Many people confuse dialectical behavioral therapy with another popular form of therapy known as cognitive-behavioral therapy. In this article, we'll explain the difference between cognitive-behavioral therapy (cbt) and dialectical behavioral therapy (dbt). We also provide examples of how dialectical behavioral therapy works and tips on where you can find online providers who offer dialectical behavioral therapy.
While cognitive-behavioral therapy (cbt) is a form of behavioral therapy that focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, dialectical behavioral therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that places a greater emphasis on social and emotional functioning. Dialectical behavioral therapy promotes a holistic view of situations and teaches clients how to view their circumstances in more than one dimension.
This multifaceted therapy approach was designed in the 80s by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. Dr Linehan created the dialectical behavioral therapy approach in an attempt to find a workable therapeutic solution for people suffering from bipolar disorder. The doctor discovered that not only did dbt therapy provide a therapeutic solution for bipolar disorder, but that this form of therapy was also very beneficial for other mild to moderate forms of mental illness.
Since the advent of dbt, licensed therapists have used this therapy approach to treat chronic mental health disorders like anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder. Now that we've discussed the differences between cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, let's delve deeper into how dbt therapy works.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is broken down into four primary components. Therapy sessions are designed around these components that are organized into a hierarchy of goals for therapists and clients to achieve together.
A very unique facet of dialectical behavioral therapy is that therapists who use this approach are also encouraged by educators and peers to apply the principles of dbt to their own lives. The result is a higher level of empathy between the therapist and the client as the therapist can authentically relate to the challenges, struggles, and triumphs associated with incorporating dialectical behavior therapy principles into your everyday life.
The four primary components of dialectical behavioral therapy are as follows:
When you get dbt therapy, expect to be immersed in a fully interactive therapy experience. The two main components of dialectical behavioral therapy are individual therapy sessions and skills groups. Let's look at each of those components in greater detail below.
If you're interested in learning more about dialectical behavioral therapy or finding a licensed therapist who specializes in this interactive form of therapy, you can find licensed therapists by visiting your state's licensing board, joining an online therapy subscription service, or completing a Google search for a dialectical behavioral therapist near me.