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Buttonstc's avatar

What is the primary distinction separating CBT(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) from Behavior Therapy?(please see details)

Asked by Buttonstc (27597points) February 4th, 2012 from iPhone

More specifically regarding Phobia Desensitization methodology, if you know.

Is it more a matter of semantics or terminology changing from past to present or is there some critical difference between the two?

Even if there are notable differences generally, would that necessarily apply to the narrowly defined area of a phobia.

Obviously I’ve done some reading up on CBT but unable to get a clear picture.

I’ve also noticed that CBT therapists are considerably more difficult to find simply because there are less of them.

But IF a CBT therapist is clearly superior to a garden-variety Behavioral therapist and worth the extra effort to find one, I’d definitely like to know.

But if its a distinction without a measurable difference (regarding Phobia treatment) I’d like to know that too.

You DON’T have to be a medical professional to answer my Q. If your experience has been as a patient, that’s fine too.

I don’t mind any input in the form of “my best educated guess would be….” for any part of this Q, so as long as it relates I’m willing to sprinkle lurve around madly.

Any and all positive (or even negative) experiences with this stuff welcomed. Thanks guys.

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4 Answers

JaneraSolomon's avatar

The cognitive term implies that the process enlists the intelligence of the patient in helping achieve change. Older behaviorist methods assumed a person was more like a machine, and only needed training via stimulus and response (S-R).

augustlan's avatar

In my experience, most modern therapists use a combination of strategies (including CBT – whether they specifically call themselves CBT therapists or not). The most common way to treat a phobia is with exposure therapy, and both CBT and BT can be (and are) used in the course of that. I don’t think one or the other is better, categorically. It depends on which works best for any individual person.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Buttonstc, from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists’ website, ”...the term cognitive-behavioral therapy does not exist as a distinct therapeutic technique. There are several approaches to CBT, including Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy…Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change.”

mattbrowne's avatar

Thought processes and mental patterns. Behavioral therapy could for example change your exercising habits.

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