Similarities & Differences

Behavior & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Behavior Therapy

In behavior therapy, the main focus is on behavior that is observed, determinants of the behavior, promoting change, treatment strategies, and much assessment and evaluation

(Corey, 2013). The goals are to help the individual to make more personal choices and give them new ways of learning (Corey, 2013). Between the counselor and client, new goals will be created based on the specific individual. It will carry on until those goals are met. This allows more knowledge on where the client is at and if the goals are being met. Strategies are made for the individual and there are assessments to see how well they are working. If not, then another strategy needs to be tried.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

There are a few different cognitive behavioral approaches which are quite similar. These are all short-term treatments and combine cognitive and behavioral principles and methods (Corey, 2013). REBT focuses on thinking, judging, and analyzing (Corey, 2013). It focuses on the idea that cognition, emotions, and behaviors interact and have cause and effect relationships (Corey, 2013). The goal is to change their way of thinking so they can process things in a healthier way in the present and future. Cognitive therapy looks at psychological problems as coming from things such as incorrect inferences on inadequate information and failing to see the difference of fantasy and reality (Corey, 2013). The goal is to recognize and change unrealistic thoughts and maladaptive beliefs (Corey, 2013). Cognitive behavior modification is changing the individuals self-verbalization and be able to pay attention to how they think, feel, and behave (Corey, 2013). Overall the focus in CBT is on the present and allowing the client to find a better way to deal with their behavior and thinking. The overall goal is to get them to realize their actions or behaviors and find a better way to deal with it.

Similarities and Differences

Each of the mentioned cognitive behavioral approaches have the basic characteristics and assumptions that are used in behavior therapy. (Corey, 2013). They are focused on strategies to get the client to realize their types of behaviors, depending on the problem, and finding a better way to deal with them. Treatment is also short term for therapy and goal oriented. Behavioral therapy focuses on observed behavors, where cognitive behavioral therapy includes many different aspects on how a person thinks, feels, and visualize things. It seems to go more in depth with different areas.

Therapy as one or seperate?

You can see the different approaches that are used for each therapy and what each focuses on. If it is something that is very specific, then it can a certain approach can be looked at through one therapy versus the other. However, with them being similar, different techniques can be included into each in order to help the individual to the full extent. Since each client is different, there is no correct way to handle each one. Different techniques from each therapy could be together. For example, in cognitive behavior therapy, you can use different relaxation training, reprocessing, or social skills training to get better results with the client.

Therapy for Procrastinators.

All of these methods could be used in the case of procrastination. I think behavior therapy would be my choice for this matter. It is something that is used in a wide range of disorders from anxiety to pain management (Corey, 2013). It would help to find out why the individual is procrastinating. Then there can be learning on ways to change this behavior, strategies, and assessments after (Corey, 2013). It is narrowed down to that particular problem and assessments can be done to see if it is improving at all.



Corey, G. (2013). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.