What Is A Behavioral Therapist, And What Do They Do?

By: Robert Porter

Updated March 07, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault

Sometimes people will exhibit behaviors that are not desirable. Certain negative behaviors may wind up complicating your life, and it can benefit you to get rid of these behaviors by seeking out therapy. Therapists are very important when it comes to treating different mental health conditions. Certain therapists will help their patients to improve through the use of behavioral therapy.

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If you do not know much about what behavioral therapy is and what it can do, then you will benefit from taking the time to learn a bit more about it. This is a very important style of therapy that many people make use of all the time. It helps many who are suffering from severe anxiety and depression problems. This therapy is also important for treating many other conditions, so it is a good idea to try to understand what it brings to the table.

What Is Behavioral Therapy?

The behavioral therapy definition is that it is a type of therapy that seeks to identify potentially negative behaviors to change them. Some behaviors are going to be self-destructive. An example of this would be someone who has an eating disorder. If someone is anorexic and is not eating, then this is a destructive behavior that could lead to catastrophic health problems. Behavioral therapy works to help people recognize these negative behaviors so that they can change them.

Behavioral therapy is a lot different than many other forms of therapy. Many therapy styles are about psychoanalysis and making observations about the patient. Some behavioral therapists also take those approaches, but all behavioral therapy styles are going to be at least partially action-based. This is a type of therapy that is focused on changing a patient's behavior patterns to something that is going to be healthier for them in the long-term.

You also need to know that there are several different styles of behavioral therapy. These different categories will all have similarities, and some therapists may even practice multiple types of therapy. Even so, these categories are distinct from one another. Each of the different styles of behavioral therapy has a different approach that you can benefit from for different reasons.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is among the most common types of therapy that people will experience. This is a therapy type that is all about combining behavioral therapy techniques with cognitive therapy. This means that the therapy style focuses on how people's thoughts impact their actions. When a person thinks a certain way, they will tend to experience certain actions based on their moods.

Much of this therapy is about figuring out the negative thoughts that are causing problems in people's lives. For example, someone may have an extreme fear of driving. They may spend a lot of time thinking about car crashes and the potential for getting injured while driving. Eliminating these thoughts will make it possible for a patient to drive when necessary without feeling anxious.

For cognitive-behavioral therapy to work, it is important for patients to recognize that they need to change their cognition. You may not be able to control the world around you, but you can control how you are thinking about what is going on. Learning to be more positive about things can lead to you having a much happier life. You will be able to make more positive actions, and this will help to alleviate the symptoms of many mental illnesses.

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Cognitive behavioral therapists can help many patients who suffer from anxiety and depression issues. This is also a great type of therapy for people who are experiencing eating disorders. There are many other subsets and techniques within the cognitive behavioral therapy umbrella as well. This is an essential type of therapy that many people will benefit from.

Applied Behavioral Analysis, System Desensitization, And General Conditioning Therapy

Conditioning therapy is at the core of behavioral therapy. System desensitization can be used to help people who are suffering from phobias. Patients can learn to become desensitized to certain things to improve their mental health. It is possible to learn to replace your feelings of fear with ones of calm and relaxation.

This branch of behavioral therapy often involves breathing exercises. Patients will learn to control their breathing and to take their mind to a very calm place. Once the breathing and relaxation exercises have been mastered, the therapist may start to expose the patient to something that they fear. Over time, the patient should stop associating these things with fear, anxiety, or other negative emotions. It is an effective cure for many different conditions.

Applied behavior analysis allows patients to condition themselves to modify various behaviors. All of this is related because it simply makes use of the core concepts of conditioning therapy. When a patient is conditioned to change their response to certain situations or stimuli, then it can lead to positive results. This can be used to help people with fears, anger problems, anxiety, and much more.

Aversion Therapy

Aversion therapy is another type of behavioral therapy that can be useful in certain situations. Many people who are dealing with substance abuse problems will use aversion therapy to help them change their habits. The therapy involves teaching people to associate certain habits with extremely negative events in their life. If a person is addicted to drinking alcohol, then they may learn to associate the act of drinking with a very bad event from the past. This will lead to them wanting to avoid drinking altogether.

This has proven to be a very effective therapy method that can help people to change their actions. It is commonly used to treat substance abuse problems of all kinds. When combined with other treatment methods, it can be a great way to help someone maintain sobriety. This is a common therapy method that will prove to be very useful in specific situations.

How Can A Behavioral Therapist Help Me?

A behavioral therapist will be able to help you to treat various conditions. This type of therapy is most often used to help treat anxiety disorders and depression problems. People can learn to change the way that they react to certain things in life. This can lead to an improvement in attitude that will also manifest positive changes in a patient's mental health.

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People also commonly seek out behavioral therapy for anger issues and panic disorders. People who suffer from severe anger and anxiety often have triggers that set off their problems. Learning to recognize these triggers for what they are can change the way that you will react to them. Simple therapy methods like taking yourself out of the situation or learning not to lash out in anger are very effective.

Behavioral therapy can teach patients to use many coping mechanisms to help them deal with situations better. People may start distracting themselves to keep negative thoughts at bay. Some may even try to replace negative actions or thoughts with positive ones. It works excellently to help people to get over the problems that have been plaguing them.

This type of therapy is also used to treat PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, ADHD, various phobias, OCD, and so much more. Learning to change how you react to the world can have a profound impact on your life. This is a very practical therapy method, and it is going to be able to help you if you are in need. If you are having issues with your mental health, then it is highly recommended that you reach out to a behavioral therapist today.

Behavioral Therapy Online

Behavioral therapy is also available online for those who need a more convenient option. Behavioral therapies are so crucial when it comes to helping people to get over mental health struggles. Being able to take advantage of this type of therapy online is going to be great. You will be able to reach out to your therapist at any time that you feel you need help.

Simply being able to contact a behavioral therapist online is great. Knowing that they will be there for you when you are having a tough time is important. You will be able to set up therapy sessions during hours where normal therapy offices may not be open. This allows you to seek behavioral therapy on the weekends or during the evenings when you are too busy to do it at any other time.

There is no need to leave the comfort of your home if you do not want to. You can speak to a fully licensed and qualified therapist today. As soon as you are ready to reach out, you can contact the therapist to get things started. Whether you are trying to get over depression or if you need help with addiction, these therapists will be on your side. They will work hand-in-hand with you to help you meet your mental health goals.

Take the time to sign up today if you are ready. It will not take long at all to get things started, and many therapy options are available to you. You can make use of video therapy, phone therapy, text messaging therapy, or e-mail therapy. All of these options will work to your benefit, and you can start making significant changes in your life that are necessary to find happiness.


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