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Clínica y Salud

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


CRUZ, Ivette Vargas-de la; MARTINEZ, Héctor  and  FROJAN-PARGA, María Xesús. An extension of the concept of rule and its application to therapy. Clínica y Salud [online]. 2018, vol.29, n.2, pp.63-70. ISSN 2174-0550.

Providing and following rules has been considered an important factor in the effectiveness of psychological treatments; however, a conceptual clarification is needed of what is meant by issuing or following a rule and its application in the clinical setting. Based on a review of the original concept of rule-governed behavior, our purpose was to extend the definition of this behavior oriented to the clinical process. This definition allows its identification and study moment by moment throughout the therapeutic process. The extension of this definition can help us to identify the functional role of rules in clinical change and the variables involved that contribute to the understanding of clinical phenomena such as generalization. The findings that emerge from the study of rules from this perspective could increase the information on the therapeutic change process and, therefore, contribute to the improvement of clinical practice.

Keywords : Rule-governed behavior; Instructions; Clinical process; Contingencies; Generalization.

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