Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Panel #236
Wherefore Experiential Exercises? Critical Perspectives on their Clinical Utility
Sunday, May 27, 2007
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Edward AB
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Gareth I. Holman (University of Washington)
JONATHAN W. KANTER (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
BARBARA S. KOHLENBERG (University of Nevada School of Medicine)
WILLIAM C. FOLLETTE (University of Nevada, Reno)
ROBERT J. KOHLENBERG (University of Washington)
Abstract: Clinical experiential exercises – i.e., structured tasks aimed at eliciting clinically relevant behavior – are a controversial part of 3rd wave behavior therapies. This panel will discuss several aspects of the controversy, including: How do Functional Analytic Psychotherapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy differ in their use of exercises? What is an appropriate rationale for an exercise? When are exercises counter-therapeutic? How do exercises shift the context of the therapeutic relationship? How do behaviors shaped in exercises generalize (e.g., when are exercises arbitrary)? Why do people have such strong responses – positive and negative – to exercises? What is required of the therapist or instructor who facilitates experiential work? When are exercises more effective than other therapeutic techniques? Panelists will present a range of opinions – from supportive to highly skeptical – on the clinical utility of experiential exercises.



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