Types of Therapies
Behavioral Therapy vs. 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. It is most often used to treat anxiety disorders. However, you don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder to benefit.
Behavioral therapy is used by psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and other qualified medical professionals. It is usually used to help treat anxiety and mood disorders. These include:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- social phobia
- bipolar disorder
Therapists create treatment plans specifically tailored to individual conditions. Some exercises may include:
- discussions 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
The general benefit is increased quality of life. Specific benefits vary depending on what condition is being treated. These can include:
- reduced incidents of self-harm
- improved social skills
- better functioning in unfamiliar situations
- improved emotional expressions
- less outbursts
- better pain management
- ability to recognize the need for medical help
The goal of behavioral therapy is to limit self-harm. The risks for this treatment are minimal. Some patients consider the emotional aspects of the sessions risky. Exploring feelings and anxieties can cause bursts of crying and anger. The emotional aftermath of therapy can be physically exhausting and painful. A therapist will help to improve coping mechanisms and to minimize any side effects from therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors. CBT is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders including phobias, addictions, depression, and anxiety.
Cognitive behavior therapy is generally short-term and focused on helping clients deal with a very specific problem.
Cognitive behavior therapy has been used to treat people suffering from a wide range of disorders, including anxiety, phobias, depression, and addiction. CBT is one of the most researched types of therapy, in part because treatment is focused on highly specific goals and results can be measured relatively easily.
Cognitive behavior therapy is often best-suited for clients who are comfortable with introspection. In order for CBT to be effective, the individual must be ready and willing to spend time and effort analyzing his or her thoughts and feelings. Such self-analysis can be difficult, but it is a great way to learn more about how internal states impact outward behavior.
Cognitive behavior therapy is also well-suited for people looking for a short-term treatment option that does not necessarily involve pharmacological medication. One of the greatest benefits of cognitive-behavior therapy is that it helps clients develop coping skills that can be useful both now and in the future.