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Behavior Therapy

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Behavior Therapy. The History. Rooted in Experimental Psychology Based on Pavlovian concept of Classical Conditioning & Skinnerian Operant Conditioning Working only on observable events to work with unobservable events. The Experiments. Classical Conditioning

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Presentation Transcript

The History

  • Rooted in Experimental Psychology
  • Based on Pavlovian concept of Classical Conditioning & Skinnerian Operant Conditioning
  • Working only on observable events to work with unobservable events

The Experiments

  • Classical Conditioning
  • I.P.Pavlov – Experiments on a Dog
  • John B. Watson – Albert & White Rat
  • Mowrer & Mowrer –Treatment for Bedwetting
  • Operant Conditioning
  • E.L.Thorndike – “law of effect” (consequences that follow behavior help learning)
  • B.F.Skinner – experiment on Pigeon
  • Social Cognitive Theory
  • A. Bandura:
  • - triadic reciprocal: the environment, the person, the behavioral action
  • Individual learns by observing others
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-awareness, self-inducements, self-reinforcement

The Theory of Personality

  • Positive Reinforcement: a positive event presented as a consequence of a person’s performing a behavior
  • Extinction: withdrawn reinforcer terminates behavior
  • Generalization: the reinforced behavior is learned for other situations
  • Discrimination: ability to respond differently depending upon the stimulus condition
  • Shaping: reinforcing behavior approximation from the original to the desired behavior

The Theory of

Observational Learning

  • Attentional Processes – seeing is not enough; one must perceive accurately by attending at varying degrees
  • Retention Processes – imaginal & verbal coding (self-talk) describe subvocal events for remembering
  • Motor Reproduction Process – translating observed phenomena into action
  • Motivational Process – The modeled behavior that puts into action will continue if being reinforced
  • Self-Efficacy – individual perception of self-ability to perform in different types of situation; the major source of this includes:
    • Performance accomplishment: successes are likely to create high expectations
    • Vicarious Expectations: expecting able to do similar as the observed model
    • Verbal Persuasion: impact of encouragement/ praise from others
    • Emotional Arousal

The Goals of Behavior Therapy

  • Changing The Target Behavior
    • Perform Functional Analysis
      • Define clearly & accurately the target behavior
      • Identify possible actions
      • Collaborate with clients on target behavior preference
    • Evaluate/ assess behavior, antecedents &consequence
      • Identify causes & reasons
      • Choose interventions
    • Select Appropriate Goals
      • Identify specific goals
      • Let clients explore the advantage/ disadvantage
      • Measure achievement

The Assessment

  • Behavioral Interviews:
    • What, When, Where, How, How Often
  • Behavioral Reports & Ratings:
    • Rating scale on behavior inventory
  • Behavioral Observations:
    • Frequency of performed target behavior
    • Diaries indicating date, time place, & activity of the behavior
    • Naturalistic Observation to eliminate Reactivity
  • Physiological Measurements:
    • Blood pressure, Heart rate, Respiratory functioning, Skin electrical conductivity

The Treatment

  • Systematic Desensitization (Joseph Wolpe)
  • Imaginal Flooding
    • Contrast to Gradual Systematic Desensitization, this technique is conducted by exposing the client to a frightening or anxiety provoking images
    • The mental images are indicated in SUD (subjective unit of discomfort)
    • Familiar condition conducted by imagining will reduce anxiety
    • Relaxation procedure may includes prior, during & after therapy
    • A specific form of this therapy: Implosive Therapy (by Thomas Stampfl)
  • In Vivo
    • Procedure is conducted in actual environment
    • 2 types: one similar to SD, another similar to IF
    • Relaxation is conducted whenever client is in a stressful / at tensed
  • Modeling (Bandura)
  • Self Instructional: Cognitive Behavioral (Meichenbaum)

Systematic Desensitization

  • Relaxation
    • Twice a day 10-15 minutes Relaxation (by Jacobson, 1938)
    • Clients learn to control muscles into relaxing condition
    • Relaxed state is paired with imagined anxious situation
  • Anxiety Hierarchies
    • Obtain information on specific situation producing anxiety
    • List the situations in order on scale 0-100 (SUD = subj units of discomfort
    • Determine the prioritized condition to treat
  • Desensitization
    • Ask clients about the SUD level
    • Presenting neutral scene
    • Check how vivid the client can imagine/ visualize
    • Rise the SUD level with more intense scene – recheck the response, conduct relaxation
    • continues

Modeling Technique

(Albert Bandura)

  • 5 Basic Functions of Modeling:
  • TEACHINGthrough demonstration – sometimes therapist perform the behavior repetitiously; the clients observe the model then perform the behavior several times until achieving the expected stage
  • PROMPTthrough imitation – the therapist prompt the client to imitate the movement such as in sport intruction
  • MOTIVATEby reinforcement – thus the client perceives the enjoyment of behaving in a certain way
  • REDUCE ANXIETY by reinforcement – such as instructing a child to swim, when the model is in the pool, the child feel anxious knowing all right being in the pool
  • DISCOURAGING – watching a film on the impact of smoking onm lung cancer discourage smokers to continue smoking

Modeling Technique

  • Live Modeling:
    • Watch live model (sometimes the Therapist) to perform the expected behavior
    • The model repeats the behavior several times
  • Symbolic Modeling:
    • When live model is not present
    • By film/ book including read story/ story telling
    • Indirect modeling
  • Role Playing:
    • Learn to interact in different situations/ posititions – sometimes the therapist role play the client/ someone’s in client’s life
  • Participant Modeling:
    • Therapist model the client’s behavior
    • Therapist guide the client to behave as expected by participating – meanwhile get ready to give help when needed such as in mountain climbing
  • Covert Modeling:
    • Visualizing the model, visualizing the consequences
    • The therapist describes the situation, and let the client consider the impact of the behavior

Self Instructional Training


A way for people to teach themselves how to deal effectively with situations that had previously caused difficulties – the therapist models the appropriate behavior, the clients models the therapist’s behavior & repeats / practice

  • A form of self-management
  • A way people teach themselves to deal with previously difficult situations
    • First the client models the behavior
    • Second the client practices the behavior
    • Third the client repeats the instructions to self
  • Sometimes use role play
  • Sometimes use taped instructions

Stress Inoculation


  • The principle
    • Changing the beliefs and negative inner dialogue to positive & rehearsing the behavior
  • The conceptual phase
    • Gathering the information & see how client develop the inner dialogue
    • Educate the client by pointing out the cognitive & emotional responses
  • Skill Acquisition: Use cognitive behavioral skills:
      • relaxation
      • cognitive restructuring
        • “I’m afraid & can’t do anything” >> “When I am afraid I pause and feel can not do things”
      • problem solving skills
        • “I will change the situation”, “ I make the plan”, “I can walk with others”
      • self-reinforcement
        • “I do better”, “ I feel comfortable”
  • Application
    • Visualize
    • Mentally rehearse
    • Action