Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy are commonly known therapy options for those struggling with their mental health. Maybe you think CBT and psychotherapy are complete synonyms, or maybe you assume they’re completely different forms of therapy. So, you wonder, what truly makes the two different from one another?
Read on to learn the differences between psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy and what ultimately makes them similar to one another.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
First important to note is that cognitive behavioral therapy is actually a type of psychotherapy. So, that makes CBT psychotherapy, but not all forms of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral-based.
As the title suggests, CBT involves the combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies. So, not only do clients in this type of therapy learn to deal with their negative thoughts in a positive manner, but they also learn how to change their behaviors as a result. Throughout therapy sessions, they will learn how related their thoughts and behaviors are and vice versa.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy uses a variety of techniques that is ideal for depression, anxiety, phobias, disordered eating, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic, and more. It may also be successful for non-mental health-related issues such as migraines and insomnia.
Psychotherapy, on the other hand, is often synonymous with “talk therapy.” During a session of psychotherapy, the client will talk about their unhealthy habits, behaviors, and thoughts with a professional. In return, the licensed professional will help the client find ways to resolve these negative thoughts or behaviors.
Good candidates for psychotherapy typically include those dealing with depression, anxiety, addiction, stress, bipolar disorder, and more.
This form of therapy isn’t always one-on-one but can also occur in groups or even be present in the form of family therapy.
Besides CBT, other forms of psychotherapy include Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, among others. While, ultimately, mental health therapy always involves helping people, these different forms of therapy do so in different ways through a specific focus.
Which is the Best Form of Therapy?
There is no such thing as classifying one form of mental health therapy as one being better than the other. In truth, it all comes down to the individual client’s wants, needs, and goals.
Again, since CBT is a subtype of psychotherapy, it’s important for the client to explore other options of psychotherapy before settling on CBT. And if multiple sessions with a psychotherapy professional do not go well, it’s a good idea to switch professionals before trying a different type of therapy. In time, a client will find the best therapy and professional for them specifically.
The good news is, Orange County has plenty of options when it comes to different types of therapy.
While it might seem that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy are the same at first listen, once you learn that CBT is a form of psychotherapy, things start to click. Learning about the different types of psychotherapy, including CBT, you or your loved one can find the best form of therapy for them personally.