Behavior Therapy

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By kell10jean
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Behavior therapy is a technique that was developed as a response to the psychoanalytical model and emphasized observable behaviors instead of the internal events or client history (Goldfried & Davidson, 1994). The theory is based upon the idea that behavior is learned and can subsequently be unlearned or modified. It is a theory that emphasizes examining current causes of behaviors rather than the individual’s history. The major contributors of this theory include Ivan Pa

Both strengths and weaknesses exist when examining behavior therapy from a Christian worldview. Positive reinforcement is a technique used in behavior therapy in which a reward is remitted immediately following the desired behavior, thus creating an instant gratification environment. In the Bible, rewards and incentives are viewed on a more eternal level that comes in heaven and “transcends immediate gratification or positive reinforcement of specific behaviors now (Tan 2011).” Further, we are human beings created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), and therefore we are not totally conditioned creatures, we do have some capacity to choose our behaviors freely. Behavior therapy has a strong focus on the client changing his or her own behaviors. From a Christian perspective, this can cause an over-dependence on one’s self and create “sinful self-sufficiency (Tan 2011).” Behavior therapy from a biblical perspective would emphasize seeking strength and sufficiency in Christ to bring about lasting behavioral change. Exposure therapy, used as a technique in behavior therapy, can be linked to the Bible, as John 8:32 encourages us to confront the truth in order to be set free. Finally, behavioral therapy really emphasizes scientific, empirically supported therapeutic techniques rather than a more Christ-centered, strength seeking technique that will ultimately bring about lasting…...

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