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Behavior Therapy to Promote Helping, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1080

Essay

The ability to help others in their time of need or on a routine basis requires a greater understanding of the behavioral attributes which may or may not contribute to these processes, and how to best overcome different challenges in support of these efforts. When a person offers help to others, it is a likely result of different values and beliefs that enable them to participate in these efforts in different ways. Nonetheless, it is important to address potential perspectives which are instrumental in shaping outcomes for individuals who wish to better understand why they behave in different ways. Therefore, the adoption of behavioral therapies is an important step for many individuals to take to identify and evaluate behaviors and the reasons behind specific actions. The following discussion will address behavioral therapy and its impact on helping behaviors, and will also consider individual perspectives regarding helping and how it supports the overall human condition.

In evaluating helping behaviors, I believe that there are many reasons why people choose to help each other under different circumstances. Helping others is based upon a combination of factors, including but not limited to childhood upbringing, family life, morals, values, and other influences. Each of these factors plays a contributing role in shaping outcomes, and in reflecting upon the different challenges that may limit or even prohibit individuals from helping others for a variety of reasons. Therefore, I believe that there is some real benefit for individuals to participate in behavioral therapy in an effort to determine why they behave in certain ways, what triggers those behaviors, and how to best overcome the associated challenges to ensure that they are able to be successful in providing help to others.

In exploring behavioral therapies in greater detail, it is important to recognize the primary characteristics of the relationships that evolve between clients and their patients, and how these relationships are beneficial in supporting different outcomes. In general, “The goal of behavior therapy is usually focused on increasing the person’s engagement in positive or socially reinforcing activities. Behavior therapy is a structured approach that carefully measures what the person is doing and then seeks to increase chances for positive experience” (Herkov, 2011). Under these circumstances, professional therapists work with clients to determine the primary focus of the therapeutic sessions, their key objectives, and how to best achieve said objectives to facilitate a mutually beneficial experience for both parties (Herkov, 2011). During these sessions, it is likely that the therapist will begin to recognize patterns of behavior, both positive and negative, which are likely to impact a client’s wellbeing in different ways. Therefore, it is important to determine how to work through problematic issues or concerns in an effort to improve behavioral outcomes, and to promote change as required (Herkov, 2011). Therefore, the first step that is encouraged in establishing a therapist-client relationship geared towards behavioral identification is known as self-monitoring, which is a framework which enables a client to track specific actions and behaviors to identify recognizable patterns (Herkov, 2011). In some therapist-client relationships, it is also important to partake in what is known as role playing, which “is used to help the person develop new skills and anticipate issues that may come up in social interactions” (Herkov, 2011). Under these conditions, it is likely that the therapist will begin to recognize what may or may not serve as triggers for clients who are inclined to provide help to others, versus those who do not provide help and support on a regular basis (Herkov, 2011).

In establishing an effective approach to behavioral therapy, the therapist must work collaboratively with the client in such a way that there is a strong level of comfort and support within the interaction, which positively impacts the relationship between the two parties, and also benefits the objectives (Maultsby and Wirga, 1998). One strategy to consider is that of conditioning, which may be used within the behavioral therapy framework as a means of promoting responses to different stimuli to determine how an individual might behave within a given situation (Maultsby and Wirga, 1998). These efforts will also support the different domains of helping behaviors which may or may not exist within the client base, depending upon how they respond to different stimuli and other indicators (Maultsby and Wirga, 1998). It is expected that under a variety of conditions, helping others is a natural instinct which does not require significant thought or analysis, while in other cases, helping might not be so easily initiated (Maultsby and Wirga, 1998). It is expected that helping in these latter cases is prohibited by any number of factors, and therefore, therapeutic interventions are likely to be helpful in determining why these behaviors are not innate or instinctive (Maultsby and Wirga, 1998).

In exploring the behavioral therapy model further, it is likely that there will be a number of challenging approaches that will determine when helping behaviors will occur without effort, versus those situations where these behaviors are forced or altogether absent. Therefore, this strategic approach is likely to be effective in enabling clients to recognize how their actions impact others, and what changes might be required to improve their behaviors and related outcomes accordingly. From a multicultural perspective, behavioral therapy does not discriminate, and is likely to benefit individuals from all races and cultures in different yet positive ways. There are many different methods to consider when addressing these challenges, but it is important for therapists to recognize any limitations in the relationship that might exist as early as possible to support growth and opportunity within these frameworks. Behavioral therapy is intended to be an effective and useful approach to enable clients to recognize different patterns of behavior, and how to best overcome limitations that may prohibit them from helping others if this is a challenge that must be addressed. Therefore, behavioral therapies serve as a viable opportunity for many individuals to develop a new and fresh understanding of their own limitations, as well as why they behave in different ways. Therefore, behavioral therapy is very beneficial for many different reasons, and it enables clients to establish relationships with their therapists that offer mutual benefits. Helping others is not always instinctive or innate, and as a result, what triggers these behaviors must be explored more effectively in an effort to improve behavioral outcomes for those persons who must change their behaviors for different reasons.

References

Herkov, M. (2011). About behavior therapy. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/about-behavior-therapy/

Maultsby, M.C., and Wirga, M. (1998). Behavior therapy. Retrieved from http://www.arcobem.com/publications/Beh-Tx.htm

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