What Is Behavior Modifications

Behavior modification, or behavior therapy, is a system of therapy techniques designed to target self-destructive behaviors and replace them with positive ones through a reward/consequence system. Behavior modification therapy is most often used for mood or anxiety disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Phobia
  • Autism and ADHD
  • Substance Abuse

Although behavior therapy is used by medical professionals to help individuals of any age, children and adolescents are generally the most receptive to positive changes. Because their brains are still developing, they are more emotionally and mentally malleable. The earlier you can start therapy, the more successful your child will be.

How Does It Work?

The basics of behavior therapy are similar to what many parents know instinctively. Positive and negative reinforcement are utilized in order to trade bad behavior for positive behavior. You are rewarded when you meet your goals and follow the rules and you receive consequences when you deviate. The difference between a therapeutic behavior modification plan and every day parenting is clear guidelines, consistency and constant revision throughout the process.

  • Clear Guidelines – It is crucial that you and your teen clearly state what is expected and what the rewards and consequences will be in result. Choose just a few behaviors to work on at a time, so your child doesn’t get overwhelmed. Make sure that the rewards and consequences are of high value to him in order to create healthy motivation. Some parents have found it helpful to write a “contract” between themselves and their child in order to physically establish the parameters of the plan.
  • Consistency – Strict consistency is required if behavior modification is going to work. This can be difficult for exhausted parents tempted to let some things slide. Unfortunately, when you are trying to effectively change ingrained behavior, you have to demonstrate that the rewards and consequences will be what you say they are every time. Some negative behavior can take a while to change, and consistency is the key.
  • Flexibility – Your child will develop different needs and motivations as he works his way through the treatment process. Keep your teen in the loop when you make a change, but reassess and readjust when needed. It may take some tweaking to figure out the right combination for your son in each new stage of his recovery. It is also important to remain flexible in terms of accepting help. Some cases are simply too severe to be treat on your own, with the many distractions and triggers of day to day life. In such cases, professional, full time help can be extremely valuable.

Results of Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral modification therapy has seen much success in recent years for many types of disorders and conditions; however, it should not be considered a ‘cure’.Rather, it should be seen as a teaching method to help troubled teens gain the tools they need in order to cope with their challenges and engage in positive daily interaction.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We specialize in helping troubled teen boys overcome their challenges through individualized behavior modification plans. We have helped thousands of teens return home healthier and happier. Call us today for a free consultation (800-675-8101).

What To Expect When Finding Behavior Modification Schools For Your Boy

Selecting a facility with a behavior modification program that fits your son’s needs can be intimidating. However, most full time options such as residential treatment centersor therapeutic boarding schools are fully equipped to implement such plans in order to help troubled teens turn their lives around. The immersive environments of these programs offer teens an opportunity to make positive, lasting changes away from the triggers and temptations of daily life. Although the actual behavior modification treatment curriculum differs depending on the facility, most of them include a combination of individual, group and family therapy along with recreational and academic options. There are several things you should expect of a school that will be effective for your teen and his needs.

  • Individualized Plan of Care – Your teen may be struggling with issues that are similar to his peers, but no one mends or makes changes in the exact same way. Therefore, it is important that your teen boy attend a facility that is willing to create a plan of care that is specifically individualized for him. A personal assessment upon arrival by a qualified therapist allows the staff to target your son’s medical, behavioral and social needs.
  • One-on-one Coaching – Many full time programs offer smaller class size in order for teens to receive better one-on-one coaching and guidance from their counselors and therapists. This consistent attention is helpful when changes need to be made to your son’s plan of care as he works his way through the program.
  • Academics – Most teens who enter full time care facilities are also struggling with their educational requirements. Whether your son needs help with grade repair or just needs to keep up with his class back home, you should select a facility that will keep him on target with an accredited program that will allow him to transfer his academic credits. Keep in mind that each state has different requirements for educational programs and not all have to be accredited. If academics are a particular concern for you, double check the laws and requirements for the state you are considering.
  • Better Communication – The family style environment that is offered in smaller facilities helps teens learn to effective communication in a group setting as well as individually with peers and authority figures. This sets the stage for a successful return home.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment facility located in scenic southern Utah. We specialize in creating and implementing behavior modification plans for troubled teen boys in order to help them gain the tools they need to turn their lives around. Please contact us today for a free consultation (800-675-8101).

