Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!
Honor the power of your voice and begin your journey with us today!


Today, addiction treatment utilizes several different techniques to promote mental healing in addition to physical healing, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). However, not many people understand the difference between them. For this reason, here is an overview of “DBT Vs CBT”. 

What Are The Types Of Behavioral Therapies? 

Behavioral therapy is an all-encompassing term referring to the therapeutic techniques focusing on behavioral and cognitive functions. That is to say, a person in behavioral therapy identifies, analyzes, and changes patterns of behavior to improve their quality of life. Naturally, behavior therapy is the perfect addition to an addiction treatment program. 

Behavioral therapies offered at Royal Life Centers:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

While undergoing inpatient (IPO), partial hospitalization (PHP), or inpatient (IP), guests partake in individual and group therapies that employ both CBT and DBT. Both cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy teaches guests to pinpoint the negative behaviors that led to addiction and continue to lead them astray in recovery. In fact, guests discover the influences behind their poor habits, deconstructing learned behaviors and implementing healthy habits.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), also referred to as talk therapy, focuses on talking through your issues. That is, as you verbalize your trauma and past behavior, CBT therapists work to help you frame your thoughts differently.

Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy teaches guests to use logic and reason to give them back control of their thoughts instead of fixating on past mistakes. Likewise, CBT instills a mindset based on rational, logic-based reflection, lessening the impact of violent, irrational emotional reactions.

Important Factors In CBT:

  • Lessens negative emotional reactions
  • Quality therapist-patient relationship
  • Teaches cognition and logical thinking
  • Structured and goal-oriented 

In essence, cognitive behavioral therapy operates with the understanding that our negative behaviors are often directly influenced by powerful, out-of-control emotions. During this, you learn to manage emotions influencing unwanted behaviors, in turn, lessening those unwanted behaviors.

What Is DBT?

DBT, or dialectical behavioral therapy, is actually a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy. Created to treat borderline personality disorder and suicidal people, dialectical behavioral therapy has become a default therapy in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. 

Four Modules of DBT:

DBT therapists work with guests to rebuild their confidence through acceptance and validation. Then, therapists will kindly remind guests that, while their actions are valid and understandable, the behaviors remain unhealthy. After, the dialectical behavioral therapist will provide healthy alternatives to destructive habits.

Does Behavioral Therapy Work?

Of course! Cognitive behavioral therapy helps those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction identify their negative emotions and reframe their mindset. This aids in the healing of an individual’s mental health, offering them coping skills for moments of doubt in recovery. Dialectical behavior provides the acceptance and validation everyone craves, providing healthy alternatives to destructive behaviors. As a result, those who complete drug and alcohol rehab leave with an extensive relapse prevention toolbox.

Additionally, both CBT and DBT are utilized in mental health counseling to treat a myriad of mental health disorders. For this reason, cognitive and dialectal behavioral therapy treats addiction and co-occurring disorders simultaneously. 

Co-occurring Disorders Treated By CBT And DBT:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Depression/Suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety disorders
  • ADHD
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar disorder

This is incredibly important considering that many people suffering from addiction began drug and alcohol abuse to self-medicate untreated mental health disorders. In fact, treating both the addiction and the underlying mental health disorders is the most successful method of addiction treatment.

Therefore, while comparing “DBT Vs CBT” clarifies the distinction between these two branches of behavioral therapy, it’s important to receive both during addiction treatment.

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