If you have borderline personality disorder, you may have heard of cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Are these treatment modalities different or just different from each other? Let’s take a closer look at these types of behavioral therapies and the relationship between them.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapy designed to reorganize and change a person’s way of thinking and behavior. Whether this therapy is beneficial depends largely on the relationship between the individual and his therapist.Whether the individual is willing to make changes is also a key factor.
Examples of techniques used by cognitive behavioral therapists include cognitive reconstruction and behavior change, such as reducing self-deception and learning how to deal with problems in a healthy and adaptive manner. In cognitive reconstruction, patients are taught to recognize negative reactive thoughts and modify them.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a modified form of CBT, specifically for the treatment of borderline personality disorder. This method is called “dialectical” because it involves the interaction of two conflicting ideas, that is, improving the symptoms of BPD includes acceptance and change.
It focuses on skills such as mindfulness or living in the present, regulating emotions, enduring pain, and effectively managing relationships with others. DBT is the only treatment for borderline personality disorder supported by experience.
DBT consists of four elements that individuals and therapists usually work for more than a year or more:
- Individual DBT therapy, which uses techniques such as cognitive reconstruction and exposure to change behavior and improve quality of life.
- Group therapy uses skill training to teach patients how to respond well to difficult problems or situations.
- Telephone, the focus is to apply the learned skills to life outside of treatment.
- Weekly consultation meetings between DBT therapists to support the therapists and ensure they follow the DBT treatment model.
This type of treatment focuses on some of the common symptoms of BPD, including impulsivity, excessive emotional changes, unstable relationships, poor self-awareness, and fear of abandonment. DBT also helps BPD patients learn skills, such as being able to endure pain, regulating emotions, and effective interpersonal behaviors.
One of the main focus of DBT is to help people learn how to deal with strong emotions and learn new ways to deal with strong emotions without the need for unhealthy coping mechanisms.For example, the core of pain tolerance is to help people recognize and accept painful feelings, not to engage in harmful behaviors such as self-harm.
How to determine which BPD treatment is right for you
If you have borderline personality disorder, there are some treatments that can help you manage the condition. Please discuss with your doctor to find the right therapist and treatment mode for you so that you can feel better and improve your quality of life.
Borderline Personality Disorder Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide to help you ask the right questions the next time you see a doctor.
The difference between dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy
DBT is just an improved form of CBT. It uses traditional cognitive behavioral techniques but also implements other skills such as mindfulness, acceptance and tolerance of pain. The good news is that DBT has been found to be more effective in treating patients with borderline personality disorder.
Dialectical behavior therapy is recommended as the first-line treatment for borderline personality disorder and has been shown to reduce medical and drug needs by as much as 90%.
Interestingly, some cognitive behavioral therapists incorporate certain elements of the DBT model into their treatment. In addition, other forms of CBT using DBT elements have also been developed. For example, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy uses traditional cognitive behavioral techniques with mindfulness to treat depression.