Defining Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is a treatment that helps change potentially self-destructing behaviors. It is also called behavioral modification or cognitive behavioral therapy. Medical professionals use this type of therapy to replace bad habits with good ones. The therapy also helps you cope with difficult situations.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy. It was originally designed to treat depression, but is now used for a number of mental illnesses. It works to solve current problems and change unhelpful thinking and behavior.

Goals and Treatments

What is Behavior Therapy used for?

Behavior therapy is used by qualified medical professionals. It is used to help treat anxiety and mood disorders, that include the following:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

post-traumatic stress disorder


social phobia

bipolar disorder


This treatment can help cope with the following:


personality disorders

substance abuse

eating disorders

Treatments used:

discuss about coping mechanisms

role playing

breathing and relaxation methods

positive reinforcement

activities to promote focus

journal writing

social skills training

modifications in responses to anger, fear, and pain.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy used for?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat a wide range of issues. It's often the preferred type of psychotherapy because it can quickly help you identify and cope with specific challenges. It generally requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy and is done in a structured way.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to treat:

Manage symptoms of mental illness
Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
Treat a mental illness when medications
Learn techniques for coping with stress
Identify ways to manage emotions
Resolve relationship conflicts
Cope with grief
Overcome emotional trauma
Cope with a medical illness
Manage chronic physical symptoms

Mental health conditions that may improve with cognitive behavioral therapy treatment include:

Sleep disorders
Sexual disorders
Bipolar disorders
Anxiety disorders
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Eating disorders
Substance use disorders
Personality disorders
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

One or the other...... maybe both!

Both therapies can be used together in most treatment. They both have similarities in treatments and mental illnesses. For example, they both can be used to treat bipolar.

Personally, I feel that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would be best to use in treatments. It studies the cognitive of the behavior, where as behavior therapy just studies the behavior aspect. For example, lets look at procrastination. Why do people put off what they can do today, to tomorrow? I feel that it all boils down to laziness. Behavior therapy would be used to treat procrastination. It really is not that serious, unless it's more to it than just being lazy. Now if that be the case, then it could be a mental condition, that may be causing the individual to procrastinate. Some may include, depression, and bipolar. They also may be used together, depending on the circumstances of the issue.

Tyronda M. Cushman

PSY 241

Dr. Sharon Grimes