Amy Sgrenci Langsam, PsyD
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was initially developed by Dr. Aaron Beck for the treatment of depression. Since it has been developed, CBT has been studied and shown to be effective in the treatment of depression,anxiety, and several other disorders. The treatment entails exploring the relationship between an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and how they influence one other. Additionally, CBT targets cognitive distortions (irrational thoughts) and helps the client learn how to modify these thoughts to develop healthier and more realistic thinking patterns. The concept is that when an individual thinks more realistically and healthier, their mood will improve, and will lead to better decisions and behaviors.
Dialetical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan as an adaptation of CBT. Although CBT is effective for many individuals,some clients struggled with the emphasis on change. DBT is designed to help teach clients the importance of balancing acceptance and change (the core dialetic). Dialetic means “discussing two opposing ideas in order to find the truth”. In particular, clients will learn acceptance and change strategies to help achieve their personal treatment goals. DBT therapists use validation and other acceptance strategies to help clients feel supported throughout the therapy process. DBT has been found to be effective in the treatment of a variety of disorders, and focuses on helping clients learn to regulate emotions. Skills taught in DBT include core mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.