Behavior Therapy vs CBT



Cognitive Therapies

Cognitive therapy tells us that our behaviors are a result of our feelings. These same feelings are formed based on thoughts and perceptions. What you think is what you feel. The aim of this therapy is to eliminate faulty perceptions and thoughts that are the cause of certain mental problems. Self-defeating ideas and cognition's are forced to change as well. The issues surfacing in our cognition's must be focused on in order to change and become productive individuals. The main idea of cognitive therapy is to help cope with the emotional distress individuals feel when they come into a client-therapist setting. The main objective of cognitive therapy is to lead to the client to a satisfied, effective,

living situation.

Cognitive restructuring, includes:

Evaluating validity of client's thoughts and beliefs

Assessing what the client expects and predicts

Assessing client's attributions for causes of events

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapy tells us that our behaviors and how we react to our environment is due to the process of leaning. We can than unlearn what is learned. Behavior therapies focus on desensitizing through exposure to such things as phobias. Anxiety is also a behavioral pattern that affects many individuals. By changing the reaction to the stimuli in the environments we live in we can reduce the level of anxiety we feel.

Methods to explore behavior change can include,

Systematic desensitization

Exposure and response prevention

Behavior modification


Operant conditioning

Covert conditioning

Observational learning

Contingency management


Cognitive refers to our mental abilities such as thinking, reasoning, memory, imaging

Behavioral refers to our actions and reactions to the stimuli present in our environment.

Cognitive therapies are used to treat our emotional and mental problems such as phobias, anxiety, and depression assuming that our faulty perception and thinking styles are responsible for our behavior. These therapies try to make changes in our thinking and perception.

Behavioral therapies believe that our reactions are a result of learning and that it is possible to teach us to unlearn and modify our behaviors.

It is better to think of cognitive and behavioral therapies as lying apart on a continuum where cognitive-behavioral therapy finds a place right in between these extremes.


Procrastination affects many of us. By using SMART goals in Cognitive Behavior Therapy it is easy to break down the overwhelming workload to make achievable, reachable steps.

  • SPECIFIC, means stating exactly what your step should accomplish.
  • MEASURABLE- This step ensures that your mini task can be measured and you will know when it is done.
  • ACHIEVABLE- the mini task should be hard enough that it is a challenge to get done, but not so hard so that you won’t accomplish it.
  • RELEVANT- mini goal must be relevant to the over-arching goal.
  • TIME BOUND- This parameter should be used to designate how many times and when during the week you will work on your mini task. This can also be used as guideline for end dates.


Hubbard, Bruce. (2014). Procrastination: Getting Unstuck with CBT. Retrieved by website

Corey, Gerald. (2013).Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy.

Kot, Thomas. (2015). What Are Behavior and Cognitive Therapies? Retrieved from website

(2012). Difference between Cognitive and Behavioral. Retrieved from website