Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The most appropriate model for treatment in this case is cognitive behavioral therapy. This is an important therapeutic strategy for a number of serious psychological conditions and potentially self-harmful behaviors, making it a robust and effective method of intervention for this case. Those who are engaging in self-destructive behaviors (from contemplating suicide to sabotaging their performance) may well consider behavioral therapy since the goal of such therapy is to reduce “the suffering of people with mental disorders by changing their behavior patterns” (

Cognitive behavioral therapy looks not so much to the causes of a problematic set of behaviors as how to modify them. In this case the client and the therapist need to agree which are the most problematic behaviors and establish a hierarchy and schedule of behavior modification. They might decide to focus on her preparing better for her math classes so that she does not feel in adequate during class, or the two might decide to work together so that she can be more assertive with her parents.

Cognitive behavior therapy, although a relatively new form of therapy, is in fact based on well-established psychological principals, including classical and operant conditioning and social learning. Classical conditioning is a method of learning by association and is one of the most important ways in which people acquire habits; classical conditioning is a well-established method for acquiring or removing a form of behavior.

Often alcoholics become afraid of being in certain situations because they have unpleasant or fearful associations with certain locations or situations and have learned to drink in these situations to reduce the anxiety temporarily.