However by the 1960s, Behaviorism was slipping out of favor, both among academic researchers and among applied psychologists who looked to the lab for guidance in developing new therapeutic tools. Valuable as they had been, respondent and operant conditioning didn't go far enough in explaining human behavior. As a result, Behavioral Therapy couldn't go far enough either. Too much was missing and unaccounted for, and most of what was missing was the role of cognitive processes such as thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, memories, mental imagery and fantasies. As time went both in research settings and in the therapeutic trenches behaviorism gave way to the cognitive revolution in psychology.
Early Behavioral Therapy was often understood to be based on the stimulus-response model of classical behaviorism. Focusing on observable events had the advantage of discouraging speculation about inner, hidden processes that need to be inferred because they can't be directly observed. It thus avoided the kind of rampant guesswork that had led psychoanalysis so far astray. However in the end, it became accepted that the S-R approach was leaving too many important
Thirdly, a sound therapeutic relationship is necessary for effective therapy, but not the focus. Some forms of therapy assume that the main reason people get better in therapy is because of the positive relationship between the therapist and client. Cognitive-behavioral therapists believe it is important to have a good, trusting relationship, but that is not enough. Cognitive-behavioral therapy therapists believe that the client changes when they learn to think differently therefore, Cognitive-behavioral therapy therapists focus on teaching rational self-counseling skills.
Finally, treatment studies came out that supported the effectiveness of cognitive therapy, and in particular, of behavior therapy extended with cognitive elements behavior therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Studies have shown Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to be as effective as drug treatment for depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other problems of excessive fear and anxiety, and often considered the only treatment strategy known to be both safe and effective.
Another issue that arises with this theory is that they behavioral focus is on the individual, and that they fail to see that the entire family system is the therapeutic unit for achieving change. It is often necessary for the environment in which the client lives in to change in order for the client to have success in their own behavioral changes. Though the client has no choice on how the people around them may act or behave they do have a choice on how they will react to those behaviors. The individual still has ultimate control over their environment because they always have the choice to leave their present one to find one that will be more productive in completing their goals
In Behavioral Activation, the Client and therapist develop lists of activities that are usually either pleasurable in themselves or that give you greater control of your self and your environment. Then, the client schedules times and places to carry them out in increasing doses. The underlying strategy is: "Do better now, feel better later." Interestingly, recent research evidence suggests that behavioral activation by itself may be able to do as much as explicit cognitive modification to change depressive thought patterns.
As with all theories the cognitive behavior theory has it"tms strength and limitations. In therapy the client discovers what has caused certain behaviors to continually occur in their life but never deal with the actual events that originally caused those behaviors. For example in a case of abuse a battered wife may have difficulties forming relationships with men. Through therapy she would learn to recognize that that experience is shaping her present behavior. She may also learn to recognize when that is standing in the way of her goals. Also hopefully she will learn to overcome and change her old behaviors. However the therapy never goes back to deal with the actual issue of the abuse and resolving that.
The third phase of treatment is probably what has traditionally been thought of as "psychotherapy" in that it is focused on unlearning troublesome, maladaptive, habitual behaviors and establishing new ways of dealing with various aspects of life such as problematic relationship patterns, faulty work habits, and trouble-causing personal attitudes. During psychotherapy, the rehabilitation of life functioning is quite gradual, and the number of sessions required is dependent on the severity of the disability and the particular area of problematic functioning.