Behavioral therapy! You might have heard about this particular type of treatment, but do you know what it actually is?
In case you are suffering from substance abuse or mental illness, your doctor might have advised you to opt for behavioral therapy. However, before opting for any particular treatment program, gathering some knowledge about the particular treatment is mandatory.
This is why we have curated this article with all the necessary information about behavioral therapy. We are starting the discussion by giving you a brief understanding of what behavioral therapy is, and gradually we will head towards its types and benefits as well.
So, let’s start.
What Is Behavioral Therapy?
It is a particular therapy that is used for treating mental health disorders. Along with identifying potentially unhealthy and self-destructive behavior, this specific form of therapy also helps an individual to change all these.
The main concept behind this therapy is that all behaviors are learned, and thus they also can be changed. This treatment mostly focuses on the current problems and the process of changing them.
Behavioral Therapy Is Effective For
People suffering from a wide range of disorders can benefit from behavioral therapy. In most cases, for treating the following issues, people commonly opt for behavioral therapy.
- Anger issues.
- Panic disorder.
Apart from the above-mentioned ones, behavioral therapy is also effective for treating some other disorders.
- PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Eating disorder.
- OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Substance abuse.
- Phobias, like social phobias.
- Self-harm. Bipolar disorder.
Different Types Of Behavioral Therapy
The list of different types of behavioral therapies is pretty long. Here we are discussing some of the major behavioral therapies. When you know the different types of options you have, it will be easier for you to pick one for coping with your issues.
Type 1: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
It is one of the most popular behavioral therapies. Basically, it is a combination of behavioral therapy with cognitive therapy. This particular treatment is focused on how the beliefs and thoughts of an individual can influence their moods and actions.
The cognitive behavioral therapy mostly focuses on the individual’s current problems along with how to solve them. Changing the individual’s thinking and also behavioral patterns to some healthier ones are the long-term goals of this therapy.
Type 2: Aversion Therapy
In order to treat problems like alcoholism and other substance abuse, often aversion therapy is used. Here, individuals who are associated with a desirable but unhealthy stimulus are taught to become associated with an extremely unpleasant stimulus.
The particular unpleasant stimulus might be something that actually causes discomfort. For example, the therapist might teach you to associate alcohol or any other handful of substances with an unpleasant memory.
Type 3: System Desensitization
Classical conditioning is the center of system desensitization. For treating different types of phobia, this particular behavioral therapy is often used. With relaxation responses, individuals are thought to replace a fear response to a particular phobia.
Here, the treatment starts with teaching the individual breathing and relaxation techniques. After mastering those techniques, the therapist slowly exposes them to their respective fear in heightened doses. It is done while they are practicing their techniques.
Benefits Of Behavioral Therapy
We have developed an understanding of what behavioral therapy is, the issues it can treat, and also the different types it has. Now it is time to look at the benefits of behavioral therapy.
Benefit 1: Support
The most prominent benefit of behavioral therapy is that it offers a complete support network for those individuals who are recovering from any mental disorder.
As this particular therapy is action-based, individuals know that they really have someone to turn to while they are working through their respective problems.
When all those patients get to know that someone is interested in them and also their recovery, it allows them to work towards changing their negative behaviors.
Benefit 2: Relapse Prevention
Individuals who are suffering from substance abuse or mental disorder often relapse. In order to prevent relapse, behavioral therapies often help the patients with tools.
As the patients learn to identify their respective problems along with learning coping methods, they become able to recognize the particular thought patterns they are required to avoid.
Benefit 3: Create Positive Thoughts
Several mental disorders take over the life of patients with negative thought patterns. With many patients, negative thinking becomes automatic.
Here, cognitive behavioral therapy teaches those suffering individuals how they can turn negative thoughts into positive, realistic thoughts.
Benefit 4: Better Communication Skill
When an individual is suffering from addiction, social anxiety, and depression, maintaining relationships becomes really challenging.
In this scenario, behavioral therapy lets those individuals learn how to communicate their feelings to others by feeling shame and becoming angry.
Benefit 5: Anger Management
People suffering from mental illness often find it difficult to control their anger. Individuals feel shame and guilt, and eventually, all these feelings turn into immense anger at the world. Behavioral therapy addresses all those underlying issues, letting the emotions become overwhelming.
During behavioral therapy, teachers teach the patients different types of methods in order to help them control their emotional responses. This therapy also helps them in recognizing the major reasons behind the anger.
Benefit 6: Raises Self-Esteem
For a lot of people, low self-esteem acts as the root of their disorder. By focusing on the specific problems and working towards them, behavioral therapy allows all those patients to work towards proper solutions.
With time and during behavioral therapy, patients find the answers, and they start to develop belief in themselves that they are capable of conquering the disorder. That is why behavioral therapies are also a major part of addiction recovery treatment as well.
We believe after reading this article, you have developed a complete understanding of behavioral therapy. Still, when it comes to mental illness, substance abuse, and their treatments, most of us do not have any proper knowledge or understanding.
Therefore, if you have any further doubts or queries, feel free to ask us. We will try to come up with a solution as soon as possible.