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Clinical Preparation Journal

Therapy Modality Focus Points

Therapy Modality: Behavioral Therapy

Creator: B.F. Skinner (1904 – 1990), an American psychologist and behaviorist.

Therapy used for what DSM5 Diagnoses: Behavioral therapy is used to manage several psychologic disorders such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders, i.e., antisocial personality disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorders (Cuijpers et al., 2016).

Emphasis of Therapy Modality: Behavioral therapy emphasizes the adaptive nature of individual cognitive processes, i.e., behaviors can be learned and changed (Carpenter et al., 2018).  

Goals of Therapy Modality: Behavioral therapy aims to identify and change/eliminate unhealthy behaviors and reinforce desirable behaviors.


  • Other people who contributed to behavioral therapy development include Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychologist; John B. Watson, an American psychologist; John Dollard  & Neal Miller, American psychologists, Joseph Wolpe and Albert Bandura.
  • Behavioral therapy also focuses on promoting self-awareness and emotional intelligence among clients.
  • Types of behavioral therapy include: Cognitive behavioral therapy; Cognitive-behavioral play therapy; Aversion therapy, and System desensitization

Therapy Modality: Choice/Reality Therapy.

Creator: Dr. William Glasser (1925-2013), AND American Psychiatrist.

Therapy used for what DSM5 Diagnoses: Behavioral therapy is used to treat several personality disorders, including eating disorders, antisocial personality disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (Glasser et al., 2014).

Emphasis of Therapy Modality: Reality therapy emphasizes that individuals are responsible for their behaviors (Mocan, 2018). Therefore, it focuses on present rather than previous concerns affecting a client, encouraging the need to focus on behaviors that can inhibit solutions to subjective concerns. 

Goals of Therapy Modality: Reality therapy aims to enable clients to control their lives by learning to make healthier decisions.

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Therapy modality focus points
Therapy Modality Focus Points


  • Reality therapy perceive individual behavior as a personal choice
  • Therefore, individuals should accept responsibility for changing their unhealthy behaviors. Reality therapy is effective when applied in situations involving behavioral components.
  • Reality therapy is applicable in other areas such as survival, love, and belonging
  • Reality therapy mostly applicable in group settings and can managing bereavement, rebellion, survival, and mending parental relationships.


Carpenter, J. K., Andrews, L. A., Witcraft, S. M., Powers, M. B., Smits, J. A., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety and related disorders: A meta‐analysis of randomized placebo‐controlled trials. Depression and anxiety35(6), 502-514.  https://doi.org/10.1002/da.22728

Cuijpers, P., Cristea, I. A., Karyotaki, E., Reijnders, M., & Huibers, M. J. (2016). How effective are cognitive behavior therapies for major depression and anxiety disorders? A meta‐analytic update of the evidence. World Psychiatry15(3), 245-258.  https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20346

Glasser, W. (2019). Reality/Choice Theory. Contemporary Case Studies in School Counseling, 79.

Mocan, D. (2018). Complementary Aspects in Reality Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy. Open Journal for Psychological Research2(1). https://doi.org/10.32591/coas.ojpr.0201.03021m

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