Lesson 6: BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
Behavioral therapy is a form of therapy rooted in the principles of behaviorism. The school of thought known as behaviorism is focused on the idea that we learn from our environment. In behavioral therapy, the goal is to reinforce desirable behaviors and eliminate unwanted or maladaptive ones. The techniques used in this type of treatment are based on the theories of classical conditioning and operant conditioning. One important thing to note about the various behavioral therapies is that unlike some other types of therapy that are rooted in insight (such as psychoanalytic and humanistic therapies), behavioral therapy is action based. Behavioral therapists are focused on using the same learning strategies that led to the formation of unwanted behaviors as well as other new behaviors. Because of this, behavioral therapy tends to be highly focused. The behavior itself is the problem, and the goal is to teach clients new behaviors to minimize or eliminate the issue. Old learning led to the development of a problem, and so the idea is that new learning can fix it.