What Behaviors Can Behavioral Therapy Address?

Posted on: 15 October 2021

Counseling can be used for a number of different purposes, including increasing self-awareness. By contrast, behavioral therapy is a more targeted type of treatment that focuses on helping clients change behaviors that are not serving them well in their lives. Behavioral therapy can help people with mental health issues as well as those with trauma and addictions. Here are some behaviors that can be addressed through behavioral therapy:

1. Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a complex issue that is both physiological and psychological. Certain medications can help patients mediate the physical effects of withdrawal, but psychological counseling is often needed as well. Behavioral therapy can give patients the guidance and structure they need to cease drug or alcohol use. Techniques like contingency management and addiction counseling can help patients get sober and stay sober after their intensive treatment ends.

2. Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia affects some people who suffer from anxiety. This condition is marked by a fear of venturing outside of safe, familiar places. People with extreme agoraphobia may even have trouble leaving their houses due to fear. When left untreated, agoraphobia can be very limiting, impacting a person's ability to go to work or visit friends. A behavioral therapist can work with agoraphobic clients, using cognitive-behavioral therapy and gradual exposure therapy to encourage patients to go outside of their comfort zones.

3. Anger

Anger is a natural emotion that everyone experiences sometimes. However, anger can be inappropriate when expressed in negative ways. If you experience frequent rage or have trouble controlling your anger, anger management therapy can help you. In anger management therapy, people learn calming techniques that they can use when they feel themselves getting mad. Mindful breathing exercises can help people learn to pause before reacting when they feel angry. Learning to take a moment to think when you get mad can stop you from having outbursts that hurt others.

4. Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are mental illnesses that affect a person's relationship with food and their body. People with eating disorders often experience dysphoria that negatively impacts their view of their bodies. Eating disorders can cause people to severely restrict their food intake, binge-eat food, or deliberately vomit after eating. These behaviors and their underlying causes can be addressed by a behavioral health care provider. People with eating disorders can benefit from inpatient therapy where their food intake will be carefully monitored and enforced while they also partake in frequent therapy sessions.