Behavior therapy, in general, may be carried out in various forms or techniques. First, there is the aversion technique. The aversion technique is implemented by affecting the physical actions and behaviors of individuals for the purpose of controlling the manifestations of unwanted actions or behaviors. This is similar to the operant and classical theories of conditioning presented by Burrhus Skinner and Ivan Pavlov respectively, wherein behavior is controlled and manipulated by utilizing stimulus that will allow responses from individuals.
A general example would be the utilization of the reward-punishment system during the process of therapy. The actions and behavior of individuals are either rewarded or punished according to the desirability or undesirability of such actions. This process is expected by mental health professionals to influence the overall of behavior of individuals in favor of the elimination of characters or traits that resemble anxiety disorders.
(Erwin, 1978) Other more progressive types of behavior therapy include modeling and training. Modern types of behavior therapy look into the possibility of approaching the control of anxiety disorder through discipline. The purpose of modern types of behavior therapy techniques is to decrease or weaken the familiarity of individuals or the frequency of the occurrence of manifestations and symptoms of anxiety disorders. (Sheldon, 1995)
As opposed to behavior therapy, cognitive therapy is more concerned with the study of how the brain or mental processes of individuals work in order to arrive at various resolutions that will address anxiety disorders, and other psychological or psychiatric dysfunctions for that matter. The foundations of cognitive therapy acknowledge that psychological or psychiatric problems, particularly anxiety disorders, are caused by malfunctions or maladies on how individuals think in terms of brain functioning.
The evaluation or assessment process involves the necessity of the patients to answer questions that will lead to the expression of one’s thoughts when applied to various established situations. The results of the evaluation or assessment of the cognitive state of individuals are expected to assist mental health professionals in determining how the mental processes of patients will be modified in order to eliminate the occurrence of excessive anxiety.
(Beck, 1995) The similarity between behavior therapy and cognitive therapy is that both kinds of therapy seek to modify the causes and means by which they symptoms of excessive anxiety manifest. In addition, mental health professionals believe in their most pressing role and responsibility in facilitating cognitive or behavioral changes and that their involvement will help their patients realize the sources or reasons for their worries or anxieties.
In addition, both kinds of therapies seem to be patient-centered such that they focus on the entire well-being of the individual by focusing on how to bring about lingering change that is naturally driven. The main difference between these two kinds of therapies, however, is that cognitive therapy seeks to straighten out the source of anxiety disorders – that is the dysfunctions of the brain or mental processes – while behavior therapy seeks to lessen how anxiety is manifested – that is, through the actions and behaviors of patients.
Evaluating the efficiency of these two therapies, I believe that combining the two therapies – cognitive-behavioral therapy – will be most beneficial in addressing psychological or psychiatric problems such as anxiety disorders. Although these two kinds of therapies, when taken individually, seem to be effective enough in solving anxiety disorders since they focus on natural and innate changes, adapting cognitive-behavioral therapy would strengthen the effects or influences of the therapy process.
This is because the source of anxiety, as well as the means by which anxiety is manifested, is both addressed at one time. In addition, encouraging patients to make major changes in their lives, as opposed to relying on medications, and other temporary solutions, will impact permanent resolutions, improvements, and recovery from psychological and psychiatric conditions.
“Anxiety Disorders. ” (2000). Retrieved December 20, 2008, from Duke University. Website: http://psychiatry. mc. duke. edu/CMRIS/ED/Anxiety%20Disorders. pdf Beck, J. S. (1995). Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond.
New York, NY: Guilford Press. Erwin. E. (1978). Behavior Therapy: Scientific, Philosophical, and Moral Foundations. CUP Archive. NIMH. (2008a). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved December 20, 2008, from The National Institute of Mental Health. Website: http://www. nimh. nih. gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index. shtml NIMH. (2008b). How to Get Help for Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved December 20, 2008, from The National Institute of Mental Health. Website: http://www. nimh. nih. gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/how-to-get-help-for-anxiety-disorders. shtml