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

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 Dozens of studies confirm that another effective treatment for addiction is cognitive-behavior therapy, which teaches people to resist unwanted thoughts and habits. Ferris Jabr, Scientific American, "How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling," 14 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

20 Nov 2018

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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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