5 Top Behavioral Therapist Options for Effective Treatment



Are you feeling overwhelmed by emotions or struggling with interpersonal relationships? You are not alone. Many people share these difficulties, and often, these challenges stem from patterns of harmful or unproductive behavior. This is where a behavioral therapist comes in. However, if you’re new to therapy, understanding what a behavioral therapist is and what they do can seem daunting. Moreover, you might wonder how different they are from other mental health professionals and how to find the one that’s right for you. We at DBT of South Jersey are here to make it simpler for you.

Understanding Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy focuses on helping clients identify and change potentially harmful or disturbing behavior patterns, to improve quality of life and overall functioning. It’s an effective strategy for addressing mental illnesses, anger management, and more. Ranging from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to Classical Conditioning, the various types of behavioral therapy offer different approaches to handle diverse behavioral challenges.

The Role of a Behavioral Therapist

A behavioral therapist is a licensed professional who leverages these methods to help individuals alter harmful behavior patterns and develop healthier habits. Trained in psychology, social work, counseling, or psychiatry, behavioral therapists use their expertise to provide effective treatment customized to the individual’s unique concerns.

To simplify your search, here’s a quick guide to finding a behavioral therapist:

  • Credentials: Check therapist’s certifications and degrees.
  • Specialization: Look for areas of expertise aligned with your issues (e.g., eating disorders, depression).
  • Referrals: Seek recommendations from a general practitioner.
  • Insurance: Ensure your insurance covers the therapy cost.
  • Trust: Trust your gut feeling when you meet the therapist. You need to feel comfortable with them.

List of criteria for choosing a behavioral therapist - behavioral therapist infographic infographic-line-5-steps

With the intricacies of human behavior, it’s evident that one size doesn’t fit all in therapy. In the upcoming sections, we will explore the effectiveness and versatility of different types of therapy and help you discover the top five behavioral therapist options that effectively aid treatment.

What Does a Behavioral Therapist Do?

A behavioral therapist is an ally, a guide, and a professional who can assist you in your journey towards a healthier mental state. They take on a variety of roles and responsibilities to provide comprehensive support.

Assessing Patient Condition

Initially, a behavioral therapist works to understand your mental health condition. This assessment phase involves careful and sensitive examination of your symptoms, behaviors, and experiences. At DBT of South Jersey, our therapists are trained to create a comfortable and non-judgmental environment for you to share your thoughts and feelings freely, which aids in the accuracy of the assessment.

Fostering Positive Behavior

One of the main objectives of a behavioral therapist is to promote positive behavior and minimize negative habits. This involves identifying harmful patterns and working with you to change them. By using techniques such as behavior modification, we aim to replace detrimental behaviors with healthier alternatives.

Creating Personalized Plans

Every individual is unique, and so should be the treatment plan. A behavioral therapist devises a personalized plan that caters to your specific needs and goals. This plan is crafted based on the initial assessment and focuses on your main areas of concern. It might include various exercises, strategies, and “homework assignments” to help you apply the learned strategies in your daily life.

Monitoring Patient Progress

Monitoring your progress is a crucial part of therapy. It’s important to ensure that the treatment plan is effective and making a positive impact on your mental health. Our therapists at DBT of South Jersey regularly check-in and adjust your treatment plan, if necessary, based on your progress.

Helping Patients Set and Achieve Goals

As well as providing treatment, a behavioral therapist helps you set realistic and achievable goals related to your behavior. They then support you in working towards these goals, which could be anything from managing anxiety to improving interpersonal relationships. By setting and achieving these goals, you can make significant strides in your mental health journey.

At DBT of South Jersey, we believe that therapy is not just about treating symptoms but also about empowering you to lead a healthier, balanced, and more fulfilling life. With our team of professional behavioral therapists, led by our expert Shaelene Lauriano Kite, we are committed to providing you with the support you need to navigate your mental health journey.

What Does Behavioral Therapy Treat?

Mental health disorders can be complex and multifaceted, and they often require an approach that addresses cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of the individual’s experience. That’s where a behavioral therapist comes in, using scientifically validated techniques to help patients overcome various psychological challenges.

Mental Health Disorders

Behavioral therapy is a powerful tool for treating a wide variety of mental health disorders. This includes conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. The goal of treatment is to help individuals understand the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and learn new skills to manage their symptoms more effectively.

Anxiety and Phobias

Anxiety disorders and phobias are among the most common mental health issues that behavioral therapy can address. Therapists often use evidence-based techniques like Systematic Desensitization to help patients face and overcome their fears. This involves identifying the fears that might result in avoidant behaviors, and working gradually towards overcoming them. Over time, the patient learns to respond to triggering stimuli without fear or anxiety.


Behavioral therapists can also provide treatment for addictions. This includes substance abuse disorders as well as behavioral addictions like gambling or internet addiction. Aversion therapy, for instance, is one technique that uses the principles of classical conditioning to reduce harmful behaviors by changing a positive response to a harmful stimulus into a negative one.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Behavioral therapy, particularly a combination of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) known as DBT-PE, is effective in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This treatment targets avoidance behaviors associated with traumatic memories and helps patients confront and process their trauma. With this approach, up to 80% of participants no longer meet the criteria for PTSD post-treatment.

Eating Disorders

Finally, behavioral therapy can be instrumental in treating eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. A behavioral therapist can help individuals understand the thoughts and feelings that trigger their disordered eating behaviors and learn new coping mechanisms.

No matter the specific mental health challenge you’re facing, we at DBT of South Jersey are here to provide you with the compassionate and professional support you need. Our team of behavioral therapists is skilled in various therapeutic techniques, and we’re committed to helping you navigate your mental health journey.

