Benefits and Drawbacks of Behavior Therapy

What are the Drawbacks of Behavior Therapy?

One of the major drawbacks of behavior therapy is finding a qualified behavioral therapist, particularly for ABA therapy. There are currently no national guidelines qualifying a behavioral therapist, and the demand for ABA far exceeds the professionals qualified to perform it. Also, many insurance companies may not cover specific ABA treatment, or cover the recommended amount of treatment sessions, although general behavior therapy should be covered to some extent. Be sure to check with your insurance company regarding any programs you may be considering.

Another drawback of behavior therapy is time. Although the therapy is considered comparatively short term, it takes time to modify behavior and through reinforcement, replace a negative behavior with a positive one. Many parents and teachers may find this frustrating.

In developing a behavior therapy program for your child, it is important to create a set of realistic expectations with the therapist. These expectations must be revisited from time to time as the child progresses. Only through periodic evaluations of the overall therapy program will you be able to determine the impact it is having on your child’s, and your family’s quality of life.

What are the Benefits of Behavior Therapy?

The main goal, of course, is to replace negative behaviors with positive ones to improve functioning in the family and in the community. However, there are other benefits to be gained from behavior therapy:

  • Reversing negative patterns of thinking, addressing bad habits
  • Appropriately dealing with stress and frustration
  • Participating positively in a variety of activities
  • Setting goals to replace negative patterns of behavior with positive ones
  • New ways of learning and self-help techniques are reinforced
  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Improved performance at school, at home and in social situations


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