Friday, December 6, 2013

Behavior Modification - When and How to Seek the Best Intervention

When It's Time for A Behavior Modification

Day after day many of us continue to struggle with mood problems or negative attitudes; what we really need is a bit of behavior modification, but it's possible that we might not be aware of it, or could be in denial. If you have noticed that you are often depressed or your moods have become extreme, recurrent, and difficult to break free of, or have found yourself over and over again engaging in destructive or restrictive behavior, it might be time for some form of behavior modification. However, the question is, how will you be able to tell what type of intervention is right for you?

Where to Seek Intervention

If you have no support system, and have to do this by yourself, there are many ways to approach this. First, you may ask someone you know who had already undergone intervention therapy for his/her negative behavior and has demonstrated changes in ways that seem positive to you. Another way you can do this is to check with local consumer groups or with a women's centers, if you are a female.

Other places you may call, are, the departments of psychology, counselling, education, nursing, or social work at a nearby hospital, college or university. If none of these sources is available or you don't have access to the internet --- and the "good old" Yellow Pages is your only guide --- Please bear in mind that the size of the advertisement and the flashiness of the layout in the yellow pages has very little to do with the skill of the Behavioral Therapist.

How to Select A Therapist Who May Offer the Best Intervention

Once you have made an initial selection, you should request a consultation. This will commit you to nothing but a single visit which will allow you to make up your mind whether you feel this particular Therapist would be able to help you with your problems or not. At the time of consultation, find out whether or not the Therapist is licensed or certified by the state. Inquire about the Therapist's educational background and therapeutic orientation. Also, think about whether or not you would feel comfortable in such an intervention program.

Pay close attention to the Behavioral Therapist's techniques and also to some of the things that seem to be his or her values -- see if they are compatible with yours. Find out how frequently the therapist will expect you to meet with him or her and how long the treatment is expected to last. Also, make sure you ask about the fees.

The Task Force on Consumer Issues in Psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association has prepared these nine important questions that you should be prepared to ask yourself and should be able to answer, after your initial consultation:

  1. Did I have positive feelings toward the therapist?Could I trust this individual?
  2. Was I treated as an ill person or a human being?
  3. Was I satisfied with the therapist's answers to my questions?
  4. Were the answers to my questions direct or evasive?
  5. Was I taken seriously?
  6. Was I treated with respect?
  7. Was I comfortable with the office atmosphere?
  8. Am I comfortable With the therapist's suggested plan of treatment?
  9. Were the fees for services reasonable?

If you find yourself having a negative impression of the therapist, there is no point of continuing the relationship. If you are having a rather hard time making up your mind, think about the meeting, perhaps even scheduling a second session before making a final decision. Remember, you are not obligated to enter treatment with this particular therapist. As a matter of fact, you are buying services from a professional, so the choice whether or not to enter treatment with him or her is yours. If and when you decide to enter treatment, please note that you have the right to discontinue therapy at any time.

Always remember that not because another person says a therapist is great, that simply means you will also find him or her to be a great person! In fact, that individual might have offered counselling that worked for their problems but might not be the best behavioral therapist for the type of behavior modification you might need. It's wise to ask for recommendation, but you should also be prepared to do your own follow-up or evaluation.