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Behavior Therapy. Dr. Arra PSY 202. Behavior Therapy. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Based on principles of classical and operant conditioning Social learning theory Albert Ellis: Rational Emotive Behavior therapy Beck: Cognitive therapy. Behavior Therapy.

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behavior therapy

Behavior Therapy

Dr. Arra

PSY 202

behavior therapy1
Behavior Therapy


  • Based on principles of classical and operant conditioning
  • Social learning theory
  • Albert Ellis: Rational Emotive Behavior therapy
  • Beck: Cognitive therapy
behavior therapy2
Behavior Therapy
  • Donald Meichenbaum: cogntive-behavioral modification
  • Stress inoculation and self-instructional training
  • Popular in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s
  • Grounded in scientific view of human behavior
behavior therapy3
Behavior Therapy
  • Based on the principles and procedures of the scientific method
  • Interventions are monitored/managed over time
  • Conclusions are made based on what is observed rather than what one thinks
  • Treatment goals are stated in concrete and objective terms
behavior therapy4
Behavior Therapy
  • Interventions are monitored and frequently revised
  • Therapy deals with client’s current problems and the factors influencing them
  • Does not deal with historical determinants
  • Clients are expected to be active
  • Clients ‘do something’ to bring about a change: engage in new behaviors
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Behavior Therapy
  • Therapy is carried out in the client’s natural environment
  • Clients monitor their behavior outside of sessions, learn coping skills, role-playing
  • Learning new behaviors is the core of the therapy
  • Skills include self-management, monitoring, reinforcing, punishing, overcorrection…..
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Behavior Therapy
  • Interventions tailored to fit individual needs
  • Therapy is a collaboration between therapist and client
  • Constantly measuring, graphing: frequency, intensity, duration of behaviors
  • Brief number of sessions
  • Several behavioral techniques are often combined in a treatment package to increase efficacy of tx
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Behavior Therapy


  • Client specifies positive changes that he/she wants from counseling
  • Focus on what client wants to do rather than what client does not want to do
  • Client has ownership of goals
  • Client and counselor see if goals are realistic
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Behavior Therapy
  • Define the goals in concrete terms; target behaviors
  • Discuss behaviors associated with the goals; antecedents and consequences
  • A plan of action to work towards the goals
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Behavior Therapy


  • Get information about antecedents, dimensions of the problem, and consequences
  • Clarify the problem
  • Design a target behavior
  • Formulate goals with client
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Behavior Therapy
  • Identify maintaining conditions
  • Implement a change plan/intervention
  • Evaluate the intervention; formative and summative
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Behavior Therapy


  • Client is aware and participants in the therapeutic process
  • Engage in modeling, role-playing, rehearsal
  • Completes homework assignments
  • Client completes assignments both in and out of therapy sessions
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Behavior Therapy
  • Work to generalize behaviors
  • Need to be willing to make changes and continue to implement new behaviors once treatment has ended
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Behavior Therapy


  • Behavioral Assessment: look at target behavior in terms of antecedents and consequences, frequency-intensity-duration
  • Use tests, scales, checklists, and graphs to determine if intervention is working
  • Ongoing process
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Behavior Therapy
  • Systematic desensitization, relaxation training, assertion training, self-management training, biofeedback, meditation, in vivo, flooding, EMDR
  • Brief vs. long-term therapy
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Behavior Therapy


  • Wide variety of techniques available
  • Therapy stresses ‘doing’
  • Techniques have been extended to more areas of human functioning than any other therapeutic approach
  • Emphasis on research into and assessment of treatment outcomes
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Behavior Therapy
  • Therapists are willing to examine the effectiveness of their procedures in terms of generalizability and durability of change
  • Therapists are ethical in their practice
  • Clients have control and freedom
  • Clients can monitor and manage their interventions
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Behavior Therapy
  • Therapists use empirically supported techniques
  • Treatment is as brief as possible
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Behavior Therapy


  • Behavior therapy may change behaviors, but it does not change feelings
  • Does not deal with the emotional process as fully as other approaches
  • Relationship between client and therapist is discounted
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Behavior Therapy
  • Behavior therapy does not provide insight
  • Behavior therapists treat symptoms rather than causes
  • Therapy involves control and manipulation by the therapist