The term “Behavioral therapy” describes a wide range of techniques used to change maladaptive behaviors. Its goal is to eliminate unwanted behavior and reinforce desirable ones. Today, behavior therapy has become an integrated part of mental health treatment. However, it is rooted in the principles of behaviorism.
Behaviorism is a school of thought focused on the idea that we learn from our environment. Moreover, unlike many other types of therapy like humanistic therapies and psychoanalytic therapies, behavioral therapy is action-based. It suggests that since the old learning from the environment led to the development of a behavioral problem, the new learning can fix it.
Let’s check out the different types of behavioral therapy and their benefits.
Types of Behavioral Therapy
There are different types of behavioral therapies. Furthermore, the type of therapy used may depend on a wide range of factors, such as the condition being treated and the severity of the symptoms. Here are the different types of behavior therapy: –
1. Applied behavior analysis
It uses operant conditioning to modify or shape problematic behaviors.
2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
It relies on behavioral techniques but also adds a cognitive element. In addition to this, it also focuses on the problematic thoughts behind behaviors.
3. Cognitive-behavioral play therapy
This type of therapy utilizes play to assess, prevent and treat psychological challenges. The therapists often use play to help a child learn how to think or behave differently.
4. Exposure therapy
Exposure therapy utilizes behavioral techniques to help people overcome their fears of certain situations or objects. This behavioral therapy approach incorporates techniques that expose people to the source of their fear while using relaxation strategies. Therefore, this therapy is useful in treating phobias or other forms of anxiety.
5. Dialectical behavioral therapy
This form of cognitive-behavioral therapy utilizes behavioral and cognitive techniques to help the person learn to manage their emotions and cope with distress while improving interpersonal relationships.
6. Rational emotive behavior therapy
It focuses on identifying the negative and destructive thoughts or feelings. Then, in this type of behavior therapy, people actively challenge those thoughts and replace them with more realistic and rational ones.
7. Social Learning theory
Social learning theory focuses on how people learn through observation. For example, they observe others being rewarded and punished for certain actions. It can lead to learning and behavior change.
What can behavioral therapy help with?
Behavioral therapy can help you with a wide range of mental health conditions. Here are a few of the most common conditions that are treated with this therapy: –
Cognitive behavior therapy is one of the most important types of behavioral therapy that has been originally developed to treat depression. It is one of the most widely used forms of therapy for depression today. It helps people identify any types of negative thoughts leading to depression and replace these negative thoughts with more rational ones.
Behavioral therapy is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. It is used to treat different types of anxiety, including panic disorder, phobias, and social anxiety. Cognitive distortions are often responsible for the heightened feeling of anxiety. Therefore, behavioral therapy often involves graded exposure that includes gradually facing one’s fears rather than avoiding them. It allows the person to manage or reduce their fear at each step.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are useful in treating anger issues. CBT helps you understand your triggers for anger. In addition, it can also help you develop and practice coping skills and think, feel or behave differently in response to anger. Therefore, you become calmer and more in control.
Whereas dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can help people with intense and frequent anger. It helps them regain emotional control by developing emotional regulation, distress tolerance skills, and effective communication in relationships.
Behavioral therapy is also use as an effective treatment for various eating disorders. For example, it is one of the most effective ways to treat bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders. Moreover, another eating disorder known as Anorexia nervosa tends to be even more complex and involves a multi-disciplinary approach.
Bipolar disorders are often treat with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In addition, behavioral therapy is use to treat bipolar disorder by addressing depressive symptoms. These symptoms occur as part of episodes of depression.
Moreover, it also helps by addressing feelings of guilt and other negative thoughts or beliefs about manic episodes. Hence, behavioral therapy can help with bipolar disorder and reduce overall distress.
Behavioral Care Program
At Haven Health, we understand that caring for a loved one with behavioral issues on your own can be overwhelming. That’s where we can help.
Our Haven Health team provides:
- A warm, healing environment that is built on trust, respect, and understanding
- Experienced and licensed medical professionals at our nursing and rehabilitation centers
- Protective measures to ensure the safety of residents and staff
- Coordination with doctors for the most effective treatment plan
- Caring professionals who are fluent in English, Spanish, and Navajo
- Enriching activities and engagement that gives our residents the best quality of life
Hence, we hope that after going through the information provided above, you can understand what is behavioral therapy. In addition to this, we have also discussed the different types and benefits of behavioral therapy to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the subject.