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Should I Choose DBT or CBT?

concerned woman listening to female therapist contemplating should i choose dbt or cbt

Millions of Americans experience mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, bipolar personality disorder, or anxiety. Teens are no exception, with one in five teens aged 12 to 18 experiencing some sort of mental health issue. Treating these conditions is a process that involves understanding the teen’s struggles and challenges. That’s why talk therapy programs have proven so effective in treating mental health disorders. However, there are different types of talk therapy programs, with two of the most widespread being cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

If your child is in need of a cognitive-behavioral therapy program or a dialectical behavior therapy program, Imagine Boise offers both of these treatments and a variety of other therapies. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to most mental health disorders, and our understanding staff is ready to help find a program to suit each patient’s needs. You can call us today at 888.597.2807 if you want to know more about how we can help your teen.

What Is CBT?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is a proven method of treating mental health disorders. It focuses on a patient’s thoughts and how these thoughts influence their emotions and behaviors. Some of the mental health disorders that CBT is used for include:

  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Eating disorders

CBT attempts to correct harmful or negative behaviors by getting the patient to understand the thoughts that are the root cause behind the behaviors. A licensed therapist helps the patient by teaching them healthy and positive techniques to change those thoughts. This is part of an overall strategy to address the negative behaviors. The goal is that the patient will then be able to use those techniques by themselves in the future, making them better equipped to handle the stresses and challenges of life.

What Is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy or DBT is a type of talk therapy based on CBT. There are similarities between the two in that both therapies deal with a patient’s thoughts and the effect of these thoughts on overall behavior and mental health. However, DBT was originally intended to address the extreme emotions experienced by people struggling with borderline personality disorder or BPD. DBT attempts to do this by using two concepts: acceptance and change. These concepts form the dialectical aspect of DBT.

DBT helps a patient deal with intense pain and negative emotions by getting them to accept these parts of their life. The idea is that change can only happen once a patient acknowledges their struggles and the validity of their emotions. A licensed therapist works with the patient to develop skills to deal with difficult emotions. Once the patient feels more in control, then they will have the chance to address the root cause of their problems.

Benefits of CBT and DBT

Both CBT and DBT are proven, effective treatments for a variety of mental health disorders. Regardless of which type of treatment a patient receives, they will be able to:

  • Be self-sufficient – the skills they learn will help them manage their own mental health
  • Be more present – patients will be more mindful of their thoughts and behaviors
  • Have more support – one of the key aspects of both CBT and DBT is repairing relationships and building a robust support system after treatment ends
  • Be more resilient – patients will be better able to regulate their own emotions and responses to challenging life events

Choose CBT or DBT at Imagine Boise

It can be challenging to choose the proper treatment plan for your child. The best course of action is to get an assessment at a mental health treatment center. That way, your child’s treatment plan can be tailored to their situation and address their specific needs. At Imagine Boise, our CBT and DBT programs help teens aged 12 to 17 who struggle with all sorts of mental health disorders. Call us at 888.597.2807 to learn more about what both treatments can do to help your child.