This is the chicken and the egg approach question. Which comes first? The behavior? The chemical changes? Does behavior alter our brain? Does our brain alter behavior? And really the answer that we are starting to come up with now is that it is a yes to all questions. It is a bi-directional interaction and we really, in science have shot ourselves in the foot for a long time by disconnecting and disengaging elements of our understandings and behaviors this and neurochemicals of that and forgetting the fact that there is an interplay of activity in our whole body; from the DNA all the way up to the organs and the whole basis, the whole body in itself. We need to pay attention to that. What we are finding is that your thoughts, the way you are thinking can alter the way in which your genes express themselves. Genes are not fixed in their response and they alter depending upon your environment, on what you are thinking, and upon how you are feeling.
The question asks why therapists use behavioral approaches. They predominantly use a cognitive behavior approach which includes activity and thinking to try and alter the responses that cause our genes to express and create this interplay of activity within our body and hopefully take us towards an element of feeling better. Behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapies are still effective because we are not a one-directional being. We are a two directional being and everything affects everything.
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