What are the Different Types of Behavioral Therapy?

For the diverse range of mental health conditions and needs, there are many different types of behavioral therapy available. While many of these methods can be facilitated by a general mental health counselor or psychologist, some, in fact, do require the abilities of a specialist. Nonetheless, here is a sample of the wide field of behavior therapy approaches today.

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Psychoanalytic Therapy

Psychoanalytic therapy is a type of behavioral therapy, often referred to as “talk therapy”, that involves a therapist listening to a client talk and subsequently establishing a set of emotional and behavioral patterns from which to further work. Additionally, subconscious drivers are acknowledged here as much as those of conscious stature. Sigmund Freud established this field, and it is has continued to grow and strengthen in efficacy to modern times.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy typically involves a therapist working with a client to manage some specific and problematic behavior, habit, or emotion which continues to take place. An example of this could be persistent nail-biting or even anger management. Overwhelming fears and phobias are also common examples. This particular therapy approach may work well on its own, or it may require the use of additional, compounding approaches in order to make an ultimate and lasting effect on the client and their need.

Group Therapy

As its name may suggest, group therapy is all about therapy facilitation in a group setting. The most common form of this approach to behavioral therapy is family or marriage therapy, in which two or more related individuals work together in the therapy session with the therapist. This is as opposed to each singularly working in therapy on their own. The advantages of this therapy approach include direct barrier acknowledgment, face-to-face communications, quicker relational influence due to therapy, and more.

Child Therapy

Child therapy occupies its very own unique niche of the behavioral sciences world. While the term “child therapy” does not pertain to a specific therapy process, it does encompass a wide array of such individual therapy tools. One such approach here is modeling – the use of practice, visualization, and role-play to gain a better grasp of handling certain life situations. Another approach within this umbrella is play therapy – the use of play to express and communicate. Per the American Counseling Association, play therapy itself, in fact, utilizes an important and interesting truth: “play is to the child what verbalization is to the adult”.

Addiction Therapy

Addiction therapy is yet another individual and important area of behavioral therapy today. It is this specific area of therapy that addresses the needs of drug and alcohol addicts in their efforts to get better and stay that way. Those working in this role may work in in-patient, out-patient, and even sometimes home-visiting capacities. The National Institute of Drug Abuse cites a number of unique approaches in treating addiction with behavioral therapy. Some of these include motivational therapy, intervention management approaches, community reinforcement models, family therapy, the twelve-step approach, and more.

In conclusion, these therapy techniques help countless individuals suffering from any number of debilitating conditions, each and every day. As the science has grown and developed, so too has its applications. These are the basics of the many types of behavioral therapy today.