Behavior therapy helps patients develop healthy habits in place of bad ones. It is used to treat anxiety, mood, and mental disorders. Treatment plans consist of various exercises, such as role-playing and social skills training, which enhance coping.
Role-playing focuses on specific issues that may arise during social interactions, and methods for handling the situation. For example, a shy person might avoid socializing due to anxiety from starting conversations with strangers. In role-playing, a health care professional offers guidance on how to begin a conversation and then encourages the patient to start a dialogue. Continuous practice boosts confidence and engagement with others.
Social skills training addresses verbal and nonverbal behaviors that impact how a person relates to another individual. This exercise teaches a person about social cues and how to appropriately respond to them. Successful completion of the training can improve self-esteem and the ability to function properly in common social settings.