Difference Between CBT and DBT

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


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The difference between CBT and DBT is that CBT is a short term therapy method that helps people with their mental health issues that are not chronic, but DBT is a method that is used to help individuals to resist their chronic mental health issues, which include self-harm. CBT focuses on getting rid of negative thinking and replacing it with positive thoughts, whereas DBT focuses on accepting reality and moving on.


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. And CBT believes in the same notion and set its objectives around it.

If someone gets isolated from the crowd and avoid 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 got 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.


  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
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