Behaviour therapy

clinical psychotherapy that uses techniques derived from behaviorism or cognitive psychology, aiming for treatment outcomes that are objectively measurable

Behaviour therapy is used for a number of methods of psychotherapy.[1] Ivan Pavlov found that it is possible to "learn" how to react to a stimulus. His method is known as classical conditioning today. Behaviour therapy tries to use this knowledge to change the behaviour of people. In that way, people "learn" how to cope with their fears, for example. In a similar manner, people can be helped to cope with a number of mental disorders. One well known kind of behaviour therapy is exposure therapy: People with fears are "exposed" to them, and learn how to cope. As an example, someone who is afraid of spiders will be exposed to spiders.

Behaviour therapy can change the behaviour by exposing people to the things they fear, for example a spider.

Types of behavioural therapyEdit

There are a number of different types of behavioural therapy. The type of therapy used can depend on a variety of factors, including the condition being treated and the severity of the person's symptoms.

  • Applied behaviour analysis uses operant conditioning to shape and modify problematic behaviours.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) relies on behavioural techniques, but adds a cognitive element, focusing on the problematic thoughts behind behaviours.[2]
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT that utilizes both behavioural and cognitive techniques to help people learn to manage their emotions, cope with distress, and improve interpersonal relationships.
  • Aversion therapy is often used to treat problems such as substance abuse and alcoholism.


  1. "Behavioral Therapy: Definition, Types, and effectiveness". Healthline. 2016-11-14. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  2. "What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)". Drug Rehab Options. Retrieved 2021-09-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)