and therapies use learning principles (examples given
below) to eliminate or reduce unwanted reactions to external situations,
one's thoughts and feelings, and ones bodily sensations or functions.
Rather than dealing with unconscious conflicts, this therapeutic
approach deals with events of which people are aware
or can readily become aware of. The therapist teaches the client
to replace undesirable responses (fears for example)
in their day-to-day living.
Behavior therapy refers to a collection
of techniques based on the principles of classical conditioning
conditioning. Behavioral therapy or behavioral psychology
differs in several ways from other kinds of therapies.
First, behavioral therapy
is short-term - the goal is to seek the problematic behavior and
change it over a brief period of time. Therefore, as psychoanalysis
may go on for years, a behavioral therapy will only last a few
months or less.
Second, behavioral therapy
seeks to intervene and alleviate symptoms. To a behavioral
therapist, the symptom (or the behavior) is the problem that needs
to be fixed, not an underlying psychological problem that is producing
the symptoms (behaviors). If a person is experiencing anxiety,
then the person needs to reduce that anxiety, and if a person
experiences depression, then depression needs to be alleviated.
For behavioral therapists, looking for deep-seated causes is essentially
a waste of time.
Third, behavioral therapy
is very directive. Even though the therapist interacts with the
client, it is essentially the therapist who formulates the treatment
plan. The client then follows the therapist's treatment plan,
and when the goal is reached the therapy ends.
Fourth, behavior therapy concentrates
on behavior. Other therapies may seek to obtain change through
psychological insights and changes, but behavioral therapy
seeks to make these changes through the modification of behavior.
Finally, behavioral therapists
try to follow a scientific model and taking an objective point
There are specific techniques
that behavioral therapists use which are found in the below related