There are many therapies that are used in the treatment of psychological disorders although one stands above the rest, behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapies "focus only on changing a person's specific behavior in the present day" (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2004, pg. 146). "Research clearly indicates that the behavior of humans is best understood and ultimately managed by comprehensive strategies and techniques that consider not only what a person is doing but also why a person is demonstrating a particular behavior" (Olive, 2004, pg. 43). In order for an individual to overcome a mental disorder, they must first work on changing their behavior that is causing the psychological issues.
There are many techniques for behavior change but there are two main groups that they can be categorized into. These are techniques for extinguishing unwanted behavior and techniques for learning desirable behavior.
Systematic desensitization therapy is used on patients to "extinguish anxiety responses to stimuli and the maladaptive behavior that often accompanies anxiety" (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2004, pg.
146). In systematic desensitization therapy the client creates a hierarchy of feared stimuli. The list would range from the least feared stimuli to the most feared stimuli. To rid of the fear, the therapist would take the client through each hierarchy starting with the least feared and ask him or her to imagine the stimuli or even expose the client to the stimuli for a short period of time. Eventually the client will be able to face each feared stimuli.
Modeling is often combined with systematic desensitization therapy. This is where the client observes his or her therapist interacting with their fear and noting that the therapist is not afraid and is in no harm. Being exposed directly to the stimuli is a latter method known as vivo exposure and generally has much stronger results than the...