Choosing The Best Behavior Modification Programs

Parenting a troubled teen can be exhausting and discouraging and you may often feel as though nothing you do seems to be helping. If your teen has been consistently struggling withnegative behavioral issues such as depression, defiance, anger, anxiety, substance abuse or mental disorder and has failed to respond to outpatient treatment, it may be time to consider a full time option. Facilities such as residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools are available for parents who need help improving their teen’s behavior. Through therapeutic methods, such as behavior modification, teens are immersed in an environment dedicated to eliminating the regular distractions and triggers of everyday life. They have the opportunity to turn their lives around in a controlled environment until they are ready to return home.

What is Behavior Modification?

Behavior modification therapy refers to a system of techniques that help troubled teens exchange bad behavior for positive behavior through a series of agreed upon rewards and consequences. Finding a full time facility that will provide behavior modification is not difficult, as it is a popular therapeutic method, however, you want to select a program that fits the overall needs of your teen. There are a variety of factors you should consider as you research behavior modification program options.

  • Safety – Safety should be a high priority concern. Because each state has different rules and regulations regarding safety, health and accreditation, you should familiarize yourself with the laws in the state you are considering. Make sure that background checks for the staff as well as professional licenses for therapy and academic programs are required. Although it may seem ideal to choose a program that keeps your son close to home, location is less important than making sure that your teen’s destination is safe and experienced.
  • Individualized Treatment – Effective programs recognize that there is no “one size fits all” option for healing. You should consider a facility that sees your son as an individual with unique needs and offers regular one-on-one time with counselors and therapists in order to craft a specialized plan of care. This consistent attention allows the staff to accurately assess your teen’s emotional, behavioral and medical needs from the start in order to make the necessary changes as he progresses through the program.
  • Parental Involvement - Your input as a parent is important to your son’s healing process since no one knows him and his history like you do. Although each facility generally requires some initial distance between parent and child in order to let him get adjusted, your participation should be encouraged and guided by the staff. Many effective facilities offer an aftercare program to help your family ease the transition home and help your teen maintain the positive changes he has made.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We specialize in helping troubled teen boys turn their lives around through proven behavior modification techniques. We have helped thousands of boys throughout the United States and we are confident that we can help you too. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation (800-675-8101).

Behavioral Therapy for Troubled Teen Boys

Behavioral Therapy for Troubled Teen Boys

Dealing with a troubled teen boy can be difficult and you may be feeling as though you don’t know where to turn. Extreme versions of issues such as defiance, depression, anxiety, substance abuse or mental disorders must ultimately be treated with more than patience and tough love. Fortunately, there have been great strides within the last few decades in the adolescent help arena and several methods have proven to be very effective at helping troubled teens overcome their challenges and change the trajectory of their lives. One of these methods, behavioral therapy, is a system of therapeutic interventions created to give teens the tools they need to correct specific behavioral issues. Behavioral modification therapy is thought to be most effective in children and teenagers because they are still emotionally malleable. The earlier the treatment starts, the more successful it is.

What is Involved?

The basis of behavior modification is operant conditioning, which means that behavior is shaped through reinforcement or the lack of it. The two types of reinforcement used to replace bad behavior with good behavior Positive and Negative.

  • Positive Reinforcement – This technique encourages certain behavior through a reward system. In many behavior therapy situations, teens are able to work with their therapist in order to establish the terms of the reward structure.
  • Negative Reinforcement – Used in conjunction with positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement involves an event or behavior that is associated with the removal of something desirable, or in other words, a punishment.

Where Is It Used?

