Finding the right kind of therapy for yourself or a loved one can be confusing. First, there’s understanding the difference between psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers or psychologists. Then, there are different approaches to therapy and treatment paths, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). 

How do you know what’s the best fit for your situation or condition?

In this blog, we’ll take a deeper dive into CTB versus psychotherapy. Our goal is to help you understand the differences so you can choose a treatment plan that’s best for you. Your therapist will also be able to help determine an appropriate therapeutic approach and treatment schedule. It’s also important to note that sometimes your treatment plan includes several different approaches at various times throughout your journey.    

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Psychotherapy

When it comes to CBT and psychotherapy, the first thing to note is that they aren’t exactly two different approaches. In fact, CBT is actually a form of psychotherapy, although people commonly think they are different. 

In a nutshell: psychotherapy tends to cover a broad range of therapy options, including CBT, and provides improvements with consistent sessions over the longer term. CBT, on the other hand, is a type of psychotherapy that is typically used in the short-term. 

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is usually what people envision when they think of ‘talk therapy.’ A psychotherapist will work with you to identify unhealthy or negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. From there, the therapist will guide you on how to modify or alter them so that you can function better in your everyday life. 

The type of therapy may take place in an individual, family, or group setting. It’s also available for both adults and children. Usually, each session lasts 50 — 60 minutes. Approximately 75% of individuals who undergo psychotherapy report experiencing benefits from it.

A psychotherapist can help individuals navigate through a wide variety of conditions, including:

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

Types of Psychotherapy

There are many different types of psychotherapy including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • And More

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is a form of psychotherapy, and it’s very similar in practice — with a few small differences. This type of therapy combines cognitive and behavioral therapies, helping clients understand how their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are related. CBT helps people recognize distorted thinking patterns, understand others better, and cope with difficult situations. 

Generally, CBT involves a behavioural change. It frequently includes assessing one’s thoughts and feelings and challenging them. This helps to alter unhealthy behaviours as well as better cope with challenges as they happen.

CBT is commonly used to treat:

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

Types of Cognitive Therapy

Common types of CBT include:

  • Cognitive Therapy – This type of therapy challenges thoughts,  ,  which leads to better behavior and mood.
  • Behavioral Therapy – This type of therapy uses behavioral approaches to change or alter behaviors for improved outcomes.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This type of CBT is traditionally used to treat high-risk cases. Generally, it aims to help individuals live more in the present moment, cope better with stress, and help them regulate their emotions.
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – This type of CBT combines traditional CBT methods with mindful and meditative practices.
  • Exposure and Response Prevention – Through this type of CBT, fears are confronted repeatedly to learn how to stop compulsions or avoidance behaviors, such as those associated with OCD. 
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – The focus of this therapy is to help individuals accept their thoughts and feelings as opposed to fighting them or feeling immense shame or guilt. This is often combined with mindfulness-based therapy practices.

Making Your Decision

There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to therapy. What works for someone else might not be what works well for you.  While it may feel overwhelming, doing some research to understand the different types of therapy can help you select a therapist who is a good fit for you. In fact, the relationship between the patient and the therapist is one of the biggest predictors of successful therapy outcomes.

At Bhatia Psychology Group, we can help to determine the right type of therapy, support, and counsellor for your needs. Start today by booking your appointment with our compassionate and caring team.

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