WHAT ARE THE BEHAVIOUR THERAPIES?
The basic assumption of behavioural therapy is that
maladaptive behaviour is a learned way of coping with stress, and that these
learned behaviours can be unlearned and replaced with more efficient forms of
According to the behaviourists, it is not enough to simply change a person’s attitude in therapy, for even if one develops healthier mental attitudes, one’s behaviour does not necessarily change. I might develop the attitude that violence and aggression are abhorrent and counter-productive ways of dealing with stress, yet as soon as I am stressed, I might still automatically have violent outbursts.
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The behaviourist’s main aim therefore is to modify behaviour
The therapist’s technique of modifying the client’s behaviour is largely based on learning theory, such as classical and operant conditioning.
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