Behavioral therapy for troubled teen boys requires consistency and must be overseen by a licensed professional. While it is often used in outpatient situations, there are situations when a troubled teen requires removal from his regular environment in order to focus on the changes he needs to make. In such cases, residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools are available to immerse students in an environment that encourages them to gain experience through the consequences of their own behavior. With practice and guidance from trained counselors and therapists, each teen learns to adjust his actions in order to achieve a positive result and work through the reward system. Most programs also employ adventure and recreation therapy so residents can challenge their weaknesses and recognize their strengths in order to build healthy self-confidence. Behavioral therapy curriculum's often include both group and individual therapy as a way to address individual challenges as well as learn how to effectively communicate with peers and authority figures.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We have been helping troubled teen boys overcome their challenges through proven behavior modification techniques for over 15 years. Contact us for a free consultation to determine if our program is a good fit for your son and his unique needs (800-675-8101).

Behavior Therapy Can Help Struggling Teen Boys

Parents of teens have to deal with a number of behavior issues that are part of the normal adolescent experience. Defiance, depression, anxiety and substance abuse are all common challenges; however, when teens experience any of these extremely enough that they are interfering with healthy development, further steps are required. Behavior therapy is an ideal way to help your teen learn to control his actions and communication in a healthy way and it is favored by therapists for its effectiveness. Behavior therapy is essentially a system of reward and punishment techniques designed to replace undesirable behaviors with desirable ones. Successful behavior modification requires several steps.

  1. Set Goals – Sit down with your teen and discuss the behavior that needs to be changed and select a few initial goals. While issues of health and safety should take precedence, it may be helpful to start out with something that is manageable and reasonably fixed. This will help your teen get off on the right foot with a sense of accomplishment. Make sure the goals are clearly defined and understood by your son. Some parents have found it helpful to write it down, almost like a contract. While you want to keep the big picture in mind, try to only focus on a few goals at a time in order to keep it manageable.
  2. Determine Rewards – Each goal should have a reward or privilege that is considered high value to your teen. For this reason, it is important to include your son in the process of deciding what the positive and negative consequence system will be. You want them to be realistic, but motivating.
  3. Re-evaluate – As your teen works through the program you have set out, you may need to re-evaluate the parameters. Be flexible when it comes to finding the right balance for your son and remember that even small steps in the right direction are still victories. Be vocal about his positive progress in addition to the promised rewards.
  4. Be Consistent – While the basics of behavior therapy are familiar to most parents, the key to success is consistency. By the adolescent years, teens have become masters at manipulating their parents and other authority figures and the only way behavior therapy will work is if they see consistency in the results of their choices. Remain as calm as you can, but be firm about the rules you have determined. Eventually, your teen will master the skill of controlling his actions rather than yours.
  5. Be Patient – Negative behaviors can sometimes take a while to overcome. Be patient with both yourself and your teen as he works through the process. If you have reached the point where you feel as though nothing you are doing at home is helpful, it may be time to consider a full time facility, such as a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school. In these environments, teens are removed from their daily triggers and temptations in order to work through their behavioral modification plan with trained counselors and therapists.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. Through successful behavior modification treatment techniques, teen boys are guided toward turning their lives around and gaining healthy self-confidence. Call us today for a free consultation (800-675-8101).

Behavior Modification Techniques and Strategies for Boys

It is almost always difficult to parent an adolescent where experimentation, defiance and power struggles are often par for the course. It is particularly discouraging when a teen develops more serious behavioral issues that interfere with healthy development or day to day life. Parents in such situations need to approach their troubled teen with a plan of action for behavior modification that involves consistency and a clearly stated reward and consequence system. Behavior modification therapy is a series of techniques designed to encourage and reward positive behavior in teens while giving them the tools they need to overcome bad behavior. Having a strategy can help struggling parents get their troubled son back on track.

