CBT vs. DBT

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are forms of talk therapy that help you address the root causes of your addiction. Doctors use these treatments to help you manage any mental disorders you have. Although there are several similarities, there are also differences between CBT vs. DBT that distinguish each type of therapy.

 Let’s take a closer look at cognitive behavioral therapy vs dialectical behavior therapy and how they benefit you in addiction recovery. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Your addiction is a result of negative thoughts and behavior patterns that create a vicious mental cycle. Your therapist uses CBT in Austin Texas to help you identify these negative thoughts. Once you know why you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you can restructure self-defeating thoughts and replace them with positive and healthy thoughts.

This shift in thought will also create a change in behavior. Granted, it takes time for this shift to take place; however, with ongoing therapy and other forms of treatment, you will notice an improvement in your mindset.

Core principles of CBT include:

  • Exploring your negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Making the connection between your thoughts and your addiction
  • Retraining your mind to embrace positive thoughts and beliefs
  • Creating positive behaviors that replace negative behaviors 

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be implemented in both individual and group therapy settings. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

One of the main differences in CBT vs. DBT is that cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses more on changing your mindset by identifying the root of your negativity. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses more on controlling your emotions and how you react to situations or circumstances. You start by accepting your feelings and receiving validation for those feelings from your therapist. 

Learning to accept the way you feel about your life is a significant first step toward recovery. In essence, your emotional walls come down.

Core principles in DBT include:

  • Accepting that your feelings are real and valid
  • Learning to control your emotions in particular situations
  • Developing problem-solving skills to cope with your disorder

How CBT vs. DBT Works in Addiction Treatment

Both cognitive behavioral therapy vs dialectical behavior therapy are useful during the initial stage of your recovery. Since they are both short-term treatment methods, your therapist uses either to ‘break the ice.’ Once you learn to identify and accept what is going on inside of you, then you are free to move on to more advanced therapy.

Keep in mind that both CBT vs. DBT does not work the same for everyone. How you respond to this type of therapy will determine whether it is successful. The key is to make a connection between your mental state and your addiction. Your therapist guides you along as you come into a greater awareness of what is in your mind.

Contact Promises Austin to Start Your Treatment

To find out more about CBT vs. DBT, contact Promises Austin today. We offer cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy as a part of our addiction treatment program. To get started with your treatment, call us at 1.844.768.0238.


promises austin logo Promises Austin, a part of the Promises Treatment Centers network, provides mental health and addiction treatment at our treatment center in Austin, Texas. Promises Austin is Joint Commission accredited and provides compassionate treatment for drug and alcohol addiction and a full spectrum of mental health disorders. Learn more about Promises Austin here.

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