Two of the most important psychotherapy treatment areas for addiction treatment are dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Although these two psychotherapies are used in treating drug and alcohol addiction, there is still an ongoing debate about the best form of psychotherapy for drug addiction treatment. 

The dialectical behavior therapy vs CBT debate has been going on for a long time and not just between scholars. As a result of this DBT therapy vs CBT debate, much research has been carried out to determine the best for treating drug and alcohol addiction. 

In this article, we’ll be discussing the merits and demerits of both psychotherapies to determine which one is best for addiction treatment. But before we compare them, let’s find out what dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are. 

What Is DBT? 

Known as dialectical behavior therapy, DBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the emotional aspect of control. For dialectical therapy, the focus is on teaching the patient how to control their emotions. 

DBT is based on the same principles as cognitive behavioral therapy, although it focuses on recognizing and learning how to cope with them. 

The main aspects of DBT are:

  • Distress tolerance 
  • Mindfulness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Interpersonal effectiveness

Pros of DBT

The pros of DBT are many, but some of them include:

  • Reduces chances of self-harm behavior and suicide 
  • Helping patients recognize and reduce behaviors that negatively affect their quality of life
  • Reducing behaviors that negatively affect the patients’ therapy
  • Teaches patients skills to have them manage their emotions and live healthier lives 

Before giving our verdict on the dialectical behavior therapy vs CBT debate, here’s what you should know about CBT. 

What Is CBT?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a common type of psychotherapy that merges cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Where cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical therapy differ is in focus. 

CBT focuses on teaching patients how to control their emotional responses to the environment or situation they might be in. The therapy is also used in almost all addiction treatment centers to treat drug and alcohol addiction. 

Pros of CBT

  • Teaches patients how to control their thoughts and learn new behaviors
  • It can be done in many formats, including single and group therapy. The skills taught in CBT programs are lifelong skills that can be implemented in everyday life challenges. 
  • CBT is an excellent addiction treatment program, especially when used in tandem with medication. Even when not used together with medication, it can be used to treat mental health disorders and addiction. 

Both cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical therapy can help treat addiction. These therapies have also shown through various research how effective they are in dealing with addiction. 

But this doesn’t answer the question at the beginning of this article – dialectical behavior therapy vs CBT?

Firstly, both psychotherapy options are quite similar to each other because, at their cores, they both deal with teaching mind coping skills to help patients stay away from situations and behaviors that might lead to a relapse. 

As for the DBT therapy vs CBT debate, there is no conclusive answer. The better therapy option is dependent on the patient’s needs. Some patients’ diagnoses require one or both therapies in their treatment program. 

Enlight Treatment Center Is Dedicated to Helping You Achieve Recovery

If you want to know more about DBT and CBT, contact Enlight Treatment Center. Our experienced staff members are ready to answer all questions and ensure that you receive the best addiction treatment. At Enlight Treatment Center, we offer several addiction treatment options. You can reach out to us today to help with your addiction! 

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