Behavioral treatment, or behavioral therapy, is a type of psychological treatment that is based on the principles of behaviorism. The main goal of behavioral therapy is to change maladaptive or harmful behaviors to improve an individual’s overall functioning. There are various techniques that can be used in behavioral therapy, but all of them share the same basic goal of changing problematic behaviors.
Behavioral therapy teaches individuals new and more adaptive ways of behaving and is just one of the services we offer at A Cognitive Connection. As a Colorado Springs cognitive and behavioral center, we are here to provide resources and education to help you understand and improve your brain function. If you have questions about behavioral therapy or our other therapy options after reading this blog, reach out to our friendly team of qualified therapists.
Benefits of Behavioral Therapy
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of behavioral therapy is that it can help change unwanted or harmful behaviors. This can lead to improved functioning in all areas of life, including work, school, and personal relationships.
In addition to changing problematic behaviors, behavioral therapy can also help to improve an individual’s overall sense of well-being. This is because the skills and techniques learned in therapy can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Another great benefit of behavioral therapy is that it is a relatively short-term form of treatment. Many people who undergo behavioral therapy see significant improvements in their symptoms after just a few sessions.
Behavioral therapy can be an effective treatment for a wide range of different mental and emotional disorders. Some of the most common conditions and disorders that are treated with behavioral therapy include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse disorders
- Self-harm behaviors
If you are struggling with any type of problem behavior, consider seeking out the help of a qualified behavioral therapist. With their help, you can learn new and more adaptive ways of coping with life’s challenges.
Types of Behavioral Therapy
There are several different types of behavioral therapy, and treatment will depend on your specific needs and goals. Here are some of the most common types of behavioral therapy:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of behavioral therapy that focuses on how thought patterns contribute to problematic behaviors. You’ll work with a therapist to identify these patterns and replace them with more positive and helpful alternatives.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is a behavioral therapy specifically designed to treat borderline personality disorder. However, it has also been found to be helpful in the treatment of other disorders, such as depression and anxiety. During DBT, you’ll learn emotional coping strategies and ways to improve your interpersonal relationships.
Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that involves gradually exposing an individual to the thing that they are afraid of. This can help to desensitize them to their fear and eventually help them to overcome it. Exposure therapy is often used to treat anxiety disorders.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT is a type of behavioral therapy that focuses on helping an individual to accept their thoughts and feelings without trying to change them. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. ACT has been found to be helpful in the treatment of a variety of different mental and emotional disorders.
Behavioral Therapy Techniques
Behavioral therapy is usually conducted in a one-on-one setting between a therapist and client. However, group therapy or family therapy may also be used in some cases. During behavioral therapy, you’ll learn different techniques that can help you to change your problematic behaviors. Some of the most common behavioral therapy techniques include:
- Flooding: Flooding is a type of exposure therapy in which an individual is exposed to the thing that they are afraid of all at once. This can be a very intense experience, but it can also help to desensitize the individual to their fear more quickly.
- Systematic Desensitization: Systematic desensitization is a type of exposure therapy that involves gradually exposing an individual to the thing that they are afraid of. This is done by starting with things that are not too anxiety-provoking and gradually working up to the more feared situations.
- Cognitive restructuring: This technique is often used in cognitive behavioral therapy and involves identifying and challenging negative thought patterns. This can help to change problematic behaviors by changing the way that you think about them.
- Behavioral experiments: This technique is often used in cognitive behavioral therapy and involves testing out new ways of thinking and behaving to see if they are more effective than the old ones.
- Skills training: This technique is often used to teach new skills that can help to replace problematic behaviors. Skills that are commonly taught include social skills, assertiveness training, and stress management.
- Goal setting: Goal setting is a technique that is used to help you to identify what you want to achieve in therapy and to develop a plan for how you are going to achieve it.
How Effective is Behavioral Therapy?
Behavioral therapy has been found to be effective in the treatment of a variety of different mental and emotional disorders. In many cases, behavioral therapy, especially CBT, is just as effective as medication in treating disorders such as anxiety and depression. It can also be used in combination with medication to provide even greater relief. It’s important to note that behavioral therapy focuses on surface-level actions and behaviors, so it may not address underlying issues. A counselor or psychiatrist can help you determine if behavioral therapy is right for you.
Try Behavioral Therapy with A Cognitive Connection
A Cognitive Connection is a cognitive and behavioral center located in Colorado Springs. We help children and adults to build healthy habits by teaching them to work with their brains instead of against them. Whether you have harmful behaviors in your own life or have a child who needs help with time management and social skills, we’d love to talk with you. Schedule a free consultation, and we’ll discuss therapy options that can help you live the life you want.