What Is A Behavioral Therapist, And What Do They Do?
Sometimes people will exhibit behaviors that are not desirable. Certain negative behaviors may wind up complicating your life, and it can benefit you to address these behaviors by seeking out therapy. Therapists are very important when it comes to treating different mental health conditions. For some people, behavioral therapy can help to improve their quality of life.
If you do not know much about what behavioral Therapy is and what it can do, you may benefit from learning 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 experiencing anxiety or depression that is interfering with their daily functioning. This Therapy is also important for treating many other mental health conditions, so it is good to understand what it brings to the table.
What Is Behavioral Therapy?
Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy practiced by behavioral therapists that seeks to identify potentially harmful behaviors to change them. An example of this would be someone who has an eating disorder. If someone lives with anorexia nervosa and severely limits their caloric intake, it could lead to dangerous health problems. Behavioral Therapy works to help people recognize behaviors that are negatively impacting their lives so that they can change them.
Behavioral Therapy is significantly different from 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 will be at least partially action-based. This type of therapy focuses 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 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 behavioral therapy styles has a different approach that you can benefit from for different reasons.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (or CBT) is one of the most common types of therapy practiced by behavioral therapists. 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 experience certain actions based on their moods.
Much of this Therapy is about figuring out the negative thoughts that may be 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 of getting injured while driving. Challenging these thoughts can help an individual to better cope in situations where they need to drive.
For cognitive-behavioral therapy to be effective, individuals need to recognize that they need to change their cognition. You may not control the world around you, but you can control how you think about what is going on. Addressing unhelpful thought patterns can help alleviate the symptoms of various mental illnesses.
Cognitive-behavioral therapists can help many patients who experience anxiety or depression. This is also a great type of therapy for people who have eating disorders or substance use 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 can benefit from. It’s important to find a behavioral therapist that you trust.
Here are some popular questions about the subject:
What does behavior therapist do?
What are examples of behavioral therapy?
What is a behavioral therapist called?
What can I expect from a behavioral therapist?
What are the four types of behavior therapy?
What qualifications do I need to be a behavioural therapist?
What is the difference between psychotherapy and behavior therapy?
What are the 6 types of therapy?
What is the difference between CBT and behavioral therapy?
System Desensitization And General Conditioning Therapy / Behavioral Therapists
Conditioning therapy is at the core of Behavioral Therapy. System desensitization can be used to help people who are experiencing phobias. Patients can learn to become desensitized to certain things to improve their mental health, with the help and monitoring of a behavioral therapist. 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 lead by behavioral therapists. Patients can learn to control their breathing and to take their minds to a very calm place. Once the breathing and relaxation exercises have been mastered, the therapist may start exposing the patient to something they fear. Over time, the patient should stop associating these things with fear, anxiety, or other negative emotions.
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, it can lead to positive results. This can be used to help people with fears, anger issues, anxiety, and much more.
Aversion therapy is another type of behavioral therapy that can be useful in certain situations. Many individuals with substance use disorders use aversion therapy to help them change their habits. A behavioral therapist should lead the session with this type of therapy. This Therapy involves teaching people to associate certain habits with extremely negative events in their life. If a person is alcohol dependent, they may learn to associate 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 use disorders of all kinds. When combined with other treatment methods, it can be a great way to help someone maintain sobriety.
How Can A Behavioral Therapist Help Me?
A behavioral therapist can assist an individual in the challenges they may be facing. This type of therapy is most often used to help treat depression and anxiety disorders. People can learn to change the way that they react to certain things in life. This can improve attitudes that may also manifest positive changes in a patient's mental health.
People who experience severe anger or anxiety often have triggers that evoke a strong reaction. Learning to recognize these triggers for what they are can change how you will react to them. Simple therapy methods like taking yourself out of the situation or learning not to lash out in anger can be very effective. Behavioral therapists can help you learn how to practice these skills.
Behavioral Therapy can teach patients to use many coping mechanisms to help them deal with situations more effectively. People may start distracting themselves to keep negative thoughts at bay. Some may even try to replace negative thoughts or actions with positive ones.
This type of therapy can also treat PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, ADHD, various phobias, OCD, and so much more. Learning to change how you react to certain stressors and triggers can profoundly impact your life. If you are experiencing concerns around your mental health, consider reaching out to a behavioral therapist today.
Behavioral Therapy Online
Through BetterHelp, you can connect to a licensed behavioral therapist who can assist you in addressing your concerns. From there, you can determine what goals you want to focus on to move towards a healthier and happier life. Our behavioral therapists are available and ready to help.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about behavioral issues and the mental healthcare professionals that care for them.
What Does A Behavioral Therapist Do?
Behavioral therapists often practice cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a therapy that focuses on unhealthy behaviors and how to avoid them. These mental health counselors utilize behavioral techniques such as aversion therapy to unwanted behaviors, cognitive-behavioral play therapy, teaching coping skills and new behaviors to replace behavioral problems, and helping those with mental illness find new positive behaviors.
For example, an unwanted behavior such as nail-biting could be treated with aversion therapy by painting the nails with an unpleasant-tasting polish. More debilitating behaviors such as self-harm would have to be worked through over time with therapeutic strategies such as external stimuli and treating the underlying cause.
What Does A Behavioral Therapist Treat?
Behavioral therapists work with a variety of clients with a variety of behavioral disorders. They can also work with clients who simply want to change a behavioral approach.
You can find a cognitive behavioral therapy provider that treats mental health disorders like the following:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Panic disorders
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Substance abuse disorders
- Self-destructive behaviors
- Common mental health problems like anxiety and depression
Behavior therapy targets the behavioral patterns and maladaptive behaviors with behavioral interventions instead of focusing on the diagnosis itself. Behavior therapists believe that changing your behavior is key to changing your mental state and living a more complete life.
What Are The Behavioral Therapist Requirements?
The behavioral therapist job description is a simple one. You generally need a master’s degree in clinical psychology or behavioral psychology to be able to practice cognitive therapies professionally. Behavioral therapists earn a bachelor’s degree as well, usually in sociology or psychology.
You may want to also learn other types of behavioral therapy than just CBT. For example, exposure therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can be excellent tools to use for some clients, especially in the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder or substance abuse disorders. These types of therapies may require extra training, such as a dialectical behavioral therapy workshop.
Behavioral and cognitive therapies are one of the most common types of therapies, so you will likely find many job descriptions looking for someone with experience in these areas. Behavioral therapists work in many different settings, including online!
What Is The Difference Between Psychotherapy And Behavior Therapy?
Psychotherapy and behavioral and cognitive therapies are very similar but do have some differences. For example, a behavior therapist will likely utilize systemic desensitization and other behavioral therapies to focus on the client’s behaviors and the best ways to prevent behavioral issues.
On the other hand, in psychotherapy, the context is more focused on the inner workings of the mind and understanding how it works. Behavioral therapists work to fix problem behaviors, while psychoanalysts work to understand them.
If you’ve got a behavioral disorder or are looking to practice systematic desensitization for things like substance abuse, behavior therapists might be the best choice for you. On the other hand, a behavior therapist might not be the best choice for you if you’re looking to just talk through your feelings.