How is behavior therapy different from traditional therapy?
Behavior therapy is not traditional psychotherapy, where you might spend your session talking to a therapist about your feelings or where a child might spend the session engaged in play activities. Just like in traditional therapy, understanding feelings and making things fun are both critically important to behavior therapists - but not in the way that you might expect! The first task of behavior analysis is to listen to your concerns and help you identify the behavior change that you would like to see in your child. Then, your behavior therapist will craft an intervention plan that research suggests will be both effective and "fun" (or at least desirable) to the child. Interventions recommended by behavior therapists (or analysts) involve changing the environment - including what happens to reinforce (or increase) the behavior, and what happens to "punish" (or diminish) the behavior. Behavior therapy relies upon research-validated techniques to teach the critical skills necessary to accomplish behavior change, for everything ranging from teaching an autistic child to talk to teaching an aggressive child to use anger management strategies.