Contemporary Behavior Therapy Nearing the Age of Fifty

Behavior therapy in the year 2001 looks quite different from the behavior therapy of the 1950s. Behavior therapists have long since won the fight for legitimacy in the mental health care arena; the success of behavior therapies for a wide range of problems is well established. Behavior therapies are in vogue, and behavior therapists have few real adversaries. Armed with data in hand, behavior therapists are leading the charge to demonstrate that psychosocial interventions work to alleviate a broad range of human suffering. Randomized clinical trials, efficacy, effectiveness, manualized treatments, dissemination, treatment outcomes assessment, accountability, time efficiency, cost containment, treatment quality and integrity, and managed care are now common buzz words. There are relatively few behavior therapists with one foot planted in basic behavioral science and the other foot in the clinic. Few of those calling themselves behavior therapists are thoroughly familiar with behaviorism and contemporary principles of learning from behavioral science, and even fewer look to behavior theory and behavioral principles for clinical inspiration. Ironically, it is precisely this approach that paved the way for behavior therapy's early successes: one that contemporary behavior therapy seems to have lost sight of, particularly judging the need for the thematic title—Bridging the Gap from Science to Clinical Practice—of the 1994 annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Most behavior therapists identify themselves loosely as cognitive-behavior therapists and do not see use of this hyphenated term as a conceptual redundancy. Novel treatment innovations are few and far between, and the modus operandi is to transport existing treatments almost whole cloth (e.g., relaxation training) to diagnosti-cally dissimilar clinical conditions and test for their efficacy within large-scale randomized clinical trials. In many ways, behavior therapists have suffered from their own inadequate training in philosophy of science and have become radical empiricists, logical positivists, and, to use B. F Skinner's terminology, methodological be-haviorists. In doing so, behavior therapists have fallen into the trap of mechanistic thinking, of dualism, and of deemphasizing the importance of behavior principles and behavior theory Behavior therapy's treatment technologies are now finding their way into the hands of nonbehavioral practitioners who, by virtue of their training, have little affiliation with behavior therapy, behavior principles that drive the treatment technology, and behaviorism. Though dissemination is an important and potentially beneficial development, it also illustrates that one need not be trained behaviorally to use a behavioral intervention successfully. Interest in the conceptual foundations of behavior therapy, and the practice of conceptually driven behavior therapy is, for the most part, seen as irrelevant for the successful implementation of behavioral intervention technologies. What is means to be a behavior therapist is now, more than ever, anyone's guess.

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Stuttering Simple Techniques to Help Control Your Stutter

Discover Simple Techniques to Help Control Your Stutter. Stuttering is annoying and embarrassing. If you or a member of your family stutters, you already know the impact it can have on your everyday life. Stuttering interferes with communication, and can make social situations very difficult. It can even be harmful to your school or business life.

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