Therapy Modality: Behavioral Therapy

As you have learned from several of your readings, choosing a therapy modality is not always an easy or straightforward process. Multiple observations and assessment methods are often employed to reach a diagnosis and then match a therapy that has been shown to be effective.

Each week, you will record specific components of the therapy modality/modalities we are learning for the week. This will help solidify your new knowledge and allow you to make correlations between therapy modalities and to which diagnoses they can be applied or when they can be utilized in practice.

Assignment Instructions

For each therapy modality you will identify the following:

Therapy criteria:

  • Identify the therapy modality by name.
  • Identify the originator (creator) of the specific modality.
  • Identify a specific diagnosis or population this modality is especially helpful with.
  • Note specific focus, emphasis, and/or goals of this modality.

Therapy modalities (define criteria for each modality): 

  • Behavioral Therapy 
  • Choice/Reality Therapy 

Use the  Portfolio Template Therapy Modalities to complete your portfolio assignments. Your information can be in a bulleted format or just a couple sentences for each criterion listed. However, you must use APA citations. You are NOT required to write this in a paper format. Turn in one document for each of this week’s topics. (However, create a file on your desktop to compile your portfolio as you move through the term. This will ensure you can have easy access once you begin clinicals and practice.)

Use the grading rubric. ALL criteria must be present to receive credit.

Therapy Modality Focus Points

Week X

Therapy Modality:


Therapy used for what DSM5 Diagnoses:

(support with APA reference)

Emphasis of Therapy Modality:

Goals of Therapy Modality:



Therapy Modality: Behavioral Therapy

Therapy Modality: Behavioral Therapy

Creator: Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner

Therapy used for what DSM-5 Diagnoses: Behavioral therapy is particularly helpful for various conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety disorders (e.g., phobias, generalized anxiety disorder)
  • Mood disorders (e.g., depression)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

(Source: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.)

Emphasis of Therapy Modality: The primary focus of behavioral therapy is to change maladaptive behaviors by identifying and modifying the environmental factors that contribute to them. It emphasizes observable behaviors and employs techniques such as reinforcement, punishment, and modeling to encourage desired behaviors and discourage undesirable ones.

Goals of Therapy Modality: The goals of behavioral therapy include:

  • Identifying target behaviors to be modified
  • Developing specific and measurable goals
  • Implementing strategies to reinforce desired behaviors
  • Utilizing systematic desensitization or exposure therapy for anxiety disorders
  • Using operant conditioning techniques such as positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, or punishment to modify behaviors
  • Teaching coping skills and relaxation techniques

Notes: Behavioral therapy is rooted in the principles of classical and operant conditioning. It is often structured, goal-oriented, and focused on present behaviors rather than past experiences.


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