Behavior Therapists

Specializing in Pediatrics

(973) 921-0900

Social Skills Groups

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Behavior Therapy

Behavioral therapy generally is of shorter duration and less expensive to administer than most other therapies. Behavior therapy changes behavior(s) without worrying about a person's inner conflicts; it strives to unlearn problem behaviors and teach new, more adaptive behaviors. This therapy is usually used as a treatment for phobias, separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and oppositional defiant problems.

Behavior Therapy Techniques

Positive Reinforcement: The child is given a reward when he or she does the desired behavior (e.g., attending to a task, facing a fear), or refrains from showing an undesirable behavior (e.g., aggression, temper outbursts, etc.).

Response Cost: Commonly, the response cost technique is combined with a positive reinforcement system, so that appropriate behaviors are "rewarded," while negative behaviors are penalized, all using the same system. The rewards and "punishments" are put into points (stickers, stars, smiley faces, etc.), called a "token economy system."

Relaxation Training: Relaxation will inhibit anxiety. Relaxation is usually achieved through training the person in progressive relaxation, or thinking of pleasant or relaxing mental images.

Participant Modeling: The child learns new behavior (new ways to deal with a situation) by watching someone else approach the feared object or situation and by observing how that person interacts or reacts with the anxiety-inducing object/situation.