Differences In Therapy

Behavioral And Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Courtney Hoffman

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral Therapy has a focus on the behaviors that can be observed, learning experiences, and tailored treatment plans (Corey, 2013). Some of the behaviors can include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, stress, and or substance abuse. This therapy has four areas of development - classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning approach, and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) (Corey, 2013).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Similar to Behavioral Therapy, CBT has different approaches used in Behavioral Therapy but this includes a variety of behavioral strategies (Corey, 2013). The end goal is to find a way to change the behaviors that trouble the client in the best way possible for them. We see different types of therapy under CBT, such as rational emotive behavior therapy.

Goals For Treatment

Both therapies have an end goal of changing the troubling behaviors. With CBT, we see a strong REBT being used and this can be done in different settings, single - group therapy, figuring out irrational beliefs, and sometimes the use of humor (Corey, 2013). Behavioral therapy is a broad therapy with CBT under it - so there are a lot of similarities. Behavioral Therapy looks to also change the behavior's that are observable by progressive muscle relaxation, punishment, positive or negative reinforcements and systematic desensitization (Corey, 2013).

Using Both Therapies Together

Both therapies can be used together to treat a client from all sides. Using positive and negative reinforcements, punishments and REBT can really help a person that is struggling with something such as substance abuse. For someone that has a procrastination problem the behavioral therapy with the use of reinforcements and punishments would work best so the client can see, or feel, the outcome of their actions.


Corey, G. (2013). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.