Behavioral therapy is a type of therapy aimed to break behavioral patterns that are influenced by maladaptive thoughts and feelings. This therapy encourages behavioral change by providing the tools to successfully cope with anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, and negative self-talk. For this reason, behavioral therapy can help people struggling with substance abuse as well as a wide range of mental health disorders. It’s an effective treatment that clinicians can adapt to address each person’s individual thoughts, feelings, and patterns of behavior.
What Is Behavioral Therapy?
Behavioral therapy is an overarching term for therapies that treat mental health disorders by altering negative behavioral patterns. This type of therapy views behavior under the belief that actions are a product of learned behaviors, which can be changed for the better. When used in addiction treatment, behavioral therapy techniques help guests identify unwanted and unhealthy behaviors while teaching them alternative, healthy habits to promote change.
Within behavioral therapy, therapists first review issues and situations that are occurring in the present, then hold solution-based discussions that encourage the individual to walk through the thoughts and emotions that result in undesirable behavior. By analyzing the behavior through pre- and post-perspectives and with a guest’s active participation, therapists engage in restructuring thought patterns to impact the feelings and behaviors that come after.
Our team of professionals has expertise in a wide range of treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), and exposure therapy.
Examples of Behavioral Therapy Techniques
Therapists use various behavioral therapy techniques in sessions that lead to healthy shifts in behavior. While some behavioral therapy techniques are unique to a specific modality, most are used across other forms of behavioral therapy and even other types of psychotherapy.
Common examples of behavioral therapy techniques include:
Therapeutic approaches in behavioral therapy can treat behavioral issues, mental health disorders, and substance use disorders.
As a result, behavioral therapy is effective in teaching people how to recognize the influencing factors behind their negative circumstances. It will also teach individuals how to practice new, healthy habits for a happier mindset and a more fulfilling life.
What Does Behavioral Therapy Treat?
Behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health disorders. As an evidence-based treatment, this form of therapy is proven to benefit mental health conditions and behavioral issues. While there are several approaches to behavioral therapy, all variations aim to teach individuals how to process thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors in a healthy way.
Behavioral therapy helps in the treatment of behavioral and mental disorders including:
Knowing that this therapy works to change an individual’s maladaptive behaviors, treatment that utilizes these methods reinforces positive behaviors and creates an aversion to negative behaviors. Most people who enter into therapy are seeking out help so that they may change their current situation. As a result, providing clinical guidance through the different types of behavioral therapy is effective in identifying the influencing factors behind unhealthy behaviors.
Clinicians will help you to identify and challenge maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and begin to shape new, positive thinking patterns. For example, behavioral therapy sessions can teach you how to recognize thoughts rooted in fear, anxiety, and hurt. After, you can challenge unhealthy beliefs and change the narratives that fuel negative behaviors. Those who participate in treatment with behavioral therapies will form new habits for a happier mindset and a more fulfilling life.
Therapy Types for Behavior
There are a number of different behavioral therapies that provide benefits for those wishing to change their behaviors for the better. Depending on the disorder being treated, the severity of symptoms, and the mindset of the individual seeking treatment, therapists can employ one or more modalities to bring about healing and change.
Types of behavioral therapy:
Behavioral therapies and medications can help treat people with mental illness. Support groups, family therapy, and lifestyle changes can all be beneficial in managing symptoms. Recovery from a mental health disorder takes time and patience, but it is possible.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of behavioral therapy that focuses on accepting the things they cannot control. After that, ACT helps individuals change the things in their lives that they can control. ACT suggests that psychological suffering often comes from the inability to cope with overwhelming thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In general, it teaches people new ways to relate to difficult experiences through acceptance. Rather than trying to control every aspect of life, ACT refocuses a person’s attention on things they can control. By accepting pain as part of life rather than trying to control it, people can focus on healthy forms of problem-solving.
Acceptance and commitment therapy also encourages the use of mindfulness and values-based action. For this reason, these therapeutic techniques are known to be incredibly helpful in managing anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Through this approach, guests learn how to develop psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is the ability to focus on what is important in life without fixating on negative emotions or behaviors. ACT helps people discover what matters to them, and the willingness to take action in order to live a life that is consistent with those values.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combines cognitive and behavioral methods to restructure thought patterns and teach patients about the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT works to treat a person’s current symptoms by helping them identify the problematic thoughts that influence their feelings and mood. This form of behavioral therapy also shows people how their thoughts and feelings influence their behaviors. The goal of CBT is to shift a person’s inner voice to reflect patterns of rational, positive self-talk and appropriate levels of criticism, which helps the individual cope with stressful situations. To do so, CBT focuses on helping the individual to develop problem-solving skills and the ability to identify cognitive distortions that lead to unhealthy behaviors.
Throughout CBT sessions, individuals can gain a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings, allowing them to recognize irrational thinking and make conscious changes in the way they view things. As a result, people are more likely to make more rational decisions and develop healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with difficult situations. For this reason, CBT is a powerful tool for self-improvement that combats the effects of depression, anxiety, or any other mental health struggle.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT that uses skills-based techniques to teach individuals how to manage their emotions, stay in the present moment, tolerate distress, and improve relationships. DBT skills help individuals gain a sense of self-awareness which allows them to identify their emotions and how they interact with other people. Similarly, they learn to define their personal values and develop meaningful goals.
Additionally, DBT teaches practical techniques like mindfulness and distress tolerance. These skills can be applied in everyday situations to cope with stress. The goal of DBT is to help individuals become more effective in their relationships, including the ones they have with themselves. To do so, DBT-certified counselors help people identify their emotions, take responsibility for their actions, and effectively communicate with others. As a result, DBT can help in developing healthier relationships that are based on respect and compassion.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) uses an action-based behavioral approach that teaches an individual to identify the irrational thoughts and beliefs that lead to emotional and behavioral issues. As a result, guests can actively challenge those thoughts and replace them with rational, realistic viewpoints.
In general, this form of behavioral therapy helps people modify their self-defeating behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. REBT is based on the idea that irrational thoughts lead to unhealthy emotions and behavior, while rational thinking leads to healthy emotions and behavior. Through the process of changing irrational thinking, guests can move away from self-defeating behaviors and towards healthier ones.
Exposure therapy exposes an individual to the source of their fears while incorporating behavioral techniques, such as relaxation strategies, to help them to overcome their fears of situations or other phobias. It is an effective form of therapy for individuals suffering from anxiety, PTSD, and other disorders.
Exposure therapy works by gradually introducing the patient to their fear in a safe environment. This can be done by talking about the fear or by having the person confront it directly. During exposure sessions, guests are encouraged to remain in the situation until their fear subsides. For this reason, exposure therapy is one of the most effective treatments for reducing fear and anxiety. Through safe, routine exposure to their fear, guests learn how to better manage their emotions under stress. As a result, people are able to face their fears and become less fearful in the future.
Can Behavior Change Help Addiction Recovery?
While certain details of treatment might be influenced by the particular kind of chemical dependence, the goal of recovery and the means of achieving it all focus on the cultivation of positive change. For this reason, behavioral therapy techniques focused on behavioral change can help those suffering from substance use disorders.
Behavioral therapy offers you a way to reframe your mindset and shift behavioral patterns to limit negative reactions to stressful situations. For this reason, Royal Life Centers utilizes multiple therapy approaches in the treatment of our guests.
Behavioral change in addiction treatment includes:
Treatment programs using behavioral therapy help you cope with the moment-to-moment discomforts of recovery. Additionally, our therapists collaborate with you to define your unique goals in recovery and encourage you to practice the skills in-between sessions. This practice helps you use these healthy habits within your routine and continue them in daily life following treatment. As a result, the skills developed during group activities and one-on-one therapy sessions provide you with the prevention toolbox to achieve life-long success in recovery.
Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders
Behavioral therapy for substance use disorders is beneficial for people in recovery as a stand-alone treatment and as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The use of these therapeutic methods improves an individual’s response to treatment by helping them to accept assistance. These therapies also encourage people to continue their recovery maintenance following the completion of treatment. Behavioral therapy for substance abuse offers positive strategies to promote self-awareness, inner motivation, and the creation of coping skills.
Behavioral Therapies at Royal Life Centers At Royal
At Royal Life Centers, we recognize that all of the individuals in our care are unique and need customized care. Our team of certified and licensed therapists provides individualized care to help you change and grow in behavioral therapy.
During substance abuse treatment at Royal Life Centers, our behavioral therapists provide a safe and supportive environment to explore how your thoughts and behaviors affect your daily life. As you progress through recovery, we will help you gain self-awareness, solve problems, understand triggers, and cope with life’s challenges.
We believe in helping you find your own inner motivation and develop the necessary coping skills so that you can lead a healthier, happier life. If you’re ready to take control of your life and create long-lasting change for a successful recovery from substance abuse, please reach out.
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