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What Is the Difference Between CBT and DBT?

If you are considering getting help for an addiction, it is important to know what kinds of therapy are available at the treatment center you are looking for. While the length and location are important, what is even more important is the type of therapy available, because that is what will really motivate and inform your rehabilitation.

At Starbridge Recovery, we combine the best addiction treatment methods like CBT and DBT into our holistic treatment programs. Contact us today to see how we can support you on your path to recovery. 

What Is CBT?

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is the basis for almost all addiction treatment. CBT works for individuals with substance abuse disorders to change the negative behaviors and beliefs related to drug use. CBT interventions include things like motivational interventions, contingency management, and relapse prevention.

Part of these interventions includes developing safe and effective coping strategies. For example, “specific techniques include exploring the positive and negative consequences of continued drug use, self-monitoring to recognize cravings early and identify situations that might put one at risk for use and developing strategies for coping with cravings and avoiding those high-risk situations.”  Through this process, individuals learn to evaluate the situation objectively and make positive choices. 

Essentially, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors impact one another and influence and individuals’ overall wellbeing. 

What Is DBT?

DBT stands for Dialectal Behavioral Therapy.  Often used for personality disorders, this treatment is very effective for individuals struggling with substance abuse and other mental health concerns. It is implemented through a combination of individual counseling and group skills training. DBT addresses the five functions of treatment, biosocial theory and focusing on emotions in treatment, dialectal philosophy, and acceptance and mindfulness. 

Through DBT treatment, situations are seen as problems to solve and problem-solving skills are taught and enforced through a treatment program. Through acceptance and mindfulness, individuals can focus on the positive changes they wish to make and how those can impact their quality of living.

Essentially, by regulating emotions and focusing on mindfulness and positive changes, individuals can learn to manage their overall wellbeing.

What Is the Difference Between CBT and DBT?

CBT and DBT are two different, yet closely related treatment programs for substance use disorders. CBT helps individuals focus on the detrimental and negative emotions, thoughts, and actions, and teaches individuals how to identify them. DBT takes the identification of those negative and problematic behaviors and teaches individuals acceptance and how to problem-solve. 

Ideally, addiction treatment for substance abuse disorders should offer a combination of CBT and DBT treatment to support individuals through treatment. Best practice should involve teaching clients to identify problematic behaviors AND problem-solve. Through the mindfulness techniques of DBT and the self-monitoring of CBT, clients can learn to process their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with practice.

How Starbridge Recovery Incorporates CBT and DBT Into Our Programing

If you are considering addiction treatment, it is important to make sure that CBT and DBT are a part of your addiction treatment program. At Starbridge Recovery, you can be assured that our top-notch medical professionals are working to improve your mental health through the use of these therapies. 

At Starbridge Recovery, our client’s treatment programs are individualized to their specific needs and created to help each person achieve their personal goals. Through this process we help individuals realize their potential. 

Our luxury treatment facility offers multiple alternative treatments and holistic healing opportunities for our clients to progress through the struggles of recovery. We have redefined addiction recovery because we believe you’re worth it. 


Contact us today to see how we can support you.

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