  1. Target the Problem – While you want to work with the big picture in mind, it is important to select only a few issues at a time to address, so your teen doesn’t get bogged down or discouraged. Start with a negative behavior or action that can be realistically changed in a relatively short time in order to help him begin the healing process with a sense of accomplishment. Behaviors that address health and safety should take high priority.
  2. Clearly Defined Goals – Discuss the goals for behavior with your teen and make sure that they are specific and clearly defined. Some parents have found it helpful to actually write down what is expected so it can be referred back to.
  3. Reward System – The main idea behind behavior modification is to encourage desirable conduct by offering an incentive in exchange. Therefore, it is important to allow your teen to have some say in his rewards and privileges. While they should be reasonable for his age and development level, they should also be of high value to him in order to offer motivation. Making your son part of the planning process makes him more likely to stick to it.
  4. Be Flexible and Positive – If the plan has stopped working or your teen no longer seems motivated, it may be time to change the reward or privileges offered. Rework the plan as much as you need in order to keep your son headed in the right direction. Just remember to always keep him in the loop about what is offered and expected as well as what the consequences are for breaking rules. Try to remain as positive as you can since your attitude can directly influence your son.
  5. Consistency – Behavior modification therapy is only successful when the parents or caregivers remain consistent. As your teen achieves his goals and works through the process, he will gain the tools he needs to effectively control his behavior rather than trying to control you.
  6. Be Patient – Many negative behaviors can take some time to change. Be patient with both your teen and yourself throughout the process and remember that even small victories are still steps in the right direction. Make sure you always give credit where and when it is due for both of you.
  7. Know Your Limits – Sometimes even your best efforts may not be enough to help your troubled teen turn his life around. If you feel as though nothing you do is truly helping, consider consulting professional help, such as a therapist or counselor. Some teens benefit from being removed from their regular environment and temporarily placed in a full time facility, such as a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center. In such facilities, teens can carry on with their behavior modification program without their usual triggers and distractions.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We help troubled teen boys turn their lives around through proven behavior modification therapy techniques. Call us today for a free consultation (800-675-8101).

Behavior Modification Plan for Struggling Parents


Parenting a teen with behavior issues can be very difficult and discouraging. While it is normal for all teens to engage in a certain amount of defiance, depression or experimentation, it is particularly challenging when a behavior becomes consistent or interferes with healthy development. Behavior modification therapy is a system designed to reward positive behavior while decreasing bad behavior. A behavior modification plan can help struggling parents take back control and get a handle on helping their troubled teen.

  1. Choose a negative behavior that your teen can work on immediately and realistically change. By starting small, your child will be able to begin the process with a sense of accomplishment. Set specific goals and make sure that they are clearly defined.
  2. Target the main problems you see and work through them a few at a time rather than attempting to fix everything at once. Determine which behavior is most pressing at the moment (health and safety are top priorities) and try to take it a day at a time until you feel a behavior has been mastered enough for both you and your teen to devote energy to another.
  3. Allow your son to give his input on a reward for desired acts or behavior. Begin by only focusing on a few goals at a time and make sure that the rewards and privileges you are offering are of high value to him in order to keep him motivated. Be firm about what is allowed and what is not, while recognizing that when your teen is part of the creation of the plan, he is more likely to stick to it.
  4. Be flexible if the plan is not working or your son has stopped meeting his goals. It may be that new incentives are required. Rework the plan as needed to keep him headed in the right direction.
  5. Be as vocal about the positive progress you see as you are about reminding him of his goals. No one likes to feel as though they are only noticed for bad behavior, so it is important to make sure he knows that you are aware of the progress he is making. A positive attitude can go a long way toward a successful behavior modification plan.
  6. Give it time. Negative behavior can often take quite some time to change, leaving both parent and child frustrated. Understand that even small movements in the right direction are still victories to be celebrated. Be patient with yourself and your teen.
  7. Be willing to accept outside help. Some teens need more specialized care than their parents are able to provide. In such cases, therapists, counselors and even full time facilities such as residential treatment centers are valuable for parents of troubled teens. If you feel as though your teen has gone beyond the reach of your efforts, discuss your options with a qualified therapist or psychologist.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We have over 15 years of experience helping struggling parents find help for their troubled teen boys. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the ways our program might benefit your son (800-675-8101).

