that is healthy for them. Examples include but are not limited to meditation, breathing exercise, keeping a diary of feelings, staying physically productive and busy, staying busy through being creative, etc.

On the other hand, DBT reacts by making patients be more mindful, regulating their emotions, doing interpersonal exercises, etc.


Battling Depression

Among the rising mental health issues that are battled by people everywhere, depression is the most common and also can be called potentially dangerous. When it comes to battling depression, CBT is said to be most effective.

As CBT helps you address your feelings and emotions by developing healthy reactions, it has been proven effective and helpful for many patients.


Time Period

In general, CBT is a short-term therapy. How long this short-term therapy will go on greatly depends on the patient and the situation.

The process starts with properly informing and educating the patient about his/her condition and the various negative ways that can affect them. Afterward, patients learn to practice small exercises or thoughts that can help them stay grounded and away from the negative thoughts and feelings that can worsen their conditions.

DBT is also kind of similar, but the greater focus is on accepting your feelings and yourself. In DBT, there is also a noticeable presence of group therapy which CBT does not tend to adopt much.


The Logic

CBT helps patients use logic to improve their own situations. The key mantra is trying to change or modify the negative thought the patient has about themselves or their situations. DBT generally relies a bit more on emotional techniques, but that does not mean it is any less effective.

Based on the situation, there is more than one form of CBT and DBT the therapist may choose to adopt. Each of the forms or tactics come with their own advantages and have been proven to be effective for countless patients.


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Things to Keep In Mind

No matter which form of therapy you choose to follow for yourself for you or your loved one, there are always some matters you should keep in mind. Good therapy also needs to be accompanied by some good measures that will help the therapy be effective. Let us take a look at some such measures.

  • Make sure the patient is eating healthy and taking part in any necessary exercise.
  • The patient should also stay away from negative company or people that may hinder progress with their behavior and attitude.
  • Also, the patient should also be taking part in activities they love to stay busy and productive in a healthy way.
  • If the situation demands, the patient should receive help regarding making meal plans, keeping track of food and medicine intake, etc.
  • Last but not least, if the patient is too sick, consult the therapist and ask if they should receive therapy while staying in a facility.


After going through this article, we hope you have learned the differences between CBT and DBT. No matter which form of therapy you or your loved one need to follow, always stay strong and remember that dark times will pass through some determination, dedication, and patience.

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