There Are Options

Behavior Therapy vs. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Behavior Therapy


Behavior therapy generally refers to a type of therapy that, while wide in range, views behavioral conditioning techniques as an effective form of treatment.

In other words, behavior therapy is a form of therapy in which outside factors are altered in efforts to change the behavior of a patient.

Goals of Treatment

The basic goals of behavior therapy are to promote change, evaluate and directly observe a patient, and individualize the therapy approach. Behavioral therapy is used to help a patient with self-management, and also to treat many different psychological disorders.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy


"Cognitive behavioral therapy operates on the assumption that what people believe influences how they act and feel" (Corey, 2013)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a therapeutic approach in which emotions and behaviors are the main targets for change.

Goals of Treatment

The basic goals of cognitive behavioral therapy are to promote change in the thoughts and actions through modification of the patient's mindset.

What are the benefits of using these therapeutic approaches together vs. separately?


Using Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy together can be a successful approach to therapy for any individual, but requires actions as well as discussion. The patient would be expected to make gradual changes in attempt to change physical behaviors, as well as discussion in attempt to work though emotional issues.


Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy used separately can be successful as well, by isolating what the target behavior changes are, whether cognitive or physical, and working separately towards those goals. This would allow for more focused therapy for specific issues.

Procrastination: Which Therapy Is Best?

For Example: In the case of procrastination, I would think that a combination of behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy would be best suited to change the behavior. The aspect of behavior therapy can give direct reinforcements for physically changing the behavior, such as carving out time specifically to finish a task, or to put a patient on a strict schedule to follow and show the outcomes of each of those behaviors. The aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy will be a significant help to understand the patient's hardships with time management, and to help the patient understand the why and how of changing those behaviors. This approach seems to be the most supportive in the case of procrastination.


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