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Behavioral Therapies Essay

956 words - 4 pages

Psychotherapy is a form of treatment for a patient with a mental disorder. The therapy allows the patient to help them comprehend their illness. It is then followed up with tools to treat their illness and behaviors. (NIMH) A type of psychotherapy is behavioral therapy, which the psychologist uses basic learning techniques to modify maladaptive behavior patterns by substituting undesirable thoughts with new and happier responses. (NIMH) Behavioral therapies are based on the theory of classical conditioning. The premise is that all behavior is learned, therefore creating the poor behavior. The therapy allows the patient to stop the behavior or to correct the behavior. (Simply ...view middle of the document...

In the United States, however, B.F. Skinner developed the same technique but by using positive and negative reinforcements by rewarding extraordinary behavior, and by punishing incorrect behaviors. (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia) Behavior therapy has the same premise as aversive conditioning, in which unwanted habits are paired with unpleasant stimuli, and systematic desensitization, where a stimulus that causes anxiety is paired with a pleasant one. (NIMH) Behavior therapy is commonly used by psychotherapists, psychiartists and many other qualified medical professionals. (healthline)
The most important goal for behavioral therapies is to teach the patient how to overcome fears be teaching them new behaviors to combat the bad behaviors. However the therapy also helps the paitient to improve social skills, coping techniquqes for new situations, less outbursts, pain management, the ability to recognize when the paitient will need medical help and the reduction of self-harm for the most severe cases of mental disorders. (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia) The best thing about behavioral therapies is that the risks for treatment are minimal but the main risk is emotion. During terapy
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Sessions the psychologist may cause the patient to develop high anxiety bringing on crying and anger by introducing the new behaviors. The aftermath of behavioral therapy can be physically and mentally exhausting as well as emotionally painful. (NIMH) Every therapist develops different techniques and mechanisims for each individual patient in order to prevent this side effect of behavioral therapy. (healthline)
As the therapist creates individual techniques to prevent side effects, the therapist also creates treatment techniques for the patient based on each condition. Some of the exercises used during therapy include role playing different situations of what frightens the patient, new breathing methods to cope with the fears or anxiety. (Simply Psychology) The therapist also uses positive reinforcement introducing journal writing,...

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