Behavior & Cognitive Therapy

Treatment Plans

Define Behavior and Cognitive Behavorial Therapy

Behavior Therapy: According to Kendra Cherry (2015) " type of therapy that is rooted in the principles of behaviorism, a school of thought focused on the idea that we learn from our environment. In behavioral therapy, the goal is to reinforce desirable behaviors and eliminate unwanted or maladaptive ones. The techniques used in this type of treatment are based on the theories of classical conditioning and operant conditioning. It is treatment aimed towards altering self-destructing behavior and helping a client to cope with difficult circumstances."

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: According National Alliance on Mental Illness (2015) "to a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders. It is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors."

Behavior Therapy & Cognitive Behavior Goals

Goal for Behavior Therapy:

1. According to Kendra Cherry (2015) the goal is to teach clients new behaviors to minimize or eliminate the issue."
2. To increase participation in positive behavior

Goal for Cognitive Behavior Therapy:

1. According to Beck University (2015) "help individuals achieve a remission of their disorder and to prevent relapse."
2. Aid individuals in solving their real-life problems and teaching them to modify their distorted thinking, dysfunctional behavior, and distressing affect.
3. Teach clients how to cope with difficult life situations

Using Behavior and Cognitive Behaviorial Techniques in Treatment

Using Behavior and Cognitive Behavioral Techniques Together:

A therapist can use the behavioral therapy technique by reinforcing positive behaviors and discouraging negative behaviors. A therapist can teach their client how to recognize negative behaviors and how to alter or rid their lives of these destructive behaviors. Within the same treatment a therapist can implement the cognitive behavioral technique by uncovering the thoughts and emotions that stimulate the negative behaviors.

Using Behavioral Therapy:

A therapist can use behavioral therapy by implementing classical and operant conditioning. In order to use classical and operant conditioning, a therapist must continuously pair a natural stimulant with an unconditioned stimulus. By continuously pairing these two stimulants a therapist will help the client develop a conditioned response. As it relates to behavioral change, a therapist would pair a negative behavioral trait with a neutral environment or behavioral trait. The continuous pairing of these two things will prompt a conditioned response that would rid the client of their negative behavioral traits. As it relates to operant conditioning, the therapist would provide a positive or negative reinforce to discourage or to encourage a behavioral trait. Both of these methods would encourage behavioral change.

Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

The key to using cognitive behavioral therapy is to make sure that the steps to address the emotions and thoughts that are behind negative behavior patterns and to take steps that lead to developing new behavioral patterns. The first step in therapy is to locate why a client behaves in that manner. After locating the reason behind a behavioral trait, find what negative behavior does the client resort to that hinders positive behavior. The third step would be for the client to find opportunities in their life to implement positive behavior that substitutes the negative behavioral patterns.

Behavior and Cognitive Behavioral Similarities and Differences

Similarities According to Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (2015)

1. The therapist and client work together with a mutual understanding that the therapist has theoretical and technical expertise, but the client is the expert on him- or herself.

2. The therapist seeks to help the client discover that he/she is powerful and capable of choosing positive thoughts and behaviors.

3. Treatment is often short-term. Clients actively participate in treatment in and out of session. Homework assignments often are included in therapy. The skills that are taught in these therapies require practice.

4. Treatment is goal-oriented to resolve present-day problems. Therapy involves working step-by-step to achieve goals.

5. The therapist and client develop goals for therapy together, and track progress toward goals throughout the course of treatment.

Differences According to Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (2015)

Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on how thoughts emotions, and behaviors are connected and affect one another to develop negative behavioral patterns.

Behavioral therapy focuses on how some thoughts or behaviors may accidentally get "rewarded" within one's environment, contributing to an increase in the frequency of these thoughts and behaviors.

Behavioral therapists encourage clients to try new behaviors and not to allow negative "rewards" to dictate the ways in which they act.


Cherry, Kendra (2015) What is behavioral therapy? Retrieved on

National Alliance on Mental Illness (2015) Retrieved on

Beck Institute (2015) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Resources. Retrieved on

McLeod, Saul (2010) Behavioral Therapy. Retrieved on

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (2015) About physiological treatment. Retrieved on

Behavioral VS Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In terms of treating procrastination I would use the cognitive behavioral therapy technique. I would first guide my client in discovering the underlying reason of why they procrastinate. After finding the underlying reason behind procrastination, I would guide the client in discovering moments in their life that they choose to procrastinate rather than handling or completing the task on time. After discovering the moments where they choose procrastination over a timely response, I would guide my client in finding a new way of approaching these circumstances. I would teach them how to complete task in a timely manner and how to recognize when they are relapsing back into procrastination.
You Can Overcome Procrastination! Albert Ellis' REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Techniques