Psychotherapy VS CBT: What’s The Difference

Keegan Warrington
January 17, 2022

Psychotherapy VS CBT

Psychotherapy and CBT treatment are not exactly two different methodologies. Did you know that CBT is a form of psychotherapy? Not a lot of people know this.

To sum it up, psychotherapy and CBT cover a broad range of therapy options. Consistent sessions over a longer-term provide improvements. Singularly, CBT, a form of psychotherapy, is usually used for a shorter term.

What Is Psychotherapy?

When people talk about talk therapy, psychotherapy automatically comes to mind. A psychotherapist will be working with you to recognize negative and unhealthy thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.  

Psychotherapy is usually what people envision when thinking of ‘talk therapy.’ A psychotherapist will work with you to identify unhealthy or negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. From there, the therapist will guide you on how to transform or modify these things to be better in your everyday life and function like your usual self.

For an hour per session, psychotherapy could be done alone, as a family, or as a group-both for adults and children. About 75% of individuals who go through psychotherapy report experiencing its benefits.

A psychotherapist can aid people to navigate through various conditions, including:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Stress

Types Of Psychotherapy

There are many different types of psychotherapy, including:

  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is similar in practice but with minimal differences. CBT combines cognitive and behavioral therapies, which helps clients understand their behaviors, emotions, and thoughts better. CBT also helps clients identify distorted thinking patterns, cope with challenging situations, and understand others better.

Generally, CBT includes a behavioral change. It regularly includes evaluating one’s thoughts and feelings and therefore challenging them. This assists in altering unhealthy behaviors and better managing challenges as they happen.

two women sitting beside table and talking

CBT is commonly used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Chronic stress
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis

Common Types Of CBT:

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    From the name itself, this type of CBT helps people accept their feelings and thoughts instead of fighting them or feeling any form of guilt or shame. Mindfulness-based therapy practices are usually combined with this type.
    Behavioral Therapy
    This common type of CBT uses approaches to alter behaviors for improved outcomes.
    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
    This type of therapy is customarily used to treat high-risk cases. Usually, it aims to aid people to live more in the “now,” handle stress better and assist them in regulating their emotions.
    Exposure and Response Prevention
    With this type of therapy, fears are confronted repeatedly to stop compulsions or avoidance behaviors, especially ones associated with OCD.
    Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
    This therapy combines traditional CBT methods with meditative and mindful practices.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Anxiety

CBT is widely used for anxiety therapy. Studies have shown that it is effective in treating phobias, panic disorders, social anxiety disorders, or generalized anxiety disorders, among others.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT addresses an individual’s negative patterns, from the way they look at the world, especially with how they see themselves. This therapy involves two main components:

1.    Behavior Therapy – scrutinizes how you behave and react to certain situations that trigger anxiety.

2.    Cognitive Therapy – scrutinizes how your negative thoughts contribute to your anxiety.

The main focus of CBT is your thoughts and not some other external event that directly affects your feelings. In short, perceiving a situation and not the situation per se, says more about you and your feelings.

CBT And Depression Therapy

woman and man holding hands

Like with anxiety, CBT can also be used for treating depression. This is one technique that your therapist may ask you to consider, especially if you want to discover why your unhealthy patterns of thought may affect your mood, self-esteem, and overall outlook in life.

CBT is proven to be effective in treating mild to moderate cases of depression. In some cases, CBT can be combined with other treatments and medication.

When it comes to therapy, there is nothing that says one size fits all. Something might work for you but is ineffective for someone else. It might be overwhelming and even scary, but researching to understand what therapies can work for you might direct you to the right therapist.

Successful therapy results usually stem from the relationship a patient has with their therapist. So, just like shopping, shop around for a therapist and a kind of therapy that might be best for you.

Here at Roots, we can help you choose the right therapy and counselor; we can also create a big support group for you. We are rooting for your success! Start today by booking your appointment with our compassionate and caring team or give us a call at 562-526-1748.

Keegan Warrington