Know your methods!

Behavior Therapy vs Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Madison Gilliam

Forms of Therapy

Theories of Counseling

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

A form of treatment that focuses on observing the relationships between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Evaluating different patterns of thinking that lead to self-destructive actions as well as the beliefs that direct these thoughts, can allow people to adjust their patterns of thinking in order to improve coping skills (Corey, 2013).

Goals of CBT: To help individuals recognize and acknowledge negative patterns of thinking, to evaluate validity, and to replace these with a healthier way of thinking (Corey, 2013).

Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy, also referred to as behavior modification, "is practitioners focus on directly observable behavior, current determinants of behavior, learning experiences that promote change, tailoring treatment strategies to individual clients, and rigorous assessment and evaluation” (Corey, 2013, pg. 227).

Steps for changing behaviors: selecting goals, translating goals into target behaviors, self-monitoring, working out a plan for change, and evaluating an action plan (Corey, 2013).

Goals of behavior therapy: To change self-destructing behaviors, to replace bad habits with good habits, and to cope with difficult situations.


Behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy have many similarities. Both forms of therapy focus on correcting negative, or self-destructive, thoughts or behaviors. Treatment is often short-term and goal-oriented. Using positive thoughts and behaviors are used in both CBT and behavior therapy as well.
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Although cognitive behavior therapy and behavior therapy are similar, they also have distinct differences. CBT focuses on adjusting negative patterns of thinking whereas behavior therapy focuses on modifying negative behaviors. Behavior therapy focuses on observable behaviors. CBT focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
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Procrastination is when tasks are put off until the last minute. It can cause issues at work, personal life, and even confidence in one's abilities (Rozental & Carlbring, 2013). Cognitive behavior therapy would be the best approach to treat procrastination.

Therapists would help the client create small goals in order to help with the feelings of being overwhelmed such as breaking large projects into smaller sections. Creating a to do list and prioritizing it will help to make things easier. Discovering when the best time of day is to complete projects is something a therapist can bring to light. Finishing the most important and quick tasks first is also something the therapist would encourage. Lastly, having the client set and alarm of some sort to complete the task within that allotted amount of time can help them to make the most out of their time and work effectively (Rozental & Carlbring, 2013).

Working with a CBT therapists is the most effective way to tackle procrastination. Procrastination is often created over time, so it can be challenging to reverse this behavior alone.


Corey, G. (2013). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Rozental, A., & Carlbring, P. (2013). Internet-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Procrastination: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 2(2), e46.