Compare and Contrast

Behavior Therapy vs. Cognitive Behavior Therapy

The Similarities

Behavior Therapy is therapy that is based on the belief that all behavior whether it is normal or abnormal, is learned and the goal of this therapy is to teach people new and more desirable ways of behaving. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a therapy that is based on the belief that what people believe is what influences how they act and feel. Both are similar in that they are behavior modification techniques that change thoughts to modify behaviors. They differ in that one focuses on learned behaviors and the other focuses on a person having actions due to their beliefs.

The Goals and Desired Outcomes

Behavior therapy focuses on replacing a person's undesired behavior with one that is a better behavior. This behavior can be changed in several ways but one of the better ways is by implementing a reward system of some sort. Every time, the client shows a desired behavior they could be given a token. Periodically the tokens can be turned in for something that they enjoy. With this type of reward system there also needs to be a punishment system in place for when the person displays undesired behaviors. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is an area of behavior therapy and with this method of therapy that the counselor attempts to change how a person thinks in order to modify the undesired behaviors. The common goal between the two is to eliminate certain behaviors while at the same time potentially replacing these behaviors with more desirable ones if necessary.
Behavior therapy would probably be the best method for helping a client that has a problem with procrastination since it focuses on the behavior itself. This would open so many doors for different types of behavior therapies to help to change the behavior. A self management program might prove to be the best method since it would allow the client to play a large part in the success of their therapy. It would also be helpful if they had a behavioral diary to determine if there were certain things that they procrastinated at more than others. This would help to get to the bottom of why the client felt that they had to wait to the last minute to get things done. Maybe this behavior is something that is partially out of their control due to a scheduling conflict or something of that nature. It could also point to other underlying issues that the client may be having such as depression. Maybe the client is waiting until the last minute to do things because they feel hopeless and have to work up the strength to get something done. A behavioral diary can be a great tool if you can get the client on board to actually do it.