Behavioral Modification For When Your Boy Won’t Obey

Most experts agree that it is normal for teenage boys and girls to spend their adolescent years testing and pushing the boundaries and driving their parents crazy. Some, however, take behavior issues to the extreme and consistently put themselves in situations that are unsafe or impede normal development.

Issues such as anger, defiance, anxiety, depression, abuse trauma, adoption issues, bipolar, substance abuse or mental disorders can each be a factor in the conditions that shape a teen’s behavior. They may benefit from consistent therapy through behavior modification techniques.

Behavioral modification is essentially a collection of therapeutic intervention methods, that can help troubled teens gain the tools they need to target and correct specific negative behavioral issues. Modification therapy is considered most effective when it is implemented during adolescence or younger, since youth are emotionally and mentally more malleable.

What Does Behavioral Therapy Involve?

Operant conditioning is the foundation of behavior modification therapy. This means that behavior actions are formed via reinforcement or the lack of it. There are a few types of reinforcement that can be utilized in creating a therapy plan. They are termed positive and negative.

  •         Positive Reinforcement – Encourages desirable behavior via a reward system. The most successful situations allow the teen to be part of selecting rewards or privileges offered in order to create motivation.
  •         Negative Reinforcement – Used in conjunction with positive reinforcement and involves the taking something desirable away when the person breaks the rules or exhibits bad behavior.

How Is Behavior Modification Used?

Although the basic principles of behavior modification therapy might sound familiar to many parents, the key to success is to remain consistent. Also, patience and balance are important when setting family goals. While this type of therapy is often used in outpatient conditions, some parents may discover that their teen is more than they can handle on their own at home.

For such situations, a full-time facility, such as a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school is ideal. They allow teens to be immersed in an environment dedicated to helping them effectively change their behavior without the triggers and temptations of day to day life at home.

Students ultimately learn to self-adjust through the consequences and rewards of their own behavior, rather than negatively controlling their environment. Full time programs often employ adventure and recreation therapy in their curriculum, so that their residents can gain healthy self-confidence through challenging their weaknesses and learning their strengths. Group and individual therapy is also employed as a way to address individual challenges and practice healthy communication with teachers, peers, administration and other authority figures like therapists.

Whichever method suits your son most, through practice and guidance from trained professionals as well as support from you, he can learn to modify his actions for more positive results.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We have over 15 years of experience utilizing behavior modification techniques in order to help troubled teen boys turn their lives around. Contact us today for a free consultation (800-675-8101).

 

Behavior Modification Definition

Behavior modification, also called behavior therapy, refers to treatment techniques designed to target self-destructive behaviors. It is basically a consistent reward/consequence system, which helps people trade bad habits and actions for positive ones. Behavior therapy is frequently used to treat anxiety or mood based conditions in individuals of all ages, however, the earlier it is employed, the more effective it is. The growing brains of children and adolescents make them more malleable to behavioral changes than adults who have been set in their ways for years.

What is it used for?

Behavior modification is used by psychiatrists, psychotherapists as well as other medical professionals. Some of the specific disorders it is used to treat include :

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Autism
  • Substance Abuse
  • Personality Disorders and Social Phobia

How Is It Used?

Although each treatment plan needs to be individualized depending on the issue, many of the basic strategies remain the same. Behavior modification techniques include positive reinforcement, or a system of rewards and privileges, for good behavior and meeting goals. It also involves negative reinforcements, or consequences, for breaking the established rules. Although these ideas are not new to any parent who has raised a child, there are several factors that are required to make it work.

