Behavioural therapy is based on methods and findings of psychological research around learning. It is assumed that most behaviours are not innate, but instead are learned in the course of life. We adopt positive habits and behaviours in thinking, feeling and acting throughout our lives. In the same way we can adopt negative attitudes that burden us.
At the beginning of behavioural therapy, the therapist and patient will jointly break down the problems requiring treatment into individual, describable behavioural patterns and habits in the behavioural analysis. Then it is worked out why the patient has adopted these disturbing behaviours or habits and why he/she has maintained them for so long.
In the further process, the psychotherapist supports the patient in reducing and eventually "unlearning" disturbing behaviours or habits, as well as "learning" new and appropriate behaviours or habits.
Behavioural therapy has developed a variety of methods for changing behaviour and habits, which are based primarily on laws and techniques that have been tested in experiments. Their aim is to bring about concrete, demonstrable changes.
The different techniques and methods of behavioural therapy are:
- Systematic desensitization, where fears are gradually approached and a reduction of fear can eventually be achieved through relaxation methods,
- Self-confidence training to reduce feelings of inferiority and inhibitions in the interpersonal area, to strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence, to improve contact and communication skills
- Self-control procedures to help the patient help themselves to break down unhelpful habits
- In vivo training for the realistic development of new behaviours and for coping with unpleasant situations through targeted training