BT and CBT : Compare and Contrast

Basic ideas, similarities, difference and uses

Behavior Therapy: The Basics

Behavior Therapy maintains that a behavior is something that can be "operationally defined" meaning it can be observed and measured. Key concepts of BT include classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning explains how behaviors are developed through a pattern of association. Operant conditioning describes how behaviors are formed by the consequences that come after the behavior is carried out. Within the frame of operant conditioning there are reinforcers which work to increase behaviors through the addition of something valuable or elicits the avoidance of something unpleasant. Punishments work to decrease behavior through the addition of something unpleasant or the removal of something valuable. Behavior therapists educate patients on self management programs and self-directed behavior techniques that help the patient in facilitating change in their own behavior.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy:The Basics

Cognitive Behavior Therapy maintains that our perception of situations has a direct influence on our feelings. Our knowledge, thoughts, experiences and senses all play a role in our behaviors. CBT explains that mental distress is brought on by an individuals negative self talk and distorted views of self and these negative views effect behavior. Therapists using Cognitive Behavior Therapy work directly with the patient in bringing awareness to these negative thoughts while developing techniques that will illicit a better response to challenging situations.


Both therapies place great importance on the therapist building a collaborative relationship with the patient. They maintain focus on the here and now and place little emphasis on the history of the patient. BT and CBT use treatment plans to asses goals of the treatment as well as provide education on different skills that can help the patient to reach these goals.


Behavioral Therapy explains behavior as something that is observed, developed through a pattern of associations and increased or decreased in accordance with the consequence received. Cognitive Behavior Therapy explains that behavior's are not only made up of the observable but include the individuals beliefs and views of their self and environment.


CBT and BT are used for a variety of disorders including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. These therapies work through identifying the undesirable behavior, setting goals to better behavior and providing education on skills and techniques that can help in achieving these goals.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Procrastination

People who procrastinate may be avoiding situations in which they may become overwhelmed as well as feel as if they have an inability to perform. Working to understand these cognition's will help in identifying the disruptive thoughts that play a part in their tendency to avoid accomplishing tasks. It would be important to consider these factors when developing a treatment plan. Setting realistic goals that the patient is able to achieve will help develop confidence in that they will be able to perform adequately when approaching larger tasks.


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