Three Types of Behavioral Modification

The goal of behavioral modification is to help you develop new tools and strategies for developing better behavioral patterns, and to help you become more adept at learning from the results of your actions. In fact, behavioral therapists believe that other therapies are effective because they unknowingly benefit from behavioral principles.

Of course, talk is still required during behavior modification therapy. But in behavioral modification, communication of information is not the essence of the approach. In fact, the behavioral therapy approach suggests that the cognitive and psychic aspects of therapy are over-valued.

Traditional Behavioral Modification

While traditional behavioral modification is widely used in treating children with ADHD, its use in adults has become more limited since the advent of cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. Today, parents and teachers use traditional behavioral therapy for encouraging good study habits and discouraging misbehavior in children and students. Behavioral modification is most often used in a highly structured situation or environment in which rewards are used to reinforce positive behavior and consequences are used to discourage negative behavior.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps you change the way you think, feel, or act so you can improve your mood, reduce stress, or achieve other important health and life goals.

Your goals can be as specific as reducing feelings of awkwardness in a particular social setting, or as general as figuring out why your life feels meaningless and what you can do to change it. CBT is widely regarded as one of the most promising new forms of behavior modification for treating adult ADHD.

Interpersonal Therapy

Although interpersonal therapy (IPT) is similar to CBT in that it addresses present-day behavior, unlike CBT it looks at how problems with personal relationships can cause you to become depressed or make your existing depression even worse. Because IPT helps you shift the blame of depression from yourself to your disorder and the interpersonal problem, it is also helpful in alleviating feelings of blame or guilt.

Unlike other types of behavioral modification, which may last for several months, IPT is limited to between twelve and sixteen sessions. While no studies have examined the effectiveness of IPT on adults with ADHD, many therapists and patients consider it a highly useful adjunct to medication because the disorder usually causes interpersonal problems in marriages and relationships.

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