‘Give a man a fish feed him for a day;
Teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime’
Behavior therapy – also referred to as “behavioral therapy”, “behavior modification” or “applied behavior analysis” – is a form of psychotherapy that involves reducing or eliminating behaviors and habits that are destructive, unhealthy, or undesirable and learning or increasing more appropriate behaviors.
People learn to be anxious, compulsive, or inattentive. Yes, that’s true. We are all shaped or “conditioned” by our environment, by the people around us, and their behavior towards us or each other. We tend to involuntarily pick up on these behaviors and learn to continue doing behaviors that are reinforced in some manner.
Behavior therapy has been used to treat a variety of disorders and problems in people of all age groups, including addictions & phobias. The goal of behavior therapy is to reduce or eliminate undesirable behaviors and teach or increase acceptable behaviors. This is accomplished through the use of behavioral techniques and strategies such as systematic desensitization, modeling, reinforcement, and aversive conditioning.
Benefits and Advantages of Behavior Therapy
Possibly the greatest advantage of Behavior Therapy is that it helps improve the quality of life. For example, someone who’s been unable to quit smoking or is suffering from a debilitating phobia for years can often learn to overcome the problem by working with a skilled behavioral therapist. This can be life-changing, as it can also help the person gain confidence and use the newly acquired skills to make other desired changes in his or her life.
Behavior therapy can help people learn to manage and reduce aggressive impulses, compulsive behaviors, and anger outbursts. It can help them improve their current coping skills or learn new ones so that they’re more equipped to handle challenging or unfamiliar situations. This type of therapy can also teach people to become more socially adept.
Compared to other types of psychotherapy, one of the primary advantages of behavior therapy is that it’s a relatively short-term treatment. Treatment goals can often be reached in several weeks, rather than several months or a few years. This makes it a more cost effective treatment than longer-term therapies. The techniques and strategies used in behavior therapy are also fairly straightforward and easy for most clients to understand and learn.
Potential Disadvantages of Behavior Therapy
As with all types of therapy, behavior therapy has some limitations and disadvantages. Many mental health professionals believe that behavior therapy is not appropriate or sufficient for the treatment of many psychological problems. This is because it focuses on learned behaviors and the impact of one’s environment on those behaviors, while ignoring the role that thoughts, feelings, and unconscious processes play in human behavior.
Another potential disadvantage of behavior therapy (as well as other types of psychotherapy) is that the therapy process may trigger painful emotions. The therapist must be prepared to help the client learn and implement coping techniques to handle these treatment challenges.
Behavior therapy can be very effective for modifying and changing undesirable behaviors and helping people improve their lives. Children, as well as adults, benefit from behavioral counselling in altering undesirable behaviours to supplant them with healthier and more desirable ones.
At iThrive, we provide the following services:
- Remedial Education for children facing Learning disability
- Play Therapy
- Behavior Modification
- Personality Development modules-leadership, self esteem etc
- Study skills