behavior therapy

noun
variants: or behavioral therapy or behavior modification or behavioral modification

Definition of behavior therapy

: psychotherapy that is concerned with the treatment (as by desensitization or aversion therapy) of observable behaviors rather than underlying psychological processes and that applies principles of learning to substitute desirable responses and behavior patterns for undesirable ones (such as phobias or obsessions) — compare cognitive therapy

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Other Words from behavior therapy

behavior therapist or behavioral therapist noun

Examples of behavior therapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Cognitive behavior therapy offers helpful suggestions. Jelena Kecmanovic, chicagotribune.com, "It’s not just you — American adults are increasingly anxious," 19 July 2019 Her psychiatrist referred her to behavior therapy, Boylan said. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "In Men, It’s Parkinson’s. In Women, It’s Hysteria.," 23 Aug. 2019 Cognitive behavior therapy offers helpful suggestions. Jelena Kecmanovic, chicagotribune.com, "It’s not just you — American adults are increasingly anxious," 19 July 2019 Cognitive behavior therapy offers helpful suggestions. Jelena Kecmanovic, chicagotribune.com, "It’s not just you — American adults are increasingly anxious," 19 July 2019 Cognitive behavior therapy offers helpful suggestions. Jelena Kecmanovic, Washington Post, "Could our efforts to avoid anxiety only be making it worse?," 10 July 2019 Clinicians who focus on learning suggest behavior therapy. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 Selena is now undergoing dialectic behavior therapy in order to learn to cope with her triggers. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber Seen Looking Distraught After News of Selena Gomez’s Emotional Breakdown," 12 Oct. 2018 For children younger than 6, behavior therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment with medication as a last resort. Katie Parsons, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Kids' mental health: Medication and holistic options can help, experts say," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behavior therapy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of behavior therapy

1937, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2019

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The first known use of behavior therapy was in 1937

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More Definitions for behavior therapy

behavior therapy

noun
variants: or behavioral therapy or behavior modification or behavioral modification

Medical Definition of behavior therapy

: psychotherapy that is concerned with the treatment (as by desensitization or aversion therapy) of observable behaviors rather than underlying psychological processes and that applies principles of learning to substitute desirable responses and behavior patterns for undesirable ones (such as phobias or obsessions) — compare cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy

More from Merriam-Webster on behavior therapy

Nglish: Translation of behavior therapy for Spanish Speakers

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