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What is behavior modification?

Katherine Lee
Social Work
Behavior modification refers to a treatment approach that focuses on changing maladaptive behaviors and breaking bad habits. There is a wider range of approaches to this treatment, but they all focus on training clients out of maladaptive behavior. It is based on the principles of operant conditioning, which focuses on replacing maladaptive behaviors with more desirable behaviors through positive or negative reinforcement. This usually takes numerous sessions and is very specific to meet the client’s needs.      

Behavior modification is a technique used to help people change the way they react to certain triggers in the environment that cause a negative reaction. In cancer treatment, behavior modification may be used to help patients who have become nauseous during previous cancer treatments cope with nausea they feel when they enter the therapy room to begin a new round of treatment.

This answer is based on source information from National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.