Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy in its broadest sense aims at changing behavior in the here and now. 

As we change our patterns of behavior, this can have a profound impact on on our mood, self-esteem, and relationships. 

Challenging behavior is often the first and easiest thing to recognize in ourselves. 

Like when we realize what we’ve been doing no longer works for us and causes more suffering than the actual problems it aims to solve. 

Can you relate?

Sometimes we just mature and evolve, and our old behaviors no longer “fit” us like they used to.

Changing your habitual behaviors is not an easy process, but the upside is it can open up a new perspective on life and allow you to see how your choices and decisions were sometimes based on good intentions but faulty premises.

Once this misunderstanding is rectified, a more healthy and empowering relationship with your past and present IS possible.

Woohoo!

At My LA Therapy, our philosophy is based on a parallel process —managing the chaos of your daily life first in order to dive deeper into emotional experiences and understand how they have shaped your choices. 

When you work with our therapists, you can expect to see a mirror held up to your personal narrative.

This mirror can take the form of questioning, caring, explaining, challenging, and helping. 

Each client requires individual care as each client’s history is as unique as their fingerprint.

Let’s be real, Behavioral Therapy is not a cure-all….

But, it can be the first step towards making long-lasting changes to your life and beginning a path of greater self-awareness, mastery, and empowered action.

And we definitely want more of that. 

It is, after all, very difficult to make big changes in our lives if we find it too difficult to modify our daily behavior. 

That’s why starting small is key.

If we can take incremental steps towards change, this will give us some flexibility in how we act and subsequently how we think.

It enables us to further question and examine our lives, and take the steps that are required for long-lasting change that will contribute to a happier and healthier future.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BEHAVIORAL THERAPY THAT CAN BE USED?

There are many different types of behavioral therapy—some of which you might have heard of and others that you probably haven’t.

Behavioral therapy in general can be used to treat common mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and even anger issues. 

It can also be applied to eating disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), issues with self-harm and substance abuse, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). 

The various types of behavioral therapy include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy, and is one of the most commonly used forms of therapy. While utilizing this approach, we will work with you to figure out how your beliefs and thoughts might influence your behavior. The goal is to figure out how to solve any current problems you might have, and change how you think and act so that it does not negatively affect you. 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy
    • This type of therapy—usually used with young children—allows our therapists to figure out what children might not be able to verbally tell us by analyzing their play. 
  • Systematic Desensitization
    • This type of therapy is usually used in order to treat fears and phobias, or things that might cause anxiety. We will first teach you breathing and relaxation techniques so that you are able to relax when you are faced with a high-anxiety situation. Then we will gradually expose you to the object/event that you are afraid of for longer and longer periods of time to your tolerance level, until you are able to overcome your fear by using the relaxation techniques. 
  • Aversion Therapy
    • The focus of this type of therapy is to associate something that you might desire (but that is unhealthy or harmful to you) with a highly unpleasant stimulus. This technique is very effective when used to treat alcoholism, substance abuse, or drug problems. For example, you might be taught to associate alcohol with a highly uncomfortable memory you might have, and by doing so, the desire to consume the alcohol will diminish, helping you overcome your struggles with alcohol.

HOW DOES BEHAVIORAL THERAPY WORK?

There are two main psychological theories that behavioral therapy is based off of: classical conditioning and operant conditioning. 

With the classical conditioning technique, neutral stimuli are paired with a stimuli that causes a natural response, eventually causing the neutral stimuli to elicit its own response. 

With the operant conditioning technique, reinforcement or punishment are used in order to increase or decrease how often a specific behavior occurs. 

These different techniques can be leveraged for powerful, long-term changes in our lives.

At My LA Therapy, our therapists will work with your individual needs and situation and create a customized approach to therapy tailor-made for your specific situation, needs, and values. 

OUR THERAPY METHODS

Therapy can improve your life by minimizing the anxiety in your life, identifying and changing underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and providing you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.

See the About Therapy page for a deeper look into this process. 

Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in addressing a wide range of psychological, mental health, and relational issues.

Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page. 

WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A BEHAVIORAL THERAPIST NOW 

If you have any questions, contact one of our behavioral therapy specialists for a free consultation any time.

RESOURCES

  1. Healthline
  2. Verywell Mind

Behavioral Therapists

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