Readings and Discussion Post: Behavioral, Cognitive and CBT Psychotherapies.
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Readings: Wedding & Corsini: Chs. 7,

Beck, A. T. (1991)

Okun: Chs. 5. 6 & 7

Okun-05-Chapter05_Evolution_and_Key_Concepts.pdfPreview the document

Okun-06-Chapter06_Therapeutic_Goals_Processes_and_Change.pdfPreview the document

Okun-07-Chapter07_Contributions_Limitations_and_Current_Status.pdfPreview the document


1.Marsha Lineham, Ph.D., On Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Links to an external site.)

Discussion Post: How is Dialectical Behavior Therapy distinguished from Cognitive Behavior Therapy?


Last week we had a discussion about Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and its core elements. As a reminder, CBT is an extension of behavioral therapy that treats the thoughts and cognitions as well as behaviors amendable to behavioral procedures (Wedding & Corsini, 2014). Again, CBT concentrates on changing the automatic negative thoughts that can contribute to and impair emotional difficulties, like depression or anxiety. Like CBT, Cognitive therapy helps therapists aids clients to identify the negative thoughts in logic that causes them to be depressed.  CBT is grounded on a cognitive theory of psychopathology. The cognitive model describes how peoples perceptions of, or spontaneous thoughts about, situations influence their emotional, behavioral reactions. CBT helps individuals learn to identify and evaluate their automatic thoughts and shift their thinking to be healthier. The cognitive model is at the core of CBT, and it plays a critical role in helping therapists develop treatments. Beck (1991), proposes that his work of the past three decades supports the cognitive model of depression and, to an increasing degree, that of panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and other disorders. 

Okun (1990b) believes that the recognition that cognitive processes regulate the impact of environmental forces on behavior and this is a major contribution of the cognitive-behavioral model. According to this model, human beings are active agents of change and therefore have the full capacity for self-motivated behavior change (Okun, 1990b). During therapy, CBT is structured, short-term, goal-oriented and focused on the present. The client-therapist relationship also differs from a warm and supportive therapeutic relationship. Instead of the passive dependency, the relationship will continually urge the client to take responsibility for their own actions. One of the first goals of this relationship is to help client acknowledge that their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to their problems (Okun, 1990a).

So, how is Cognitive behavior therapy different from Dialectical behavior therapy? Dialectical behavior therapy or DBT is based on CBT, with greater focus on emotional and social aspects. This approach was created to help individuals with borderline personality disorder and suicidal ideations. This method aids people who tend to have extreme emotional reactions interact with the environment around them in a healthier way. According to Dr. Marsha Linehan who is the founder of DBT, she states that that this is a more rigorous, evidence-based treatment that emphasizes on assessment, continuous assessment, and stages of treatment. DBT is organized around stages of treatment (Linehan, n.d.). The first stage is getting the action under control. Once the behavior is controlled then you can move on to stage two. In this stage, it is quiet desperations. This means that the client is acceptance ofand surrendering tocircumstances. The last stage after the misery is taking care of, is dealing with the ordinary problems of life (Linehan. n.d.).  Another key variance between CBT and DBT are acceptance and mindfulness. In other words, making sure your client feels validated while also building relationships. DBT teaches you that your experiences are real, and it teaches you how to accept who you are, regardless of challenges or difficult experiences. Unlike CBT, the relationships are also very important in DBT, including the relationships and connections between the client the DBT clinician.



Beck, A. T. (1991). Cognitive therapy: A 30-year retrospective. American Psychologist, 46(4), 368-375. doi:http://dx.doi.org.tcsedsystem.idm.oclc.org/10.1037/0003-066X.46.4.368

Linehan, M. (n.d.). Dialectical behavior therapy. [Video]. Psychotherapy. http://www.psychotherapy.net.tcsedsystem.idm.oclc.org/stream/tcs%20/video?vid=225&clip=cs660ce20020Links to an external site.

Okun, B. F. (1990a). Therapeutic goals, processes, and change mechanism. Seeking connections in psychotherapy. (pp. 147-175). Jossey-Bass

Okun, B. F. (1990b). Contributions, limitations, and current status. Seeking connections in psychotherapy. (pp. 177-203). Jossey-Bass

Wedding, D. & Corsini, R. (2014). Current psychotherapies (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning
Edited by Kiana Cox on Oct 8 at 3:33pm

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