CBT vs DBT: Difference and Comparison

The only way to get free from these problems is to seek therapy. CBT and DBT are two therapies that help to deal with many such issues.

Key Takeaways

  1. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors to improve mental health.
  2. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) builds on CBT principles and emphasizes validation, mindfulness, and emotional regulation skills.
  3. DBT is specifically designed for individuals with borderline personality disorder, while CBT applies to a wider range of mental health issues.


CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is a type of therapy based on the fact that negative thinking causes negative emotions and behaviour, and tries to change this. DBT means Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and it is specifically designed to treat chronically suicidal persons.


It focuses on replacing a negative approach towards life with a positive attitude.

It is an ideal therapy for people who harm themselves and who are prone to commit suicide.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCBTDBT
Full form CBT means Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
DefinitionCBT is a therapy that assumes that negative thinking gives birth to negative behaviour and negative emotions. So CBT tries to change the negative thought process.DBT is a specific type of cognitive-behavioural therapy that was developed to help to treat chronically suicidal individuals.
Used to treatCBT is used to treat mental health issues like anxiety, depression.By using DBT, issues like suicidal or self-harm motives can be treated. Traumatic experience, mood disorders are also gets treated with this therapy.
Time PeriodCBT is a short term therapy treatment, it sets small goals to fulfil.DBT is a long term therapy process.
PurposeThe objective of CBT is to help individuals to analyze, identify, and organize negative thoughts.The objectives of DBT is to help struggling individuals to have positive interpersonal relationships, train to manage stress and have proper control over overwhelming emotions.
TypeIt is a psychosocial therapy. It is psychotherapy.

What is CBT?

Our thoughts play a role in determining our moods. We can not deny that. CBT believes in the same notion and sets its objectives around it.

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If someone gets isolated from the crowd and avoids social meetings, then that person has the tendency to become sad and lonely, and therefore, he is a probable victim of depression.

CBT can take care of such situations and help the person to identify his shortcomings and thus will enable him to replace the negative feelings towards something with a positive approach.


What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a psychotherapy that has its roots in CBT. If CBT fails to improve a patient’s condition, then DBT is ideal for helping them out.

DBT advocates for inner peace and mindfulness with the ability to manage negative emotions, taking control over the self.


Main Differences Between CBT and DBT

  1. The objective of CBT is to organise the patient’s thoughts and make him/her get rid of negative thoughts, while DBT helps to manage harsh negative emotions and helps to establish a healthy personal relationship while accepting the reality of existence.
  2. CBT tells you that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours influence your life and relationships.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 05 20T174021.852
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=sJMYBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=CBT+and+DBT&ots=y39VPTOhyW&sig=vn2xDH_0EY-XiPoAH8te9Qy4-k8
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005796716300420

Last Updated : 05 September, 2023

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13 thoughts on “CBT vs DBT: Difference and Comparison”

    • Absolutely. The clarity of the information provided makes it an invaluable resource for those seeking help.

  1. Absolutely! Understanding the differences between CBT and DBT is essential. Both therapies are valuable tools for personal development.

  2. This post offers a balanced comparison of CBT and DBT. The information provided is thorough and thought-provoking.

  3. It’s interesting to see how each therapy addresses different mental health problems. The comparison table is very helpful.

    • I appreciate the detailed information provided here. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to explore these therapeutic options.

  4. This post explains the distinctions between CBT and DBT very well. It’s a comprehensive guide for individuals considering these therapies.


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