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What is Behavioral Therapy?

Behavioral Therapy

“Man is a social animal by nature, and he cannot survive without society. If he does so, he’s either a beast or a God”. These were the words of the ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle which correctly define the truest nature of a human being. We are made to live in societies, we need each other to cling to life, to sustain oneself. And to live harmoniously, we need to make good relations with each other. This is the reason why certain ethics are set according to which we need to behave in a society. When our behavior is not as expected, our relations may worsen. Ergo, behavioral therapy becomes a necessity. Behavioral therapy is a very broad concept and entails a lot of important constituents and here we will be discussing it all.

Defining Behavioral Therapy

First of all, the definition of behavioral therapy encompasses a large scope of work. What actually is it? Well, behavioral therapy is an umbrella term that refers to psychotherapy, behavioral analytical, or an amalgam of both. In simpler words, the therapy takes into account the methods that emphasize on either the behaviors or the thoughts and feelings in combination that are responsible for causing them. Behavioral Therapy aims to identify and help in changing potentially unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. The focus is laid on the current problems and finding ways to solve them.

Behavioral Therapy- Who is to be benefited?

People with a wide range of disorders can be benefitted by behavioral therapy. This type of therapy can be used for adults and children alike.

Some of the common disorders for which people seek behavioral therapy are stated below. Give it a read.

•    Panic disorders

•    Depression

•    Anger Issues

•    Depression

Behavioral therapy is not limited to treat the disorders mentioned above as it can also be used for treating the conditions and disorders cited below.

•    Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

•    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

•    Eating disorders

•    Phobias, including social phobias

•    Bipolar disorder

•    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

•    Substance abuse

•    Self-harm

Types of Behavioral Therapy

Depending on the type of condition and disorder, behavioral therapy can be of different types. These are listed below.

•    Cognitive behavioral therapy: The most popular of all, cognitive behavioral therapy combines cognitive therapy with behavioral therapy. This type of therapy takes into account the beliefs and thoughts of an individual and its influences on his/her moods and actions. In the treatment, the current problems of the individual are focused and the respective solutions are to be found.

•    Cognitive behavioral play therapy: This therapy is used especially for children. It aims to find out the problems of a child which he/she is unable to express. The therapist carefully observes the way a kid plays and finds out the root cause of change in his/her behavior.

•    System desensitization: This type of behavioral therapy largely relies on classical conditioning. System desensitization is basically used to treat phobias.

•    Aversion therapy: This therapy is often used to treat the problems of alcoholism and abuse. In this type of behavioral therapy, a person is taught what consequences an extremely unpleasant stimulus can bring, or by associating it with some dreadful past event.

How effective Behavioral Therapy is?

So far, behavioral therapy has been found quite effective in treating a number of conditions and diseases. It was also found that 75% of the people who enter cognitive behavioral therapy benefit from the treatment.

As per studies, cognitive behavioral therapy was found the most beneficial in treating the following:

•    Anger control problems

•    Anxiety disorders

•    Substance abuse

•    Somatoform disorders

•    Depression

•    General stress

•    Bulimia

Behavioral therapy on a whole has been found the most effective in treating children between the age group of 3 to 12. However, people of any age can be benefited from this therapy.  

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