  • Involvement – An individual needs to feel invested in making changes. This is often done achieved through selecting high value rewards for meeting goals. Parents of youth with behavioral issues particularly need to make sure that they include their child in order to make sure that the trade-off is motivating.
  • Consistency – Behavior modification does not work if the goals and parameters are not clearly defined and adhered to. Patience is a major requirement, since many negative behaviors take some time to truly change; however, remaining consistent is the only way for an individual being treated to learn to trust the consequences of their actions and environment.
  • Flexibility – Individuals change as they go through the treatment process. What worked last month might need to be tweaked in order to remain high value. Be open to new ideas and finding the right mix that appeals to your teen in each emotional stage. Professional guidance is extremely helpful when you want to make sure you are still headed in a positive direction.

Results of Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral modification therapy should not be considered a ‘cure’ for any disorder or condition. Rather, it is a method used to help individuals cope with their issues and deal with everyday challenges in a healthy way. Gaining the tools needed to make positive decisions is a lifelong skill that should be utilized on a regular basis as long as the condition persists. The length of treatment plan required largely depends on an individual’s needs and goals as well as how quickly they make progress. Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center in southern Utah, specializing in helping troubled teen boys through behavior modification techniques. With over 15 years of experience, we have helped thousands of families throughout the country find the best option for their troubled sons. Call us today for a free consultation (800-675-8101).

ADHD Behavior Modification For Teen Boys

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition that affects up to 10 percent of children and adolescents. ADHD is typically characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or an inability to concentrate. ADHD is a lifelong disorder that individuals do not grow out of and previously untreated adults with the condition often learn to mask their symptoms, giving rise to the myth that it only affects people as children and adolescents. Through therapy such as behavior modification, troubled teens can learn to manage their symptoms in order to become successful adults. The fundamentals of behavior modification for teen boys with ADHD are fairly simple and common to almost every parent. However, true consistency is required when implementing a plan with your son, or it will not be effective. The idea behind behavior therapy is to set specific rules that govern behavior and actions and to enforce those rules consistently with positive and negative consequences. There are several strategies to follow when creating a plan for your teen boy.

 

  • Make Sure the Rules Are Clear–Broad or vague requests, such as “avoid doing that” is not enough for teens with ADHD. They need a specific list of what is required of them. Depending on the severity of your teen’s condition, it may be helpful to write up an actual list that he can refer to regularly. Review the rule with your teen to make sure he understands what is expected of him.
  • Be Patient – You are setting yourself and your son up for disappointment if you expect perfection at any point. Teens with ADHD are in a constant dance of one step forward and two steps back. Be positive about the small steps he takes and make sure that any criticism is constructive. Expect to praise your son for his good behavior at least five times more than you censure. He needs to feel a sense of accomplishment in order to stay motivated.
  • Create a Reward System – You are the best judge of the rewards and privileges that will motivate your teen most. Set up a point system that positively reinforces his good behavior and make sure that the terms are very clear. You may want to include your teen in the decision process so that you can make sure that the motivating rewards are of high value to him. It is just as important to be clear on the consequences for breaking the rules.
  • Be Flexible – As your teen progresses and gets older, you will probably need to re-establish your discipline techniques. Be willing to negotiate his privileges and rewards as his needs change (i.e. borrowing the car or attending a big event with friends.)
  • Involve The School – Teens spend a large part of their day in school, so it is important that his teachers and counselors understand his limitations and motivations. When possible, ask his teachers to implement a similar reward system for desired classroom behaviors. One of the ways to do this is ask each teacher to evaluate his daily behavior and report back to you so you can reward accordingly. Most teachers are happy to help their students with ADHD learn to appropriately participate in class, especially when they are being supported by parents.
  • Ask For Help –Parenting a teen with ADHD can be difficult and exhausting. The consistency that is required to prevent backsliding is more than many parents have to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for professional assistance from a licensed therapist or a full time residential facility if you feel your teen is out of control or not benefitting from that plan you have created.

Liahona Academy is a residential treatment center located in southern Utah. We have over 15 years of experience helping teen boys with ADHD learn to manage their disorder and gain the tools they need to become happy and successful individuals. Call us for a free consultation (800-675-8101).