Is DBT or CBT a Better Form of Therapy During Recovery at a New Jersey Treatment Center?

After decades of seeing 60% to 70% of all clients end up back in rehab due to relapses, it became clear to the addiction treatment community that something had to give. There had to be a way to administer the kind of addiction treatment that would stick for a lot longer for a larger group of clients. What had to change was finding better treatment alternatives to the traditional methods that just weren\’t working.

The answer to the question had finally come maybe a couple of decades ago. It turns out that addiction sufferers began responding positively to the use of holistic treatment options and evidence-based therapies. While holistic treatment options have had limited success as stand-alone treatment options, they are proving to be very effective when combined with other treatment options like traditional therapies and the newer evidence-based therapy options.

The benefits clients get from the use of modern holistic programs are helping to address the client\’s overall physical, mental and spiritual health issues in totality. The resulting lower relapse rates across all population groups have been impressive. What\’s been even more impressive is the way evidenced-based therapies have also contributed to reversing a highly negative relapse rate trend. What are evidence-based therapies? To qualify as an evidenced-based therapy, the therapy has to meet the following criteria:

  • In a scientific experimental setting, researchers had to have been able to document consistent positive results across multiple experiments
  • The results must be published in a relevant academic publication
  • The evidence-based practices have to be easily replicated with fidelity in a number of different settings

In the addiction treatment community, there are several evidence-based practices that have proven to be useful for addiction treatment. For the purpose of this writing, the discussion is going to focus on the two most prominent evidence-based practices, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Is DBT or CBT a Better Form of Therapy During Recovery at a New Jersey Treatment Center?

Before there can be a determination about which one of the two aforementioned evidence-based therapies is better in an addiction treatment setting, it\’s important to first define these two options.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – The theory behind CBT is the client\’s negative thoughts are driving their desire to abuse drugs or alcohol in an effort to hide from their thoughts. The negative thoughts generally have no basis in reality and often arise from negative experiences. People who experience PTSD often live with negative thoughts that serve as the driving force behind their addictions.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – The theory behind DBT is the client\’s negative feelings are driving their desire to abuse drugs or alcohol in an effort to hide from their bad feelings. Negative feelings can come from an array of sources, including emotional experiences as well as mental and psychological disorders. In a nutshell, both CBT and DBT are quite similar, differentiated mostly by addiction causation where one discipline (CBT) deals with the client\’s thoughts and the other (DBT) dealing with the client\’s feelings.

In both therapy options, the goal is to make clients aware of the negative thoughts or feelings that are driving their need to self-medicate. A high level of awareness then becomes the basis for teaching clients how to turn their negative thoughts or feelings into positive thoughts or feelings. When clients get the point they can do that, their need to abuses substances starts to diminish. As for whether CBt or DBT is more effective as a treatment option in a New Jersey rehab, it depends on the diagnosis therapists assigned to each client. If the client is being victimized by their negative thoughts, CBT is going to be the better treatment option. Alternatively, DBT is going to be the call if the client is suffering at the hands of their negative thoughts. It\’s worth noting that overall, both CBT and DBT are producing solid results. After working through said therapy options, clients are showing a higher propensity for avoiding relapses and staying sober.

Knowing there are effective treatment methods we can use to help you with your drug or alcohol addiction, it leaves you with an important decision to make. When you are ready to get help, you must decide to pick up the phone and call us at 833-610-1174. We are available 24/7 and willing to help you any time of the day or night at your discretion.

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