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Behaviour Modification Therapy

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Behaviour Modification Therapy

Behavior modification therapy means altering or changing how a person behaves. Behavioral modification therapy uses a theory called operant conditioning – this means finding and understanding what makes a person behave the way they do. This therapy notes down the consequences of these behaviors and teaches a person behavior modification techniques in the process.

Behavior modification therapy doesn’t focus strictly on a person’s thoughts or feelings but rather on the consequences that occur when the behavior happens. When someone has an addiction, they may continue using a drug even if it causes them pain and trouble in the long run. Behavior modification therapy looks at this closely and tries to reinforce a change in behavior through consequence.

This type of therapy uses behavior modification techniques to reinforce positive/negative behavioral reinforcement. The goal is to effectively and slowly replace negative behaviors with positive ones – which creates room for more positive outcomes and behaviors. Behavioral modification therapy is a great addition to other treatment options and can help a person change their behavior and manage better consequences.

  • Cueing: cueing is a reminder to perform a task/action at a specific time. Cues can also be negative in some cases (triggers to use again). Triggers and social cues can be especially tricky for those in recovery but with cueing a person can reduce these cravings. Cueing in behavioral modification therapy involves forcing these relapse triggers on purpose.
  • Modeling: Modeling is a simple technique that involves learning and seeing how others cope with the same situation you’re in. This gives a person a different look at how others have succeeded in sobriety and recovery. Imitating others and learning new processes can be very beneficial in recovering from drug addiction.
  • Fear Reduction and Avoidance: Fear reduction is especially useful in cases where a person is struggling with a phobia. Sometimes these phobias can end up being the cause of addiction. Whether it be social situations or other phobias, fear reduction exposes a person to what they fear. Doing this carefully and deliberately can help make these negative stimuli less impactful.
  • Satiation: Satiation is a behavioral modification technique that helps a person grow tired of undesired behavior. While this works for many cases, it is not the best option for addiction treatment because there are a lot of other factors to keep in mind during recovery.

This technique is often used with other behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and others. Behavioral modification techniques can be a great way to focus on consequences while using other behavioral therapies to improve your thoughts, behavior, and outlook.

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