Contemporary behavior therapy is not easily defined, but it can be characterized in terms of a core of basic assumptions, including the seminal commitment to maintaining a link to the principles, procedures, and findings of experimental psychology. Originally based on conditioning theory, the theoretical and research foundations of behavior therapy were expanded during the 1970s to include cognitive processes and procedures, and more attention will be given to affect in the 1980s. Recent proposals for a rapprochement between behavior therapy and psychodynamic therapy via the identification of common clinical strategies are likely to prove unsuccessful. Alternatively, it is suggested that we develop replicable and effective methods of change within the framework of behavior therapy and invite other therapeutic approaches similarly to show what they can and cannot accomplish. Despite the influence of experimental psychology on behavior therapy, the disturbing gap between research and practice remains. Aside from generating more relevant clinical research, we must accept that political, economic, social, and personal factors are major determinants of delivery of mental health services. AABT should take a more activist role in supporting any reasonable policies that seek to make reimbursable only those methods that are safe and effective, and to guarantee the appropriate recognition of psychologists and other professionals as independent health providers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology