cbt vs dbt blog cover

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are both forms of psychotherapy. During these sessions, people talk to a mental health professional about their issues and are taught skills to help them cope.

So What's the Difference?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on talking about your problems to help you view your thoughts differently. CBT teaches you strategies so that you are in control of your thoughts, rather than your thoughts controlling you. The primary focus is on learning ways to change negative thoughts and behaviours.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is based on “acting through opposing forces” and teaches 2 contrasting strategies (acceptance and change). The primary focus of DBT is to accept your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours while also learning skills to change them. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy mirrors CBT, but emphasizes the emotional and social aspects of living more.


How Do I Know Which One is Right for Me?

This is a tough one because there is no direct answer. The best way to figure out if DBT and/or CBT is right for you is to talk with a mental health professional, such as a counsellor. They will factor in any diagnoses, symptoms, treatment history, and your goals to recommend if DBT, CBT, or some other intervention is right for you.

Whatever route you go, remember to give it a few weeks before you decide if therapy isn’t right for you. Remember that your counsellor isn’t going to do the work for you – you have to put in the work to get the results of healthier thinking, behaviours, and living.

Contact us today or book a Free Meet & Greet online to see if counselling is right for you.

Interested in learning more?

Read on in our series of articles on Mental Health Counselling!

About the Author - Joan Chambers

woman facing camera

Joan Chambers is a registered social worker with OCSWSSW who graduated with Honours from the University of Western Ontario – King's University College. Joan has been working in the social work field for the past 20 years in various roles.  Over the past 13 years, Joan has been working with families with a strong emphasis on adult mental health in Alberta. During her time in Alberta, she was a member of the team that assisted displaced families of the  Alberta Floods in 2013. During that time, Joan added new knowledge to her portfolio:  Skilled for Psychological Recovery, and certified as HeartMath facilitator transforming stress.

Joan continues to make learning a part of her practice. Over the years, Joan has acquired Child & Youth Care certification, trained in Dialectical Behaviour Techniques (DBT), studied Tradition of Caring Model, Neurosequential Model of Trauma (NMT), ASSIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills), and carries certification in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention.

Joan's passion for helping others comes from being a trauma survivor herself. She comes with a deep understanding of people and their needs, which led Joan to choose a career in this field.  Joan is compassionate and caring for others through her flexibility and effective listening.  Joan's approach is strength-based and takes on tasks with respect, professionalism, and competence.

To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.

Leave a Comment