Behavioral Techniques

Behavioral techniques rest on classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and some social learning principles. These techniques can help the children with both mental and social problems. According to Psychology in Context,  when using classical conditioning as a behavioral technique, there are three major ways of doing so, “imaginal exposure, in vivo exposure, and virtual reality exposure” (Kosslyn & Rossenberg, 2006, p. 692). Depending on the child’s situation, each technique requires a specific situation. Within these three techniques, each requires either stimulus control, systematic desensitization, or progressive muscle relaxation. Gaining stimulus control and putting a child in the presence of the feared object or situation can help with social skills and family relationships. This is a widely used approach.

Techniques that will be used for family relationships, and peer interactions could be based on operant conditioning. To make the children use principles of reinforcement, punishment, and extinction would result in changing the behavior and participating in behavior modification. When the child does not focus on thoughts or feelings, setting the appropriate response or behaviors is key. This will in turn earn the child reinforcements. Observational learning also plays a major role when helping children cope (Taylor & Francis Group, “Cognitive Behavioral Principles Within Group,” 2009). The child would observe other people interacting with the unknown or feared stimulus in a relaxed way, and the child would eventually learn to do the same. To solve the issues related to behavior and mental processes, cognitive approaches and techniques are also necessary. Using behavioral and cognitive approaches, the child will be able to cope with family relationships, peer interactions, aggression, social skills, and academic difficulties.



Kosslyn, S. M., & Rossenberg, R. (2006). Psychology in Context (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.

Taylor & Francis Group, . (2009). Child & Family Behavior Therapy. Retrieved from


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