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Behavioral Therapy

There are some psychologically based approaches that are more action oriented, directed towards changing specific types of maladaptive behavior, & that usually follow a carefully laid out plan for strengthening or weakening target responses. Behavior therapy uses techniques based on operant & classical conditioning in ana effort to change maladaptive behavior. The pic attached lista the basic assumptions of behavior therpy. The operator techniques used in behavior therapy led to an approach referred to as Behavior Modification. The classical condition ing approach results in a variety of desensitization technique used to reduce people's fear of specific situations or particular objects.


Behavior modification refers to an application of operant learning principles to bring about a specific change in behavior. Although behavior modification originated as a technique based on operant conditioning, combination of behavioral & cognitive are now the most commonly used techniques in programs for behavioral change. Operant conditioning methods use schedules of reinforcement & shaping to gradually achieve a desired response. Special prompts might be employed to highlight a situation that calls for a particular response. Fading refers to gradual elimination of these special cues when they are no longer needed.




Positive reinforcers are used to strengthen desired responses. The Token Economy method is one of the most common applications of operant principles to modify maladaptive behavior. In a token economy, patients are given reward tokens, such as poker chips, for socially constructive behaviors. The tokens can later be exchanged for desirable items or activities. Extinction procedures & punishments might be used to eliminate undesirable responses. When punishment is employed to eliminate a response, it's a good idea to positively reinforce an alternative, more desirable, responses at the same time.


Biofeedback is an application of behavior therapy in which the individual is reinforced whenever a designated change in bodily functioning takes place. Through biofeedback, the individual becomes better able to control internal processes, such as body temperature & heart rate, that are related to maladaptation. Behavior therapy has made important contributions by emphasizing the need of fine grained analysis of how individuals react to specific life situations. It has also shown the value of a skill training orientation to therapy, & of specifying therapy outcomes especially relevant for individual patients.


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