Behavior Therapy (Education)

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  • An action-oriented therapy aimed at changing maladaptive behavior through application of behavioral learning theory principles and procedures. Behavior therapy focuses on modifying the factors that influence maladaptive beha vior, and clients are expected to take an active role in solving their problems (i.e., in changing their behavior). There are several types of behavioral therapies based on the theories of classical and operant conditioning, including principles such as systematic desensitization, classical extinction, reinforcement, and punishment.

    Classical conditioning, first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov, shows that behaviors can be elicited in response to specific stimuli and new stimuli can be conditioned to produce the desired responses. For example, when a neutral stimulus is repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus (which produces a natural response), the neutral stimulus slowly becomes ...

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