Menu Close

Never Miss an Opportunity

Find freedom with our Atlanta treatment programs today and work with our mental health therapists to gain the tools you need for a better life.

Contact Samba Recovery Today

Benefits of Behavioral Therapy for Addiction

man smiling in behavioral therapy for addiction

When searching for addiction treatment, it can be difficult to understand the wide range of therapies that are available to you.

Two of the most common forms of therapy for addiction therapy are cognitive-behavioral therapy in Atlanta (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Both CBT and DBT are evidence-based therapies, meaning they have been utilized in addiction therapy for decades with proven efficiency. Both CBT and DBT are talk therapies that help patients clarify emotions and behaviors to cope with triggers and continue sobriety.

To learn more about how behavioral therapy for addiction can help you, reach out to Samba Recovery today via 888.505.8279.

Types of Behavior Therapy for Addiction

CBT and DBT are both psychotherapeutic forms of talk therapy used to assist patients with a wide range of addiction and mental health disorders. They are both utilized in addiction treatment programs, often used in conjunction. These therapeutic methods address the underlying thoughts and feelings that result in harmful behaviors. Before discussing the similarities and differences between CBT and DBT, we must understand the underlying mechanisms of both therapies.

CBT centers around rationality and reasoning. A person dealing with addiction often has negative thoughts about inadequacy, failure, or a lack of hope. In CBT, a therapist assists the patient in utilizing their critical thinking skills to identify thoughts that are real versus untrue and harmful thoughts. CBT brings light to how a patient’s thoughts are impacting their feelings and resulting in negative actions. Exploring these feelings and resulting actions can help patients struggling with addiction redirect their thoughts to avoid self-harming behaviors.

DBT teaches patients struggling with addiction mindfulness skills to manage emotions. Patients are provided with skills to recognize emotions and the triggers they are associated with. In DBT, therapists may incorporate holistic methods such as meditation to encourage emotional, physical, and spiritual regulation. DBT focuses on accepting negative feelings and emotions and learning how to navigate those experiences.

Both CBT and DBT are effective forms of behavioral therapy for addiction. However, it is difficult to understand the difference between the two.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are similar forms of behavioral therapy utilized in addiction treatment programs. Despite their similarities, patients often benefit from both. These therapies help patients struggling with addiction cope with triggers and help maintain sobriety. However, DBT is an offshoot of CBT focused on mindfulness techniques rather than critical thinking.


CBT and DBT are both centered around the idea that being aware of the differences between our thoughts and reality will assist people with addiction in identifying which thoughts and behaviors are beneficial and which are detrimental.

Similarities of CBT and DBT include:

  • Ability to regulate emotional responses
  • Implement logical and reasonable thinking
  • Structured and guided treatment
  • Development of a strong patient-therapist relationship

These four similarities support patients in recovery, as addiction often stems from the inability to cope with thoughts and emotions. This inability leads to illogical and unreasonable thinking and skewed views of reality, which leads to the harmful cycle of addiction.


CBT teaches patients skills to identify when thoughts and emotions are not reflected in reality. This method evokes critical and reasonable thinking in patients, allowing them to understand the negative consequences of their addiction. A person struggling with addiction may be asked to explain the differences between what they are feeling and what is the fact.

On the other hand, DBT teaches patients how to accept the things they cannot change. DBT provides patients with mindfulness skills, such as grounding techniques and alternative energy outputs. The goal of DBT is to help patients identify and accept the negative emotions they are feeling by providing positive coping behaviors.

Although similar, CBT and DBT teach unique skills to assist in recovery. Utilizing both can increase the ability of patients with addiction to redirect their thoughts and emotions toward healthy coping skills.

Reach Out for Behavioral Therapy for Addiction at Samba Recovery

Changing the way you think and behave may sound completely impossible. Fortunately, putting thoughts and emotions into a rational context and learning healthy coping mechanisms are more than achievable. Utilizing behavioral therapy for addiction is an effective, evidence-based form of therapy for every person struggling with addiction.

To learn more about how behavioral therapy can help you, reach out to Samba Recovery at 888.505.8279 or connect with us online.