Understanding The Difference Between CBT And DBT Therapy

When it comes to treatments and modalities used in recovery, no matter the addiction, compulsion, or mental health disorder, there are some more prevalent than others. CBT and DBT Therapy are examples…

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When it comes to treatments and modalities used in recovery, no matter the addiction, compulsion, or mental health disorder, there are some more prevalent than others. CBT and DBT Therapy are examples of those used to aid individuals impaired by their disorder in daily life. Destructive behaviors can stem from experiences that involve extreme situations or intense emotions, hence the need for such therapies. CBT and DBT Therapy are examples of successful modalities used in recovery centers that have shown in studies to be useful in many situations. In short their names sound familiar, but spelled out these two therapies are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Although both focus on the thinking and behavior of patients, one focuses on internal thought patterns while the other utilizes those thought patterns to build essential skill sets. Let’s take a closer look into understanding the difference between CBT and DBT Therapy, and why they are used in aiding individuals on their path toward recovery.

Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT Therapy

As with any disorder, the way we see ourselves and those around us is often key, the thought process can make or break important decisions. Hence why unhelpful thoughts can make it difficult for a person to function confidently in different situations. CBT Therapy is essentially a short-term therapy technique that can help people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns. As an evidence-based treatment modality, CBT is a proven effective treatment for substance use disorders, behavioral addictions (gambling, food, internet, sex), eating disorders, and specific mental health diagnoses. In more specific terms, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their feelings and behaviors. As a problem-specific and goal-oriented approach, this specific therapy focuses on a patient’s present-day thoughts, behaviors, and challenges.

In understanding the difference between CBT and DBT Therapy, this particular type of therapy needs the individual’s active involvement to succeed. Often consisting of around 20 sessions (done one-on-one with a therapist) CBT is a collaborative therapy, requiring the individual and counselor to work together toward a common goal. Group interactive CBT Therapy sessions, however, are also used and can involve role-playing activities. From sessions, patients usually have homework assignments as well as keep a daily cognitive diary, all while building up exposure to fears that trigger unhelpful thought processes or reactions. Skills learned to promote positive behavioral change and growth, as well as ways to calm the mind and body are taken away from successful CBT Therapy. Hence why Maui Recovery utilizes this powerful form of therapy to treat the whole person, shifting a shame core to a self loving core.

Understanding Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT Therapy

In understanding the difference between CBT and DBT Therapy, you will find that the two in fact go hand in hand, but are still individually different. The term “dialectical” means a synthesis or integration of opposites, therefore the skills and strategies taught in DBT are balanced in terms of acceptance and change. Destructive behaviors can stem from experiences that involve extreme situations or intense emotions that need treatment. Research has shown that DBT is effective in treating a wide range of disorders such as depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), substance addiction, eating disorders, and especially suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Again, DBT is a transdiagnostic, modular treatment that primarily uses a skill-building approach that focuses on the development of four key skill modules. These four skill sets include two sets of acceptance-oriented skills (mindfulness and distress tolerance) and two sets of change-oriented skills (emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness). Patients, whether of Maui Recovery or another facility, are guided thru DBT Therapy in finding and then utilizing these skill sets:

  • Mindfulness: Practices of being fully in the moment, full of awareness and appreciation. Putting aside judgment and attention to understand how others may feel during a situation. Or in other words, the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment on all levels.
  • Distress Tolerance: How to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it. Being able to successfully and effectively deal with short term and/or long term pain. Finding healthy ways to get through the pain that have triggered unhealthy behaviors.
  • Emotion Regulation: How to decrease vulnerability to painful emotions and change emotions the individual wants to change. or identify behaviors and implement coping mechanisms to help modify them. Shifting decisions made from an emotional standpoint to a more mindful standpoint.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Ability to balance the wants and needs of a relationship while respecting boundaries and priorities. Such as how an individual asks for what they want and how they say no, while also maintaining self-respect and relationships with others.

While each facility may differ in their administration or utilization of DBT Therapy, every treatment will include a licensed and experienced therapist. Therapists serve as a guide and support system for clients attaining the above outlined skill sets. Most often with DBT Therapy, individual therapy takes place once a week for approximately 60 minutes with a therapist and runs concurrently with skills groups. And in some instances, clients can call their individual therapist between sessions to receive coaching at the times when they need help the most at critical times. Maui Recovery, as well as other treatment facilities, utilize DBT Therapy because it can teach clients how to regulate their emotions to reduce self-destructive behaviors successfully.

Maui Recovery Utilizes CBT And DBT Therapy Amongst Others For Healing

On the beautiful and transformative island of Maui, each recovering client undertakes their own Hero’s Journey to overcome their struggles. Our experienced staff utilizes treatments and modalities that treat the whole client, helping them to find the purpose and passion in their lives. All while in a safe, nurturing, and healing environment that provides a space for serenity in their search for meaningful inner work. CBT and DBT Therapy are treatments used at Maui Recovery because of their success in helping clients find their true core, a self loving core. Our clients get to go inward and discover the truth about who they really are, dispelling the false messages that have been running their lives. At Maui Recovery we’ve created a Recovery Program combining Holistic Wellness, Best-Practice Care, and Nature & Transformative Experiences in order to achieve lasting recovery.

Although many parts of the world have lifted COVID-19 restrictions and still differ on their stance, at Maui Recovery we understand the importance of our clients safety and comfort. We want to remind our clients and their loved ones of how Maui Recovery is protecting clients from COVID-19. We implement extra screening measures for individuals coming into our facility. We screen staff to ensure they remain safe and active for those we are caring for. We conduct regular disinfecting with EPA approved disinfectant to kill 99% of germs, bacteria, and viruses, including the coronavirus. We ensure informational CDC guidelines on display as an essential reminder on proper infection prevention. Our clients are regularly monitored by our RN, and resident managers, for any signs or symptoms on every shift. And lastly, we ensure activities do not put clients in contact with individuals outside of our facility. While still providing CBT and DBT Therapy as well as other modalities in Hawaii’s beautiful nature and landscape. Our clients safety and comfort come as first priority.

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