Behavior Therapy

Behavior Therapy

BehaviorTherapy

Behaviortherapy aims at reinforcing positive behavior among patients. It isbased on the notion that behavior is learnt from the surroundings orenvironment. This therapy attempts to get rid of unwanted behaviorand reinforce an acceptable behavior through use of techniques suchas flooding, systematic desensitization, and aversion therapy (Beck &ampBeck, 2011).

Systematicdesensitization is commonly used by psychologists to treat phobias.It was introduced by John B. Watson where he conditioned one of hissubjects to fear a white rat. Later on, Mary Cover trained thesubject to eliminate the fear of rats using systematicdesensitization. In this case, a psychologist helps the patientsrelax while concentrating on some of their fears. This therapy helpsclients to confront their behaviors using relaxation techniques.Continuous use of this therapy can help in reducing or eliminatingfear completely.

Theother form of behavior therapy is known as aversion therapy. This iswhereby an undesirable behavior is paired with an aversive stimulushoping that it will eventually reduce an unwanted behavior in thelong run. For instance, in the hope of helping a patient fromalcoholism, a psychologist may mix alcohol and drugs with undesirableeffects such that when the patients take in alcohol, they experiencethe intended side effects. In the long run, the patients may decideto do away with alcohol because they are made to believe that itmakes them feel bad (Beck &amp Beck, 2011).

Theother common form of behavior therapy is flooding. This is mostlyused to treat phobia among patients. It involves exposing patients tosituations or objects that invoke fear without letting them escapethem. For instance, a person who fears dogs may be exposed to anenvironment with dogs for some time without letting him or herescape. At first, the therapist may expose a person to a friendly dogrepeatedly until he or she is able to expel the fears of dogs.

Behaviortherapy is beneficial in many instances. For instance, it helps inreversing negative pattern of behavior and thinking, dealing withstress appropriately, increasing self esteem, conquering fear, andimproved performances at school and home among others. It hassuccessfully helped many patients to set goals that replace thenegative patterns while increasing the desired behaviors. There aremany successful cases emanating from behavior therapy.

However,behavior therapy has its share of limitations. Although it is clearthat it is the best method for treating phobia and other disorders,apparently, it cannot be used to treat more serious cases such asschizophrenia and major depression. Additionally, behavior therapy istime consuming hence, could be quiet expensive. It may take quitesome time before modifying the behavior of a patient, and sometimespatients may give up along the way. The parents of the patients mayalso get frustrated and give up on the program because much time isneeded to replace the negative behavior possessed by the patients. However, setting realistic expectations and revisiting them from timeto time can help greatly in the therapy (Wright, Thase, Wright &ampBasco, 2005).

Amidthe drawbacks of behavior therapy, it is conclusive that it is one ofthe best methods of promoting good behavior among patients. It istrue that it may take quite some time, but this should not discouragepatients and parents from investing in it. There are many successstories and only those who practice patience reap the benefitsassociated with behavior therapy.

References

Beck,J. S., &amp Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitivebehavior therapy: Basics and beyond.New York: Guilford Press.

Wright,J. H., Thase, M. E., Wright, J. H., &amp Basco, M. R. (2005).Learningcognitive-behavior therapy: An illustrated guide.Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub.


Behavior Therapy

Behavior Therapy

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Behavior Therapy

BehaviorTherapy

BehaviorTherapy

Behaviortherapy refers to insight or evidence based therapies that are aimedat assisting the clients to learn new behaviors and minimizeproblematic or undesirable behaviors instead of concentrating on theunconscious mind of the client. These therapies are based onbehaviorism, a school of thought that is based on the view hatpsychology and the study of human behaviors should focus onobservable behaviors and characteristics of individuals or animals asopposed to unobservable events that are believed to occur in theindividual’s unconscious mind. There is a variety of behavioraltechniques that can be used by psychologists to treat various typesof psychological problems. However, these techniques are based onclassical and operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is atheoretical framework that focuses on the role of rewards andpunishment in behavior change. Classical conditioning on the otherhand focuses on the conditioned and unconditioned stimulus and howthey influence behavior (O`Leary&amp Wilson, 1987).

Itwould e easier to say “just don’t do that any more”. However,this may not be effective in the modification of behavior. Behavioraltherapy is more concerned with the actions of an individual ratherthat the cognitive factors that influence the actions. Although ithas been criticized and has several limitations, there are successstories in the application of behavioral therapy. There arte manypopulations and areas in which behavioral therapy has been appliedwith significant success. This includes addressing intimacy andrelationship problems in couples and processes, medical conditionssuch as obesity and chronic paid and mental disorders such as chronicdistress, drug abuse and addiction, depression and anxiety. Due toits effectiveness in dealing with a wide range of problems, behaviortherapy is a major tool of consideration for enhancing othertreatment therapies in clinical settings (Butleret al, 2006).

Studiesindicate that behavioral therapies are effective in modification ofindividual’s behaviors. At least, the effectiveness of behavioraltherapy in the treatment of conditions such as depression andattention deficient hyperactive disorder is comparable to drugtreatments. Cognitive behavior therapies have been found to be moreeffective in the treatment of co-occurring depression and othermental illnesses. Some studies suggest that cognitive behaviortherapy is more effective in the treatment of obsessive compulsivebehavior when compared to other treatment such as drugs. This hasresulted into movement towards combined techniques in the treatmentof psychiatric disorders. Behavior therapies have been more effectivein the treatment of phobias and related disorders. For example,behavior therapies that use virtual realities have been used in thetreatment of driving and height phobias and anxiety disorders.Behavior analysis and behavior therapies have also been effective inthe management of behaviors in autistic children (Butleret al, 2006).

Despitethe effectiveness of behavior therapies, they have several criticismsand limitations. One of the weaknesses of behavior therapy thatlimits its applications and effectiveness is normalization ofbehaviors such as autistic children behaviors. For example, it viewsthe expressions in children with autism as non pathological and thustries to modify their behaviors to what is socially acceptable(Butler et al, 2006). Another limitation of behavior therapies is theinflexibility of the technique which limits its application andeffectiveness. For example, behavior therapies do not appreciate thefact that treatment of some conditions may require the understandingof the observable behaviors as well as the role of subconscious mind.This increases the likelihood of the client being over dependent onphysical rewards while ignoring the role of internal motivations(O`Leary &amp Wilson, 1987).

References

Butler,A.C., Chapman, J.E., Forman, E.M., &amp Beck, A.T. (2006). “Theempirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review ofmeta-analyses”. ClinicalPsychology Review,26(1), 17-31.

O`Leary,D. &amp Wilson, G. (1987). Behaviortherapy: application and outcome,Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.