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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #24
A Behavior Analytic Methodology for Studying Psychotherapy: New Data on Functional Analytic Psychotherapy
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
North 222 AB
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jonathan W. Kanter (Department of Psychology/University of Wisconsin,-Milwaukee)
Discussant: Glenn M. Callaghan (San Jose State University)
Abstract: A strength of behavior analysis is its focus on behavior as it occurs. Thus, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy presents a functional analysis of the psychotherapy situation that focuses on the moment-to-moment behavioral interaction between the client and therapist and how the therapist can shape client behavior in the moment. This level of analysis also lends itself to a methodology for the study of psychotherapy process and mechanisms of action that uniquely provides data useful to both the scientist and clinician. In this symposium, three studies using a moment-to-moment coding scheme for Functional Analytic Psychotherapy are presented. These studies examine FAP’s mechanism, including a detailed analysis of a single FAP session, an analysis of several FAP successes and failures, and an analysis to determine the appropriate unit of analysis when coding FAP sessions. This coding analysis is presented as a uniquely behavior analytic method for studying the empirical basis of a psychotherapy approach, at the level of individual mechanism rather than group treatment outcome.
Enough is enough: Determining adequate sampling techniques for the FAPRS coding system
SABRINA DARROW (University of Nevada, Reno), Jordan T. Bonow (University of Nevada, Reno), William C. Follette (University of Nevada Reno), Glenn M. Callaghan (San Jose State University)
Abstract: Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is one treatment in the clinical behavior analysis tradition. In this radical behavioral approach to psychotherapy therapists attempt to shape the interpersonal behaviors of clients in-vivo (i.e., within sessions). The Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Rating Scale (FAPRS; Callaghan, Follette, Ruckstuhl, & Linnerooth, 2008) is popularly used in the process and outcome research of FAP. The FAPRS is a coding system used to identify the function of therapist and client verbalizations on a turn-by-turn basis. When used to the fullest extent, all turns in a therapy session are assigned a code from the FAPRS. This allows FAP researchers to test hypotheses regarding the shaping process thought to occur during FAP sessions. Research of other coding systems for interpersonal interactions has suggested that only portions of the entire interactions taking place need to be coded in order to identify the processes occurring during those interactions. This study uses similar methodology in order to determine appropriate sampling techniques in the employment of the FAPRS. It is hoped that empirically generated sampling techniques will provide a less intensive alternative to the laborious process of coding entire therapy sessions.
Detailed Empirical Investigation of a Single Successful FAP Session
DANIEL WILLIAM MAITLAND (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jonathan W. Kanter (Department of Psychology/University of Wisconsin,-Milwaukee), Cristal E. Weeks (Department of Psychology/ University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), David E. Baruch (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Andrew Busch (Brown Medical School)
Abstract: One of the strengths of FAP is that it specifies its hypothesized mechanism of action in behavioral terms at the level of the moment-to-moment client-therapist interaction. This allows for precise, behavior analytic investigations of the therapeutic process to evaluate whether FAP's mechanism occurred in successful and unsuccessful cases. While previous analyses have focused on session-by-session data, the current analysis will explore a single FAP session, turn-by-turn. The goal will be to dissect the actual interaction in terms of the ideal FAP interaction suggested by FAP's mechanism. This presentation will be useful both as an example of behavior analytic research on FAP and as a clinical demonstration of FAP's mechanism of action in action.
A Process Analysis of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy’s Mechanism of Change
CRISTAL E. WEEKS (Department of Psychology/ University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), David E. Baruch (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Laura C. Rusch (Univ of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Jonathan W. Kanter (Department of Psychology/University of Wisconsin,-Milwaukee)
Abstract: A behavior analytic method for analyzing therapy sessions is to use a molecular coding approach that tracks therapist-client interactions on the moment-to-moment level by focusing on each turn of speech. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), is a radical behavioral therapy which utilizes the moment-to-moment contingencies inherent in outpatient therapy by strategically applying contingent reinforcement to shape client behavior in-session (Baruch et al., in press). The FAP Rating System (FAPRS) was designed to measure turn-by-turn client and therapist behavior in order to investigate FAP’s purported mechanism of change: therapist contingent responding. We used the FAPRS to code tapes from a non-concurrent, multiple baseline A/A +B single subject design exploring FAP’s mechanism of change. The baseline phase consisted of assessment to identify idiographic target behavior for clients to track outside of session and FAP interventions excluding therapist contingent responding. At the phase shift, therapists were instructed to begin to contingently respond to CRB. Participants included five clients diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and one or more personality disorders. The current study will present the pending results of a FAPRS analysis of these sessions to explore the role of contingent responding in all five clients, which includes both successful and unsuccessful applications of FAP.



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