Psychotherapy - About Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy is focused on helping an individual understand how changing their behavior can lead to changes in how they are feeling. The goal of behavior therapy is usually focused on increasing the person’s engagement in positive or socially reinforcing activities. Behavior therapy is a structured approach that carefully measures what the person is doing and then seeks to increase chances for positive experience.
Common Behavior Therapy techniques include:

Self-Monitoring — This is the first stage of treatment. The person is asked to keep a detailed log of all of their activities during the day. By examining the list at the next session, the therapist can see exactly what the person is doing.

Example — You've being seen for depression, returns with your self-monitoring list for the past week. Your therapist notices that it consists of you going to work in the morning, returning home at 5:30 p.m. and watching television uninterrupted until 11 p.m. and then going to bed.

Schedule of Weekly Activities — This is where the patient and therapist work together to develop new activities that will provide the patient with chances for positive experience.

Example — Looking at your self-monitoring sheet, You and your therapist determine that watching so much television alone gives little opportunity for positive social interaction. Therefore, you decide that you will have dinner out with a friend once a week after work and join a bowling league.

Role Playing — This is used to help the person develop new skills and anticipate issues that may come up in social interactions.

Example — One of the reasons that you stays home alone so much is that you are shy around people. You do not know how to start a conversation with strangers. You and your therapist work on this by practicing with each other on how to start a conversation.

Behavior Modification — In this technique the patient will receive a reward for engaging in positive behavior.

Example — You wants a new fishing rod. You and your therapist set up a behavior modification contract where he will reward yourself with a new fishing rod when he reduces his TV watching to one hour a day and becomes involved in three new activities.

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