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Behavioral Therapy Emmaus Counseling Training Programme 2002-2003 "The major problems of the world today can be solved only if we improve our understanding.

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Presentation on theme: "Behavioral Therapy Emmaus Counseling Training Programme 2002-2003 "The major problems of the world today can be solved only if we improve our understanding."— Presentation transcript:

1 Behavioral Therapy Emmaus Counseling Training Programme "The major problems of the world today can be solved only if we improve our understanding of human behavior" About Behaviorism (1974) BURRHUS FREDERIC SKINNER

2 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Whereas affective approaches stress the way clients feel, behaviorally oriented approaches stress observable behavior in clients and the way they act. Tabula Rasa, therefore all behavior is learnt. Focus = current influences not historical determinants. Scientific: Importance of empirical evidence. General points about the behavioral approach

3 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme B. F. Skinner View of human nature Behavior is affected by its consequences. Everything we do is shaped by our experience of punishment and reward. Basic assumptions Humans can have the closest approximation to ‘freedom’ through recognizing that we can control and shape behavior in our culture and our families if we choose.

4 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme About Skinner B. F. Skinner is considered by many authorities to have been the greatest behavioral psychologist of all time. Watson:*the first scientist to propose a coherent framework of behaviorism *founder of the American school of behaviorism. *wanted resolutions based on principles observable in nature, and not on ideologies formed through introspection. Influenced by Pavlov and Watson

5 Watson also argued against the traditional concern with consciousness because he viewed that introspective psychology was not relevant to the problems that people faced with every day problems. Conscious experience may exist but it is unfit for any form of scientific treatment, but on the other hand any unique facts about consciousness do not exist. Watson’s influence on Skinner… Emmaus Counseling Training Programme

6 As a student – goal of relating behavior to experiment. Built a “cumulative recorder” – to record rats’ responses (pressing of a bar) to stimulus ( food). He found that the rate with which the rat pressed the bar depended not on any preceding stimulus but on what followed the pressing of the bar. He called this OPERANT CONDITIONING Skinner’s Fundamental Ideas

7 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Operant conditioning: behavior is affected by its consequences, BUT the process is not trial- and-error learning but realization of consequences. Can be used to shape behavior.

8 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Reinforcement: behavior that is reinforced is maintained, behavior that is not reinforced will be extinguished. Therefore, schedules of reinforcement = important to maintain behavior. Reinforcers may be positive or negative: Positive reinforcers reinforce when it is presented; negative reinforcers reinforce when it is withdrawn (negative reinforcement is not punishment). Fundamental Ideas…

9 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Baby Tender Skinner designed a crib that would be safer than the typical crib – safe, enclosed, and heated, with a plexiglass window Walden Two Utopia, commune, happy and industrious behaviors are carefully shaped using behavioral techniques. The competitive urge of parents to favor own children converted to a more equal concern for all youngsters – babies brought up communally, rather than in families. Both men and women work. Jobs earn work credits that are weighted so that one can work for a shorter time on undesirable jobs and longer at desirable ones… Ideas in action…

10 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Teaching machines and Programmed Instruction His daughter’s fourth grade math class: “Through no fault of her own the teacher was violating almost everything we knew about the learning process.” ** Connection between “Shaping” and reinforcement, and performance/ learning… ** The importance of sequencing ** Computer-based learning

11 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Therapeutic goals To help client achieve more satisfying lives through learning more effective behaviors. Function and role of the counselor The counselor must assume an active, directive role in the process. Functions as a teacher, director, and expert in diagnosing maladaptive behavior and in working with the client to eliminate those behaviors. The counselor has to be very clear about specific methodologies and goals.

12 ** utilizes techniques that enable the determination of the functional relationship between the maladaptive behavior and the environmental stimuli that are affecting it. Emmaus Counseling Training Programme A behaviorally oriented counselor ** has an interest in the response pattern itself and the particular situations in which it occurs and the particular situations in which it occurs;

13 3.What positive reinforcement or punishing events can be used to alter individual behavior? A behaviorally oriented counselor attempts to collect information that will enable him/her to determine: Emmaus Counseling Training Programme What behavior requires modification? 2. What environmental factors are maintaining those behaviors?

14 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Contributions 1. Focus on specifics and systematic application of techniques. The behaviorist might respond: “Who specifically is not loving you? What is going on in your life to bring about this meaninglessness? What are some of the specific things you might be doing to contribute to the state you are in? Example: Client: I feel unloved and; life has no meaning. Humanist counselor might most likely nod in acceptance,

15 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Contributions… 4. Expanded into other fields: education, especially programmed instruction; computer based learning… 2. Wide variety of specific behavioral techniques at the disposal of the counselor. 3. Techniques have been useful for working with a range of clients including the mentally retarded, autistic and aggressive children; people with eating disorders, depression…

16 Emmaus Counseling Training Programme Criticisms 4.Involves control and manipulation by the counselor… 1.Can change behavior but can’t change feelings… 2.Does not provide insight… 3.Ignores historical causes of present behavior…


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