Behavior therapy involves changing the behavior of the patients to reduce the dysfunction and to improve the quality of life.
The principles of behavior therapy are based on the early studies of Classical conditioning by Pavlov (1927) and operant conditioning by Skinner (1938).
Classical conditioning is the learning of involuntary responses by pairing a stimulus that normally causes a particular response with a new, neutral stimulus after enough parings, the new stimulus will also cause the response to occur.
Through classical conditioning ‘the old and undesirable responses can be replaced by the desirable ones.
There are several techniques that have been developed using this type of learning to treat the disorders such as
phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, and similar anxiety disorder.
1. SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION
Developed by Wolpe and is based on the behavior principle of counter conditioning for assisting the individuals to overcome their fear of phobic stimulus.
Systematic desensitization is a behavioral therapy technique where by a person overcomes the maladaptive anxiety elicited by a situation or an object by approaching the feared situation gradually, in a psycho physiological state that inhibits the anxiety.
The technique of systematic desensitization in which a therapist guides the client through a series of steps meant to reduce the fear and anxiety
Systematic desensitization indicated in the cases of clearly identifiable anxiety provoking stimulus, such as: