What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectal Behavior Therapy?

If your troubled teen has experienced a traumatic event or is having difficulty coping with their everyday life changes, they will likely benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectal behavioral therapy (DBT). CBT is currently one of the most common practiced forms of therapy, while DBT builds upon CBT in order to address specific concerns and enhance its effectiveness. Let’s explore these types of therapy, as well as look at how they can help your teen.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Frequently used with teens who are experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD (among other conditions), CBT is designed to help your teen change the way they think and react to things they are experiencing. Essentially, your teen learns to face challenges calmly and respond in a way that is more likely to have good results.

There are a number of benefits to CBT including:

  • CBT puts emphasize on getting better, as opposed to feeling better. CBT looks to correct the underlying problem, therefore creating long-term results.
  • CBT teaches teens how to counsel themselves rationally using self-counseling skills. This helps them develop the confidence they need to continue to do well after the therapy is complete.
  • CBT focuses on your teen’s goals, instead of trying to impose what the therapist believes his or her goals should be.
  • CBT sessions are structured to prevent “chat sessions” during which little to nothing is accomplished from a therapeutic standpoint.

Dialectal Behavioral Therapy

A form of CBT that is designed to teach patients how to cope with stress (as well as control their emotions and improve their relationships with others), is DBT. DBT is based on the concept that everything in life is composed of opposites and that change occurs when one opposing force is stronger than another. Essentially, DBT focuses on combining two opposites—change and acceptance—in therapy in an effort to balance the teen and bring about better changes than one alone.

There are a number of benefits to DBT including:

  • DBT is often quite effective for individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, as well as someone who suffers from constant thoughts of suicide, self-harming behaviors, eating disorders, and substance use.
  • DBT puts an emphasis on regulating the emotions, such as increasing mindfulness, identifying obstacles to changing emotions, and increasing positive emotional events, which can greatly improve relationships with others.
  • DBT can be performed in a residential setting, as well as an outpatient setting and can be extremely beneficial in family therapy sessions.

Both CBT and DBT can be very helpful for your troubled teen, and it’s important to look into the best options for doing so. Elevations RTC is a program that specializes in both CBT and DBT. To find out more, call us at (855) 290-9681.

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