CBTASA-BT Behaviour Therapy

Application areas: Anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, PTSD, substance abuse, pain management, obesity.

Developed by: Thorndike, Wolpe, Lazarus, Skinner, Eysenck (from 1940)

Originating from Behaviourism, with a focus on how behaviour is learned in reaction to environmental influences.

Therapy is based on classical (associated stimuli) and operant (reinforcing factors) conditioning. Its development emerged from experimentation and empirical research.

What are 'behavioural problems'?

Behavioural problems are seen as a result of conditioning from one's environment, and are therefore 'learned'.

The essential goal is 'to increase adaptive behaviour through reinforcement and to decrease maladaptive behaviour through extinction', which is referred to as behaviour modification.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) measures environmental variables that affect learning, in view of planning behavioural change. A Functional Analysis analyses the problem in terms of stimulus, organism, response and consequences.

Techniques are based on the following principles:
• counterconditioning
• punishment
• habituation
• aspects of cognitive psychology.

Some methods employed are: contingency management (i.e. token economy and behavioural activation), precision teaching, programmed instruction, biofeedback, systematic desensitisation, relaxation therapy, virtual reality exposure, exposure and response prevention, aversion therapy, skills training, graded task assignment, modelling, etc.

Third generation CBT therapies often emphasise the principles of behaviourism in their approaches.

Resource: https://en.wikipedia.org

Beth Cooper Howell Proof reader/copy editor

Contributions by
Prof David Edwards
Dr Linda Blokland
Matthew Watkin
Edgar Tyrone
Bertus Swanepoel
Dr Shane Pienaar-Du Bruyn