Out-of-Control Behavior

People whose behavior is out-of-control usually report extreme, intense negative emotions. They will often fluctuate between extremes of anger, anxiety, depression and shame. Because problem behaviors are viewed as learned responses, solving the problem involves gaining a better understanding of your behavior and the forces that impact it. It involves learning new skills to manage the intensely painful emotions that trigger problem behaviors.

Problem solving involves:

  • Behavioral analysis: identifying the thoughts and feelings that lead up to the problem behavior as well as those that immediately follow.
  • Contingency management: Understanding and managing what happens that makes you more likely to engage in problem behaviors and changing them.
  • Skills training:learn new ways to deal with intense and painful emotions.
  • Exposure: facing situations and emotional cues that you typically avoid.
  • Cognitive modification: changing the thoughts and self-judgments that increase emotionality and keep you in the same cycle of problem behaviors.
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