The Difference Between a Behavioral Therapist and a Regular Therapist

Choosing the right mental health professional for your unique needs can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the differences between a behavioral therapist and a regular therapist. The key differences lie in the levels of empathy and interpersonal contact, therapist self-congruence, and the approach to encouraging independence.

Levels of Empathy and Interpersonal Contact

A regular therapist often focuses on exploring emotions, past experiences, and subconscious thoughts. They tend to create a supportive environment where patients can freely express their feelings and thoughts. On the other hand, a behavioral therapist, like the ones we have at DBT of South Jersey, emphasizes understanding and changing harmful or unproductive behaviors. Our therapists provide a high level of empathy and interpersonal contact, focusing on the client’s present situation and behavior patterns rather than past experiences.

Therapist Self-Congruence

Therapist self-congruence refers to the therapist’s authenticity and genuineness. In traditional therapy, a therapist may maintain a professional distance, focusing on the client’s experiences. In contrast, a behavioral therapist may share their thoughts and feelings when appropriate, fostering a more transparent therapeutic relationship. At DBT of South Jersey, our therapists believe in building genuine connections with our clients, creating a safe and judgment-free space for growth and healing.

Authoritarian vs Encouraging Independence

Traditional therapists often adopt a more authoritative role in the therapeutic relationship, guiding the conversation and interpretation of the client’s experiences. In contrast, behavioral therapists like us at DBT of South Jersey, aim to empower our clients. We encourage you to take an active role in your therapy, teaching you the skills to manage your behaviors independently. This approach fosters self-sufficiency, helping you to apply learned techniques outside of therapy sessions and in the long term.

The most important aspect of therapy is that it fits your needs. Whether you choose a behavioral therapist or a different type of mental health professional, the key is to find someone you feel comfortable with and who can provide the support you need. At DBT of South Jersey, we aim to be that support for our clients, providing empathy, authenticity, and empowerment throughout your journey to improved mental health.

5 Top Behavioral Therapist Options for Effective Treatment

Choosing the right behavioral therapist is crucial for your journey towards improved mental health. We understand that everyone’s needs are unique, and it’s important to find a therapist who can provide the specific type of support you need. Here are five top options for effective treatment:

DBT of South Jersey

At DBT of South Jersey, we specialize in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), a type of therapy designed to help people suffering from emotional regulation disorders like borderline personality disorder (BPD). Our therapists are highly trained and certified, like Lisa Besler, a Linehan Board Certified DBT Therapist with extensive experience in treating PTSD, eating disorders, suicidal thinking, self harm, and addiction. We offer both in-person and online counseling, with a focus on teaching coping strategies to help you lead a healthier, happier life.

Spilove Psychotherapy Group

The Spilove Psychotherapy Group is another excellent option for behavioral therapy. They have a team of highly experienced therapists who specialize in various types of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of therapy often used to treat anxiety disorders, depression, and other mental health conditions.

Lifebulb – Cherry Hill

Lifebulb - Cherry Hill

Lifebulb – Cherry Hill is a mental health counseling center that offers a wide range of services, including anxiety treatment, depression counseling, trauma therapy, anger management, and many more. They also provide DBT and mindfulness training, which can be incredibly beneficial for those learning to manage their emotions and improve their relationships.

Lower Merion Counseling Service

Lower Merion Counseling Service is a well-established clinic that offers a variety of therapy options. Their team of therapists specializes in different areas, including CBT, play therapy, and family therapy. They also offer therapy for specific issues like eating disorders and substance use disorders.

KO DBT Skills Training & Therapy

KO DBT Skills Training & Therapy is a highly esteemed clinic specializing in DBT. They offer comprehensive DBT skills training in a supportive and compassionate environment. Their goal is to empower clients to build a life worth living, helping them develop the skills necessary to manage emotional distress and improve interpersonal relationships.

It’s important to choose a behavioral therapist who is a good fit for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and get to know your potential therapist before starting treatment. The journey towards improved mental health is a personal one, and having the right support can make all the difference.


The Importance of Choosing the Right Behavioral Therapist

Choosing the right behavioral therapist is an essential step towards effective treatment. Every individual’s needs and circumstances are unique, and it’s crucial to find a therapist who understands and can cater to these specific needs. Just as you wouldn’t want your eye doctor performing heart surgery, you wouldn’t want a therapist who isn’t specialized in the type of therapy you need.

A therapist’s suitability goes beyond their professional qualifications, though. You must also feel comfortable talking to them and sharing your concerns. If you feel at ease and are seeing progress in your treatment, you’ve likely found the right therapist. If not, it might be time to explore other options.

When choosing a therapist, ensure they have the necessary certifications and degrees. Some therapists specialize in treating specific conditions like eating disorders or depression. Others might use particular therapeutic methods like cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy. At DBT of South Jersey, for instance, we have a team of therapists who specialize in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and can tailor treatment plans to meet individual client needs.

The Impact of Effective Behavioral Therapy

Effective behavioral therapy can transform lives. It can help individuals manage their emotions, improve their relationships, and make them feel more in control of their lives. This type of therapy can help people cope with a variety of mental health conditions, from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders. It can also help with everyday problems like stress management and anger management.

Behavioral therapy is not just about addressing harmful behaviors. It also involves learning new skills, setting and achieving personal goals, and making long-lasting changes in behaviors. With the right therapist and treatment plan, individuals can experience significant improvements in their mental health and overall quality of life.

Cheerful therapist in nursing home

At DBT of South Jersey, we’re committed to providing effective behavioral therapy that can make a real difference. We offer a variety of services, including group therapy, couples and family therapy, and therapy for children and teens. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, get in touch with us today.

The journey towards improved mental health is a personal one, and having the right support can make all the difference. Whether you’re struggling with a diagnosed mental health condition or just need some help managing your emotions, there’s a behavioral therapist out there who can help.


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