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Clínica y Salud

On-line version ISSN 2174-0550Print version ISSN 1130-5274


VALERO-AGUAYO, Luis; FERRO-GARCIA, Rafael; KOHLENBERG, Robert T.  and  TSAI, Mavis. Therapeutic Change Processes in Functional Analytic Psychotherapy. Clínica y Salud [online]. 2011, vol.22, n.3, pp.209-221. ISSN 2174-0550.

This paper discusses the mechanism of change and therapeutic techniques central to Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP). Based on the experimental analysis of behavior, contingencies of reinforcement are viewed as an important mechanism of change leading to significant therapeutic improvements. The issue addressed in this paper concerns how a therapist can make maximum use of contingencies of reinforcement, given that the client´s problems occur in daily life. FAP emphasizes the client-therapist relationship as providing opportunities for the immediate shaping and reinforcement of improved behavior. The principles of functional analysis are used to explain how actual instances of daily life problems can occur during the session, providing opportunities for therapeutic change, and then mediating generalization from improvements during the session to daily life. Central concepts discussed in this paper include: clinically relevant behavior (CRB), natural reinforcement, interpersonal processes, the behavioral implications of an intense and emotional therapistclient relationship, private behavior, cognitions as behavior, and the behavioral analysis of language (verbal behavior). Five rules that guide therapists in facilitating intense and transformative work with their clients are also discussed.

Keywords : Functional Analytic Psychotherapy; process change; reasons for change; therapist client-relationship; third wave behavior therapy.

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