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Benefits of Behavioral Therapy

Two men discussing the benefits of behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is an umbrella term, underneath which is a broad range of therapeutic techniques used to change maladaptive behaviors. The goal of all behavioral therapy — such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) — is to reinforce positive behaviors and eliminate undesirable ones.

All types of behavioral therapy are rooted in the principles of behaviorism, which is a school of thought focused on the idea that people learn from their environment. Unlike forms of therapy rooted in insight — such as psychoanalytic therapy — behavioral therapy is action-based and highly focused.

Searching for a way to experience the benefits of behavioral therapy in Panama City Beach, Florida? Reach out to Recovery Bay Center today. You can call 833.991.2955 or contact our team online.

What Are the Types of Behavioral Therapy?

There are several types of behavioral therapy, but only some are commonly used in addiction counseling. Types of behavioral therapy include the following:

  • Applied behavior analysis (ABA): Also called behavioral engineering, ABA uses operant conditioning to modify and shape problematic behaviors.
  • CBT: This type of behavioral therapy actually relies on behavioral techniques, although it also adds a cognitive element. CBT focuses on the problematic thoughts behind behaviors. It’s often used in addiction treatment programs.
  • Cognitive behavioral play therapy (CBPT): This is a developmentally appropriate intervention designed specifically for young children. CBPT utilizes play to assess, prevent, or treat psychosocial challenges.
  • DBT: This is a form of CBT that’s also often used in addiction treatment. DBT utilizes both behavioral and cognitive techniques to help people learn how to cope with distress, improve interpersonal relationships, and manage emotions.
  • Exposure therapy: This type of behavioral therapy also utilizes behavioral techniques to help clients overcome their fears of situations or objects. This approach incorporates techniques that expose clients to the source of their fears while practicing relaxation strategies. It’s often used in treating specific phobias and other forms of anxiety.
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT): This therapeutic intervention focuses on identifying negative or destructive thoughts and feelings. Clients then actively challenge those thoughts and feelings, replacing them with more rational and realistic ones.
  • Social learning theory: This type of behavioral therapy focuses on how people learn through observation and change their behaviors.

What Are the Benefits of Behavioral Therapy in Addiction Counseling?

As mentioned earlier, the main goal of behavioral therapy is to reinforce desirable behaviors and eliminate negative ones. In terms of addiction, the positive behavior is remaining sober while the unwanted behavior is relapsing. However, behavioral therapy techniques often go beyond simply amending behaviors — they also teach clients how to handle stressful life situations, which contributes a lot to living an abstinent life.

Furthermore, clients learn to observe environmental cues that may trigger unwanted behaviors. Successfully identifying triggers can help prevent relapsing. However, clients first have to learn what their triggers are and how to deal with them.

Behavioral approaches help to engage clients during their time in addiction treatment programs. They provide incentives for clients to remain sober, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to addiction. Such approaches also increase their life skills in order to handle stressful circumstances and environmental cues that may trigger an intense craving for addictive substances.

For example, CBT can be beneficial for those struggling with addiction because its sessions can help clients in:

  • Learning to identify self-destructive behaviors, emotions, and thoughts
  • Finding ways to monitor negative patterns of action, emotion, and thinking
  • Learning new and more adaptive ways of behaving, feeling, and thinking
  • Applying new skills in new situations and settings
  • Exploring new ways to handle stress and other difficulties

When Should You Consider a Behavioral Therapy Program?

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, a behavioral therapy program may be ideal to help overcome the situation. In fact, most professional addiction treatment programs include behavioral therapy as one of their components. Sessions may be one-on-one, with a group, or with family.

You often won’t need to consider whether or not a behavioral therapy program is ideal for your case. It’s often already included in any treatment plan that’s recommended by a rehab facility’s medical team.

Ready To Learn More About Recovery Bay Center’s Behavioral Therapy Programs?

If you’re looking for a way to experience the benefits of behavioral therapy in Panama City Beach, Florida, contact Recovery Bay Center today. You can call 833.991.2955 or reach out to our team online.