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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #62
The Many Faces of Clinical Behavior Analysis: Conceptual Issues
Thursday, November 29, 2001
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Barbantini Hall
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Luc Vandenberghe (Catholic University of Goias)
Abstract: This symposium offers fresh views on a quickly developing area of Behaviour Analysis. Clinical Behaviour Analysis is a tentative to apply the concepts of Radical Behaviourism and the principles of Behaviour Analysis on the conventional psychotherapy session, in which the mayor means of changing the problem-behaviour of the client consists in the verbal interaction between client and therapist. Different aspects of this way of doing therapy are examined: the role of positive reinforcement; the implications of treating a client with another cultural and values-orientation than the therapist; and the impact of in-session contingencies on the behaviour of the therapist.
The Concept of Natural Reinforcers, and its Implications for Psychotherapy
LARS-GUNNAR LUNDH (Stockholm University)
Abstract: Each kind of psychotherapy has its specific contingencies of reinforcement that are likely to influence the client’s behaviour (at least in this particular psychotherapeutic setting, and hopefully also beyond that setting). Effective psychotherapy is partly a matter of designing environments that can produce the kind of behaviour change that is desired by the client. The present paper starts from Kohlenberg and Tsai`s (1991) distinction between `natural` and `arbitrary` reinforcers, and argues that an important part of effective psychotherapy is to identify natural reinforcers for clinically relevant behaviours. The concept of natural reinforcers is analyzed and discussed with reference to Kohlenberg`s Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, Linehan`s Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Hayes` Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It is argued that each kind of behaviour (as defined functionally, and not topographically) has its natural reinforcers, and that the further development of behaviour analysis in this area may benefit from the development of a phenomenology of behaviour that identifies various kinds of clinically relevant behaviours and their natural reinforcers.
Culture-Sensitive Clinical Behaviour Analysis
LUC VANDENBERGHE (Catholic University of Goias)
Abstract: The functional analytical psychotherapist who treats clients belonging different cultures, faces a dilemma inherent to the principles of clinical behaviour analysis. He or she lacks some repertoires which are specific for the client’s culture and will thus lack sensitivity for natural contingencies that are important for the client. In the literature on clinical behaviour analysis, a therapist is supposed to be more effective when having access to the same repertoires that he or she aims to influence in his or her clients (which is not obvious when client and therapist do not have a common culture), and knowledge of culture-specific interaction-patterns is supposed to be necessary to be able to discriminatively reinforce clinical improvements during session. This paper will elaborate some fundamental ideas, both from Relational Frame Theory and Functional Analytical Psychotherapy, which provide potentially decisive answers to the above mentioned dilemma. Fundamental research concerning the distinction between rule-governed and contingency-shaped behaviour and the interaction between both is called upon to argue that clinical behaviour analysis has particular culture-sensitive potentials. This paper concludes with a number of general recommendations for clinical behaviour analysis with culturally different clients, and concrete suggestions for research.
Some Effects of the Therapeutic Session on the Therapist’s Repertoires
ROBERTO ALVES BANACO (Pontifical University of Sao Paulo)
Abstract: The literature concerning the study of the contingencies that act upon behaviours emitted in the therapy session has specially focused the effects of that situation upon the client’s repertoires. Little attention has been given to the therapist’s repertoires, unless through recommendations, rules, ethical postures, etc., that is to say, as a series of responses that should be acquired before the session starts. The present work looks for forms of working with the behavioural repertoires of therapists that are transformed during the sessions as a result of shaping, starting from the interaction between the therapist’s and the client’s behaviours. It also approaches effects of supervision sessions. The method of data collection adopted, consists of the supervisor’s direct following of the session while it happens. Through the shaping of the therapist’s self-observation behaviour during the supervision session, it was sought to improve the therapist’s self-control during the therapeutic session. Results demonstrate not only that the relevant therapist behaviour can be established in this way; the therapist teaches the same responses to his or her client, obtaining marked changes in the pattern of the session. This work finally discusses some proposals found in the literature, especially in Functional Analytical Psychotherapy, that insinuates that therapists who lack specific repertoires would be unable to make certain interventions during the session, and which alternatives would be possible for them.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh