Behavioural Counselling Therapy


Behavioural Counselling Therapy

This approach is based on primary learning comes from experience.

The premise is that all behavior is learned.

Behavioural counselling and therapy is an action-based

It applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviours.

The people behave in the way that their environment has taught them to behave.

The process behavioural counselling and therapy is to help the client with analyse behaviour, define problems, and select goals.

This approach is effective for individuals who require treatment for some sort of behaviour change, like-

To help people to learn new behaviours by Behavioural experiments, Role-playing, Assertiveness training, and Self-management training.

Four Aspects of Behavioural counselling and therapy

1) Classical Conditioning
In classical conditioning, certain respondent behaviours, such as knee jerks and salivation can be a result of a classical conditioning  i.e. learning principles—learning that occurs when things get paired together

2) Operant Conditioning
It focuses on actions that operate on the environment to produce consequences. If the environmental change brought about by the behaviour is reinforcing, the chances are high  that the behaviour will occur again. If the environmental changes produce no reinforcement, the chances are lessened that the behaviour will recur.

3) Social Learning Approach
It gives prominence to the reciprocal interactions between an individual’s behaviour and the environment.

4) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
It emphasises cognitive processes and private events (such as client’s self-talk) as mediators of behaviour change.

Process of Behavioural counselling and therapy.

Blackham and Silberman 4 steps of  Behavioural counselling

1) Defining the problem
The clients are asked to specify when, where, how and with whom the problem arises.
2) Taking a developmental history
Knowledge about how the client has handled past circumstances.
3) Establish specific goals
Counsellors help clients break down goals into small, achievable goals.
4) Determine the best method for change
Helping the client to reach the desired goal by choosing the appropriate method. Continuous assessment of the effectiveness of the method is must.

Techniques of Behavioural counselling and therapy:

Varoius General behavioural techniques are applicable to all behaviour theories. Following techniques may apply to a particular maladaptive behaviour at a given time in a specific circumstance.

Systematic desensitization:

This is a Behavioural experiments technique used specifically with phobias and other faulty behavior. It helps the client to pair relaxation with previously feared stimuli. Moreover, it “teaches” the client a new thing by pairing relaxation with something they fear

Aversive therapy:

It is a Behavioural experiments method and has the client pair some aversive stimuli (e.g., nausea, pain, disturbing images, etc.) with some behaviour that he/she is having difficulty giving up.  For example, Quit drinking might take a drug that makes her nauseous whenever she drinks alcohol.  It “teaches” a new thing by pairing a bad experience with some behaviour they want to eliminate.

Behaviour Modification programs:

These are self management training approaches try to increase positive behaviour and decrease negative behaviour by using reinforcements and punishments in the most effective ways based on learning principles. Although, the counselor will try to help the parents identify in what ways the undesired behaviour is being reinforced and eliminate that reinforcement and help them develop ways to reinforce desired behaviour.

Use of Reinforcers:

Reinforcers are those events which increase the probability of occurrence of a desired behaviour in the future by applying consequences that depend on the behaviour in question.

Positive Reinforcement: The administration of positive consequences to workers who perform desired behaviours- Pay, promotions, interesting work, praise, awards.
Negative Reinforcement: The removal of negative consequences when workers perform desired behaviours-Nagging, complaining.


Administering negative consequences to undesirable behaviours in an effort to decrease the probability that the behaviour will occur again in the future.


It is a process in which undifferentiated operant behaviours are gradually changed into a desired behaviour pattern by the reinforcement of success approximations, so that the behaviour gets closer and closer to the target behaviour.


It involves learning through observation and imitation of others. Having a positive role model can give individuals something to aim for, allowing them to change their behaviour to match theirs. However, this role model may be the therapist or someone the individual already knows


When pairing of conditioned and unconditional stimulus stops then association weakens and conditioned response becomes less frequent till it disappears.

Role playing-

It used to identify their own feelings surrounding a given situation while simultaneously learning how others may feel. A very nice demonstration to learn this process is in the Youtube video.


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