Behavior And Cognitive Therapy

Behavior therapy and cognitive therapy are two well known forms of therapy used among clients every day. Behavior therapy focus more on what can be observed when watching an individual. While cognitive therapy will focus more on how our brains process certain types of information that it receives. Even though these are two different types of therapies there are not only differences, but similarities as well.

A couple of different things that they have in common are a collaborative relationship between client and therapist, the premise that psychological distress is largely a function of disturbances in cognitive processes and a focus on changing cognitions to produce desired changes in affect and behavior (Corey, 2013, p. 290). They also have in common time-limited focus, an active and directive stance by the therapist and an educational treatment focusing on specific and structured target problems (Corey, 2013, p. 291). Both behavior and cognitive therapy have been known to even treat depression.

Along with there being similarities there are also a couple of differences as well. For instance, they have different treatment methods for depression. Cognitive therapy tends to focus on the aspects of the individuals depressive's negative thinking and biased interpretation of events (Corey, 2013, p. 308). This will help them to find out what there negative thinking is truly centered on so that the therapist can help the client with their way of thinking. Behavior therapy focus more on the direct observable behavior, the current behavior and change the treatment strategies for the client with depression (Corey, 2013, p. 247). They want to know why they are showing that behavior and what it means for that individual. Then the behavioral therapist can map out a form of treatment for this individual and help them with their disorder.

Behavioral therapy treatment focus on the goals of increasing personal choices and creating new conditions for learning (Corey, 2013, p. 252). This allows the client and therapist to come up with goals of treatment that they both think will help in the terms of treatment. In order for a goal to be set it needs to be clear, concrete, understood, and agreed on by the client and the therapist (Corey, 2013, p. 252).

Cognitive therapy goals are quite different from the behavioral therapy goals. These goals include, teaching the client how to separate the evaluation of themselves and how to accept themselves in spite of their imperfections (Corey, 2013, p. 295). By helping them change their ways of thinking when it comes to themselves, it will help them not only in the moment but also in the future as well. It is important to always know who you are and be accepting of the person that you are instead of continuously having negative thoughts about yourself.

I feel that both behavioral therapy as well as cognitive therapy could aide in helping an individual that is having troubles with procrastination. If I had to choose which one I thought would work best for this particular problem, I would have to go with behavioral therapy. I think that behavioral therapy would help the individual understand and figure out what is causing them to procrastinate when it comes to certain things. Finding out the reasoning as to why will help recognize and change the behavior so that it will be more helpful for the future.


Corey, G. (2013). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (9th Ed.). Brooks/Cole Cengage Publishing. Belmont, CA.