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How is Behavior Therapy Different Than Psychoanalysis?

July 26, 2021

5 min read

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Author : United We Care
How is Behavior Therapy Different Than Psychoanalysis?

Learn the difference between Behavior Therapy and Psychoanalysis in this well-researched self-care article. We’ll talk all about free association, dream interpretation, and classical conditioning. Read on…

Psychoanalysis and Behavior Therapy

In a brief summary, free association and dream interpretation are used in behavior therapy, while classical conditioning is used in psychoanalysis to alter thought patterns. Let’s get a bit deeper into both psychoanalysis and behavior therapy.

What is Behavior Therapy?

Behavioral treatment aims to change how the client responds to experiences in life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are two different behavior therapy techniques used by psychologists.

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Types of Mental Health Issues Treated by Behavior Therapy

Behavioral therapy is effective in dealing with the following issues:

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


When a client is comfortable with their psychotherapist, CBT fits well. Clients should search out someone they admire and feel at ease with because therapy is such a personal experience. CBT allows clients to use sense and reason to guide how they react to problems rather than relying solely on feelings.

How CBT Therapy Works

The approaches and procedures that therapists use in each session serve a particular purpose. They determine which CBT principles would be more beneficial to the customer based on their goals and customize accordingly. CBT has focused on the premise that our emotions impact our attitudes and that improving the way we think about and respond to things will make us feel better.

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT employs CBT techniques but places a greater emphasis on acceptance and emotional control. It greatly helps if the therapist continues to improve the client’s ability to deal with distressing or challenging circumstances. The client can also learn to accept and manage uncomfortable feelings when they emerge.

When Dialectic Behavioral Therapy Works Best

When it comes to self-harming habits like cutting and persistent suicidal ideation, DBT is frequently the most effective treatment. DBT methods work best with sexual assault clients, as well.

Mindfulness and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy Techniques

Buddhist and Zen mindfulness techniques strongly influence DBT. DBT instructs clients on using specific mindfulness methods to learn to deal with pain in the world and embrace things as they are rather than attempting to improve them.

Other Types of Behavior Therapy

There are other types of behavior therapy other than CBT and DBT, such as:

Systematic Desensitization

In this relaxation technique, exercises are combined with incremental sensitivity to something that fears or troubles the client. It will help the client gradually become used to replacing fear and anxiety with a relaxation reaction.

Aversion Therapy

In aversion therapy, the client learns to compare the action the client wishes to alter with something painful or harmful in some manner. This link could assist the client in breaking the habit.


Flooding is analogous to systematic desensitization, except that instead of eventually confronting the fear slowly, the client confronts them right away. For example, if the client fears dogs, the first awareness move may be to sit in a room with friendly, gentle dogs. On the other side, with systematic desensitization, the first viewing stage may be looking at pictures of puppies.

Psychoanalysis vs. Behaviour Therapy: Difference Between Behavior Therapy and Psychoanalysis

On the other hand, psychoanalysis is a slow and arduous procedure that can take years to complete. Drawing out all of a client’s latent stand takes a long time, and the client always ends up resisting in some manner! The motive of psychoanalysis is to get the client’s unconscious world into the light, exposing the client’s role in prolonging a series of psychological symptoms.

Psychoanalysis Techniques


There are many techniques associated with psychoanalysis:

Free Association

Free association is a common theme in psychoanalysis. The analyst seldom converses with the client. In order to draw out inconsistencies or patterns in the client’s expression of emotions, the analyst deliberately stays silent and allows the client to partake in the open, apparently aimless speaking.

Dream Interpretation


Dreams, according to Sigmund Freud, are a portal into the unconscious. To better comprehend his clients’ inner experiences, he created a system of dream analysis. Many dreams, according to Freud, had a sexual significance that was obscured by their literal, or outward, nature – which is the essential concept of dream interpretation in psychoanalysis.

What to Choose – Psychoanalysis or Behavior Therapy?

A psychoanalyst approaches a client’s dilemma in a different way than a behavioral therapist. The psychoanalyst can speak little and take notes during psychoanalytic meetings while the client free associates. The objective is for the client to gain insight into their past and relieve related distress by accessing repressed emotions, perceptions, and memories.

On the other hand, behavioural therapists focus on what can be assessed or quantified, and then carefully direct counseling sessions to achieve particular objectives in the interest of the patient. For more guidance & help, contact us at United We Care right away!

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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