Behaviour therapy is based on behavioural theory of learning or behaviourism. The behavioural theory posits that the acquisition of all behaviours follows a process of conditioning. In psychology, behavioural therapeutic techniques find use in the treatment of diverse human behaviours, such as alcoholism, smoking, drugs, and substance abuse. Behavioural techniques are a psychological therapy technique used for helping clients to learn and adopt new behaviours and skills. I selected behavioural theory because it is a widely used effective technique for treating diverse psychological conditions related to addiction problems. It is an effective way of helping patients to learn new behaviours that help them to manage their conditions effectively without requiring constant supervision. The therapy is thus a manageable psychological treatment technique for both the therapist and patient.
Literature indicates that behavioural psychotherapy has many beneficial effects in assisting the patient to attain full recovery (Ellen et al. 1048). The main goal of behaviour therapy is to help patients to move away from self-destructive practices associated with anxiety disorders and addiction problems. Another goal is to use the theory of classical conditioning to replace bad behaviours with good habits. Psychiatrists and psychotherapists use behavioural therapy techniques to help in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, such as addiction, depression, social phobia, bipolar disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-trauma stress disorders (PTSD) among others.
My roles as a therapist are to come up with a treatment plan following the specific condition presented by the patient. This means that as a therapist, I should be able to design tailor-made treatment plans for different individuals based on their conditions. Additionally, I should discuss with the patient regarding different coping mechanisms and activities that enhance his or her focus during treatment. Besides, I should also play an active role in patient management and be able to modify the treatment plan concerning patient responses, such as fear, anger, and pain. Nevertheless, it is important to encourage patients to think positively about their condition to encourage them to shun bad behaviours and adopt positive ones.
There are several techniques applicable to different problems. According to Ellen et al., it is important for therapists to note that many patient conditions are specific and, therefore, require the designing of specific techniques to address the problems (1049). Consider, for example, an individual presenting with an intense phobia for cats. This will require the use of flooding technique, which involves the intense and rapid exposure of patients to objects that invoke fear in them to treat phobias, anxieties, and stress-related disorders. In the example of cat fear, flooding technique may involve an extended exposure of the patient to a small friendly cat in a place where the patient cannot leave for a given duration. With repeated exposures to the cat and nothing bad happens, the fear slowly begins to die away, and eventually disappears.
For behavioural therapy techniques to work towards changing patient behaviour from bad to good habits, I would expect my clients to adopt a changed attitude, respect, and observe the treatment routine, and exert extra effort by themselves. Adopting a positive change attitude helps to boost the patient’s inner morale to acquire positive behaviour making the therapy easier for both themselves and I. Observing and respecting routine ensures that all aspects of the treatment plan are strictly observed hence achieve effectiveness. Just like in other forms of treatment, individual effort plays the most important role in patient recovery.
Ellen Driessen, Henricus L. Van, M.D., Frank J. Don, Jaap Peen, Simone Kool, Dieuwertje Westra, Mariëlle Hendriksen, Robert A. Schoevers, Pim Cuijpers, Jos W.R. Twisk, Jack J.M., & Dekker. “The efficacy of cognitive-behavioural therapy and psychodynamic therapy in the outpatient treatment of major depression: A randomized clinical trial.” The American Journal of Psychiatry, 9.170 (2013):1041-1050. Print.
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