What is Behavioral Consulting?
Behavioral consulting, or behavioral therapy, is a kind of therapy that helps to identify and help someone to change potentially unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. To help determine if behavioral consulting may benefit you or a loved one, you can start by setting up a mental health consultation with a behavior therapist. In this mental health consultation, your therapist can help you identify any unhealthy, learned behaviors and help you or your loved one begin to recognize and change current problems and behaviors.
Who Does Behavioral Therapy Help?
Behavioral consulting can benefit, or even treat, people (both children and adults alike) living with the following conditions or disorders:
- Anger Issues
- Bipolar Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Panic Disorders
- Substance Abuse
Finding a Behavioral Therapist
Before scheduling your mental health consultation, you should interview several different providers to best find someone you connect to, and more importantly, someone experienced in the kind of behavioral therapy you are seeking. Most importantly, make sure the provider you choose has adequate certifications, degrees, and education in treating your condition. If you are having a hard time getting started, you can ask your primary care provider for a recommendation, which may mean a referral to a psychiatrist if medication is something you may benefit from.
While many insurance plans have mental health benefits and cover therapy, group therapy or sliding scale payment options are often available for low-income individuals seeking care. You may feel connected to the first therapist you work with, and other times, you may need to meet with a few different providers before finding the right fit. You will be asked many personal questions about yourself during the mental health consultation, which can feel intimidating at first, but remember, your therapist is there to help you overcome obstacles and start feeling better.
When searching for a behavioral therapist, you can choose from:
- Social Workers
- Faith-based Counselors
- Non-faith-based Counselors
Types of Behavioral Consulting
There are many different types of behavioral consulting and a mental health consultation can help an experienced and trusted medical care provider determine which kind of therapy is right for you. Behavioral consulting is considered to be a highly effective form of therapy and has been used successfully in treating a variety of conditions, including but not limited to those listed above.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, combines behavioral therapy with cognitive therapy to understand how your thoughts and beliefs influence your mood, focusing on how to solve the current problems you are facing. In the long term, the goal is to change unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns into healthier ones. CBT is a very popular and effective form of treatment for various mental health conditions.
Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral play therapy is a kind of treatment most commonly used with children. Therapists can gain insight into what a child is unable to express or why a child may be uncomfortable by watching them play. In cognitive-behavioral play therapy, children play freely and choose their toys, and therapists may ask the child to use those toys or even draw a picture to create a scene. Additionally, this form of therapy may help improve parent-child communication.
System desensitization is a form of therapy often used to treat phobias by teaching people to replace a fear response, whether to a phobia or trauma, with relaxation responses. In this technique, patients are taught various breathing and relaxation techniques. When patients are ready to utilize these techniques, therapists can slowly expose the phobia in doses, and patients can use what they have learned to work through their response.
Aversion therapy is a kind of therapy used to treat things like alcoholism and other kinds of substance abuse. Therapists teach patients to associate these addictive stimuli with something incredibly unpleasant or uncomfortable to help patients avert from desiring the substance.
Behavioral Therapy for Children
Child behavior consulting is a form of therapy in which children are taught different methods of responding to situations in a more positive way. The key to child behavior consulting is rewarding positive behavior, which parents will need to reinforce in the child’s day-to-day life. Trusting a therapist may take a child some time to warm up to, which is normal. Children living with conditions such as ADHD and autism can benefit from child behavior consulting.
What is a Behavior Analyst?
A Board Certified Behavior Analyst, or a BCBA, has a certification in applied behavior analysis through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. These professionals work in schools, classrooms, clinics, nonprofits, and hospitals and use ABA therapy, or applied behavior analysis, which uses systematic and scientific processes to help influence an individual’s behavior. Many Behavior Analysts specialize in areas such as mental health issues, child behavior consulting, developmental disabilities, and autism.
What Does a Behavior Analyst Do?
A BCBA, or behavior analyst, will help to create, individualize, maintain, evaluate, and supervise your child’s ABA program. A behavior analyst may work with children who are neurotypical or living with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, or autism. ABA therapy, or applied behavior analysis, is based on the science of learning and behavior, helping us to understand how behavior works, how behavior is affected by the environment, and how learning takes place. Behavior analysts utilize ABA therapy by using this understanding of how behavior works and transitioning that understanding to real-life situations and settings to increase positive and helpful behaviors and decrease behavior that is harmful or negatively impacts and affects learning.
What Are the Benefits of ABA Therapy?
Behavior analysis has been studied and used successfully for decades, helping many people to learn and gain different skills, whether it is learning a new language or a healthier lifestyle. ABA therapy has been used to help children with developmental disabilities and autism since the 1960s. Overall, ABA therapy and child behavior consulting can help to improve focus, social skills, memory, attention, and academic skills while decreasing problem behaviors. It can additionally help to increase language and communication skills, and other skills that are useful in everyday life. ABA Therapy can be tailored to each individual’s needs, provided in various locations in the home, school, or community in private or group instruction.
How does ABA Therapy Work?
ABA therapy works in the pattern of antecedent, behavior, and consequence. It focuses on positive reinforcement, meaning good or correct behavior is rewarded, so the individual is more likely to repeat that behavior rather than bad behavior. In time, this therapy encourages meaningful and positive changes in behavior. Depending on the age and ability level, goals will be set in different areas of skill, including learning and academic skills, social skills, communication and language, self-care, play or leisure, and motor skills. Family members and caregivers can additionally receive training to support their child or loved one through this process and support learning and practicing skills throughout the day.
ABA Therapy at Lexington Services
At Lexington Services, we offer private pay and various insurance options so your loved ones will not need to wait for the services they need and deserve. Our Behavior Analysts are highly trained, skilled, and compassionate professionals, and Lexington Services offer top-of-the-line care to all of its members. Give us a call or visit our website today to learn more about the benefits of our ABA therapy program and how it can help your family today.