Behavior therapy


Behavior therapy is curative treatment directed toward the cure of a pathological condition by behavior modification techniques. Therefore, behavior therapy is the systematic application of learning principles and techniques to the treatment of behavior disorders. Bwhavior disorder or abnormal behavior, according to behavior therapists, is learned way of behaving that is maladaptive and consequently can best be modified in more adaptive directions through relearning. The maladjusted person differs from other people only in (a) having failed to acquire competencies needed for coping with the problems of living and/or (b) having learned faulty coping patterns that are being maintained by some kind of reinforcement. Behavior therapist specifies in advance the precise maladaptive behaviors to be modified and the adaptive behaviors to be achieved, as well as the specific learning principles or procedures to be utilized. In contrast to traditional forms of psychotherapy, behavior therapy minimizes the client’s verbal explorations toward the eventual restructuring of personality by removing repressions and achieving insight. Instead of tracing the history of the problem back to childhood the therapist makes a direct attack on the client’s symptoms and initiates a program of reconditioning to alleviate the symptoms in situations the client finds them most troublesome.             Behavior therapy is based on experimental studies of conditioning, both the classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Utilizing the concept of reciprocal inhibition, which refers to the discovery thar a response incompatible with another will inhibit the former, Wolpe demonstrated that individuals suffering from anxiety reactions could be trained to overcome their problem by pairing imagined anxiety-producing situations with physical relaxation. Because anxiety and relaxation are incompatible responses, as relaxation increases, anxiety decreases.Care is taken to ensure that the imagined anxiety-producing situations are introduced in a hierarchy of low to high anxiety-induction in order to ensure gradual learning to cope with even the most severe situations. In short, there are many examples of the application of behavior therapy given by various behavior therapists and numerous in research publications dealing with the systematic application of conditioning principles to the modification of maladaptive behavior. Key techniques of behavior therapy will be elaborated briefly.                                Extinction                                                  It is true that learned behavior patterns tend to weaken and disappear over time if they are not reinforced, often the simplest way to make extinct a maladaptive pattern is to remove the reinforcement for it. It is, especially, applicable in situations where maladaptive behavior has been reinforced unknowingly by others. Implosive therapy and flooding are the techniques that rely on the principle of extinction. Both focus on extinguishing the conditioned avoidance of anxiety-arousing stimuli and can, thus, be used to treat anxiety disorders.Implosive therapy involves having the client imagine an anxiety-arousing situation; flooding on the other side, involves placing the client in a real-life anxiety-arousing situation.

2 thoughts on “Behavior therapy

    1. Thanks a lot for “Slide Share”. There are some posts on behavior therapy to be published on website. On 31 Jul 2016 10:40, “LIFE POTENTIAL 1rcsharma (” wrote:



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