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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #346
CE Offered: None

Clinical Behavior Analysis for Experimental Behavior Analysts

Monday, May 30, 2005
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Boulevard C (2nd floor)
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Kelly G. Wilson, M.D.
Chair: Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
MICHAEL J. DOUGHER (University of New Mexico), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Dr. Michael Dougher is currently a Professor and Director of Clinical Training at the University of New Mexico, where he started his academic career in 1980. He received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1974, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1980. Dr. Dougher played an important role in the development of the now rapidly growing field of clinical behavior analysis. He conducts basic laboratory research on stimulus equivalence, relational responding and the transformation of functions in an attempt to identify and articulate the complex verbal process that underlie the development and treatment of clinical problems. Dr. Dougher is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society and is currently serving as associate editor for both the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Behavior Analyst.

Clinical behavior analysis has made great strides over the last ten years. It can be distinguished from the larger field of applied behavior analysis in at least three ways. First, it is generally used with verbally competent, free-ranging humans who voluntarily seek treatment for the kinds of problems addressed by mainstream psychotherapy, e.g., depression, anxiety, and interpersonal distress. Second, these clinical problems are not easily understood or explained in terms of basic behavior analytic concepts, such as the three-term contingency. They require a more complex analysis, often involving verbal processes including stimulus equivalence, transformation of function, and relational responding. Third, treatment interventions with these types of clients are typically verbal and do not involve direct manipulation of reinforcement contingencies. The purpose of this talk is to acquaint basic behavior analysts with recent developments in clinical behavior analysis, the basic research that has been most helpful in formulating treatment interventions, and some of the research issues that remain to be addressed. This session was designed to foster dialogue between clinical behavior analysis and the experimental analysis of behavior. In order to facilitate this interaction, Dr. Doughers paper will be followed by approximately fifteen minutes of discussion by Dr. Carol Pilgrim.




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