Difference Between CBT and DBT

Standing in today’s date and time, we all struggle with mental health issues that eat us from inside, but they are not easy to get rid of. We can not apply home remedies to our mental health problems. 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.


The main 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.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is used to treat the negative effects of anxiety and depression in people. It focuses on replacing a negative approach towards life with a positive attitude. It is effective for people who do not suffer from any chronic mental health issues.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is effective for people with chronic mental diseases. It is an ideal therapy for people who harm themselves and who are prone to commit suicide. This therapy helps people to accept themselves and the circumstances.

Comparison Table Between CBT and DBT

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. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a short term therapy. It focuses on the patient’s way of thought. Anxiety and depressions result in unusual behaviour. CBT, the blend of cognitive and behavioural therapy, tries to change this unusual chain of thought.

Analysing the cause of negative thoughts and organizing the scattered thoughts is the purpose of CBT. A positive attitude towards life has the power to improve the value of life. 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 can help a person to recognise his/her potential abilities as well as shortcomings.

DBT is for people who have chronic mental health conditions. People who are prone to hurt themselves and have suicidal behavioural patterns. Methods of DBT includes individual therapy as well as group session so that patients can see they are not the only one suffering. This helps to build healthy interpersonal relationships, and as a result, the stress comes under control. 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. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is a process or method that gets used to treats issues like anxiety, depression whereas Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or DBT is used to help in treating suicidal or self-harm intentions. Traumatic experience and issues with mood disorders are subjects of DBT.
  2. CBT is a psychosocial therapy that states that it is a social problem and it is not very severe. On the other hand, DBT is a psychotherapy which is invented to treat critical and chronic mental health issues.
  3. CBT is a short term therapy. It takes smalls steps to reach its ultimate goal, but DBT is a long term process as this therapy aims to treat complicated and chronic issues like borderline personality disorder, mood disorder and suicidal disorder.
  4. 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.
  5. CBT tells you that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours influence your life and relationships. And on the other hand, DBT tells you that you need to accept who you are, no matter how challenging the experiences have been.


CBT and DBT are two different therapies that get used for treating different mental illnesses. They have different objectives and processes, and they are not used for the same kind of complexions. Our physical health problems require medical attention, and mental health issues need the same. CBT tries to treat not such severe issues, but DBT is used to treat chronic disorders that are had to get rid of. Both therapies have the potentiality to provide the patient relief from their critical mental health conditions. Even though the therapies have different methods of working, they share some similarities. DBT is developed from CBT.


  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
AskAnyDifference HomeClick here
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]