Each year, one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Many people continue to live with persistent mental health issues. If you live with a mental health disorder, you have likely heard about talk therapy as a form of treatment. Talk therapy effectively treats a broad range of mental health issues. However, different talk therapy modalities are suited to treating various mental health conditions. Two of the most influential talk therapies are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
Mental illnesses such as borderline personality disorder, depression, and anxiety can negatively impact your life and the lives of your loved ones. If you need help dealing with symptoms of mental health disorders, we at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health are ready to assist you. Our compassionate and professional team members effectively administer DBT programs for mental health and a variety of other treatments. You can call us at 833.625.0458 to begin your journey to recovery.
What Is CBT?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy that focuses on the interaction between the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT tries to correct issues by allowing them to identify the thoughts that led to those issues in the first place and then change or restructure those thoughts. This change works with a positive client-therapist relationship where the therapist teaches the client various strategies for dealing with harmful or unproductive behaviors. Eventually, the client will be able to use those strategies to manage their mental health independently.
What Is DBT?
Dialectical behavioral therapy uses concepts from CBT in a different way. DBT focuses on reducing the emotional extremes experienced by those struggling with a mental health condition. The therapist helps the client modify unhealthy thought patterns and teaches them to manage their emotions. When clients finally feel in control of their feelings, they can focus their energy on managing the core mental health issue causing these emotional extremes.
A Comparison of DBT and CBT
DBT and CBT have many similarities. Both approaches aim to:
- Increase client self-awareness
- Re-evaluate unproductive or unhealthy behaviors
- Cultivate healthier coping mechanisms
- Repair relationships with others
However, the two types of therapy differ in several ways.
CBT is generally more goal-oriented and time-limited. It effectively addresses any unwanted behaviors that the client is experiencing, and it can do so within a relatively short period. On the other hand, DBT less defined goals. DBT focuses on allowing the client to accept their own emotions and learn to manage these intense feelings. Regulating destructive or harmful behaviors is a goal of this acceptance and self-management.
There is also a difference in how CBT and DBT accomplish these goals. CBT uses logic and reasoning, where the therapist will encourage the client to be critical about the thoughts that go through their head. The idea is that this critical thinking will help develop healthier thoughts and, in turn, healthier emotions and behaviors. DBT, on the other hand, focuses on a client’s relationships with themselves and with others. The therapist teaches the client to use mindfulness techniques to accept themselves and their own emotions.
Get Help at the Atlanta Center for Mental Health
If you have struggled with a mental health condition that has negatively impacted your life and relationships, getting treatment is one of the best things you can do. At the Atlanta Center for Mental Health, we offer both CBT and DBT and a variety of other treatment methods. Our programs include:
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma-focused treatment
- Expressive therapy
Our experienced and compassionate mental health professionals will be able to recommend a program based on your needs. Contact us at 833.625.0458 to reclaim your mental health.