Behaviour therapy or behavioural psychotherapy is a broad term referring to clinical psychotherapy that uses techniques derived from behaviourism and/or cognitive psychology. Typically, this type of therapy is used for those with behavioural problems or mental health conditions that involve unwanted behaviour. For example, addictions, anxiety, phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Unlike most other therapies, in behavioural therapy, the past is still important as it often reveals where and when the unwanted behaviour was learned, the main focus is to look at the present behaviours and the ways in which they can be rectified.
Types of Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is extremely popular. It combines behavioral therapy with cognitive therapy. Treatment is centered around how someone’s thoughts and beliefs influence their actions and moods. It often focuses on a person’s current problems and how to solve them. The long-term goal is to change a person’s thinking and behavioral patterns to healthier ones.
Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy
Cognitive behavioral play therapy is commonly used with children. By watching children play, therapists are able to gain insight into what a child is uncomfortable expressing or unable to express. Children may be able to choose their own toys and play freely. They might be asked to draw a picture or use toys to create scenes in a sandbox. Therapists may teach parents how to use play to improve communication with their children.
System desensitization relies heavily on classical conditioning. It’s often used to treat phobias. People are taught to replace a fear response to a phobia with relaxation responses. A person is first taught relaxation and breathing techniques. Once mastered, the therapist will slowly expose them to their fear in heightened doses while they practice these techniques.
Aversion therapy is often used to treat problems such as substance abuse and alcoholism. It works by teaching people to associate a stimulus that’s desirable but unhealthy with an extremely unpleasant stimulus. The unpleasant stimulus may be something that causes discomfort. For example, a therapist may teach you to associate alcohol with an unpleasant memory.
Is behavioral therapy effective?
Behavioral therapy has successfully been used to treat a large number of conditions. It’s considered to be extremely effective. About 90 percent of people who enter behavioral therapy experience great benefits from treatment. Behavioral therapy is most effective when treating:
anger control problems
Finding a skilled behavioral therapist is going to allow you to get the proper help and support to work through your depression. Finding a behavioral therapist should not be difficult. Oftentimes, simply searching online for "behavioral therapists near me" will produce results in your area.
Scheduling your first appointment can be difficult, but is highly recommended. There's no reason to wait if you feel you need therapy. After all, if you fractured your leg, you would see a doctor straight away to help it heal, right? Why should our mental wellbeing be any different?
A therapist will ask you many personal questions about yourself. You will know you have found the right therapist if you feel comfortable talking to them.