Personality – Behavioral Approach Essay

One approach in psychotherapy is the behavioral approach. The behavioral approach is one that focuses on methods intended for reinforcing wanted and eliminating unwanted behaviors. The behavioral approach is one that looks at the behavior rather than the underlying issue. Behavior therapy breaks down into two parts, a smaller defined idea of behavior therapy and behavior changes. Behavior therapy generally treats issues with Pavlovian or respondent conditioning, while behavior modification makes use of operant conditioning.

One assumption of this approach is that behavior therapy more often than not works specifically with maladaptive behavior, rather than an underlying cause. Behaviorism does not acknowledge that causative issues exist. Behavior therapy says that unwanted behaviors are learned. This kind of therapy works with the right now, rather than past issues. With behavioral therapists, treatment is relative to the issues of the client. During this time there will be clear defined goals from treatment. Behavioral therapy can address issues such as phobias, anxiety disorders, and pic disorders.

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A process of desensitization and exposure and response prevention came from respondent condition and has been researched a lot. The heart of behavioral therapy is functional analysis. One method to test this is a procedure known as the behavior avoidance test in which a therapist will see how long a person can stand an anxiety inducing stimulant. This kind of test falls under the exposure methods. The therapist will monitor this on a continuing basis with the client. It can also be applied to those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Some argue that this type of therapy is not affective for those who have depression, obsessive compulsion disorder, and ADHD. However, there have been studies to prove that under the right conditions behavior therapy can be beneficial for those with OCD. Another area of interest is the third generation behavior therapy. It is more towards radical behaviorism. It studies more closely verbal behavior. Acceptance and commitment therapy is considered the most researched in the therapy models. The acceptance and commitment therapy is based on relational frame therapy.

There has been research done for over 40 years to support the idea that in- session reinforcement can lead positive changes. Behavior therapies are considered data driven. They are also thought to be contextual and viewed behavior can be shown as statistically predictable. Behaviorism treats the person as a unit and analysis the bidirectional interaction. It is also functional because it wants to know the effect or consequences that behavior has. Behavior therapy allows for programs for clients to help deal with the issues that arise, and provides for behavioral intervention to lead a successful life.

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