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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #352
Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: Overview, Methodology for Measuring Psychotherapeutic Process and Outcome, and Empirical Examples
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jonathan W. Kanter (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Discussant: Robert J. Kohlenberg (University of Washington)
Abstract: Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP; Kohlenberg & Tsai, 1991) is based on a behavioral analysis of the process of therapeutic change that leads to an intense focus on the client-therapist relationship. FAP also provides a set of treatment recommendations based on Skinnerian functional analyses of complex clinical phenomena, such as cognitions and an understanding of the self. These are largely theoretical but nonetheless provide the FAP therapist with a consistent behavioral conceptualization. FAP has been described as “getting ahead of the data” (Corrigan, 2001). A foundational tenet of any behavior-analytic intervention is that treatment starts with, and is based on, idiographic assessment of problem behaviors. As such, FAP resists easy manualization and standardized outcome measurement, a crucial first step in modern clinical research. This may be one reason why FAP research has lagged behind theory. The current symposium addresses this issue. First, Sara Landes presents an overview of FAP, research supporting FAP, and lines of evidence highlighting the importance of FAP’s focus on the relationship. Second, David Baruch presents a research methodology for functional assessment of client and therapist in-session behavior to identify the hypothesized mechanism of change. Third, Andrew Busch presents data generated by this methodology. Robert Kohlenberg will discuss.
Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: Background, Theory, and Empirical Support.
SARA J. LANDES (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Keri Popp (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Ryan Neibauer (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Jennifer Leonard (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Jonathan W. Kanter (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Abstract: The first presentation in this symposium discusses the challenge of doing FAP research. A review of empirical research and additional lines of evidence in support of FAP is presented. These additional lines of evidence draw from diverse areas of psychology including social psychology, behaviorism, and research on the psychoanalytic notion of transference reactions. An overview of FAP principles and the FAP mechanism of change also is presented as an introduction to the next two presentations in this symposium, which outline a methodology for measuring process and outcome in FAP and present an empirical example of this methodology.
A Methodology for Measuring Psychotherapeutic Process and Outcome in Functional Analytic Psychotherapy.
DAVID E. BARUCH (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Andrew Busch (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Laura Turner (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Jonathan W. Kanter (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Abstract: This presentation describes a methodology for measurement of client and therapist behavior in session that allows for empirical analysis of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) process and outcome that is consistent with the principles of clinical behavior analysis. The development and initial reliability data in support of a functional measurement system is reported. The Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Coding System (FAPRS) is an observer-based coding system for assessing client and therapist behavior in FAP. It uses a turn-by-turn methodology such that every turn-at-speech is coded into one of 10 client codes or 15 therapist codes. This system codes client and therapist interactions sequentially to allow for analyses of the impact of therapist behavior on the client over time using lag-sequential analysis. Inter-rater reliability of coders has been found to be acceptable. The FAPRS allow for a complete idiographic assessment of in-session client and therapist behavior to analyze the effect of in-session interactions on out-of-session behavior both within a particular session and weekly over the course of therapy. This effectively isolates the hypothesized mechanism of change in FAP which is therapist contingent responding to client problems and improvements as they occur in the context of the client-therapist relationship.
Measuring Process and Outcome in Functional Analytic Psychotherapy.
ANDREW BUSCH (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Laura C. Rusch (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), David E. Baruch (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Sara J. Landes (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Jonathan W. Kanter (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Abstract: In this final presentation of this symposium, the methodology described earlier is applied to individual cases. This paper presents data from empirical single case studies using Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP; Kohlenberg & Tsai, 1991) or FAP in combination with other CBT approaches. For all clients, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Rating Scale (FAPRS) was used to assess in-session client and therapist behavior across all sessions. For some cases, the frequency of specific interpersonal problems was tracked over the course of therapy. This data supports the assertion that client interpersonal improvement can be shaped through therapist contingent responding.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh