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You or persons close to you may be concerned about challenges encountered in daily life, such
as relationships with loved ones or coworkers. Or you might suffer from a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. Alternatively you might worry about health-related issues, such as obesity, diabetes, or chronic pain.
Clinical Behavior Analysts assist with managing challenges that decrease a person’s quality of
life, concerns and struggles common to all of us. At the same time, Clinical Behavior Analysts
view each individual as a unique meeting point of current circumstances, personal history, and
biological dispositions that, in some cases, may come together to generate extraordinary
challenges. To alleviate suffering and to help individuals meet their personal goals, Clinical
Behavior Analysts apply evidence-based principles governing our cognitions, emotions, and
Clinical Behavior Analysis is an active approach to behavior change. The client and the Clinical Behavior Analyst work together as a team, much like a coach and a player. Together, they assess past and present patterns of interacting with the world and plan steps toward a richer and more meaningful life.
As a humanistic approach to psychological intervention, Clinical Behavior Analysis—in addition reducing symptoms—encourages the exploration of personal values and an engagement with the world in novel ways. Applying evidence-based principles is the central defining feature of Clinical Behavior Analysis, and several approaches to treatment have been developed to address particular kinds of problems.
• Acceptance and CommitmentTherapy or ACT addresses the difficult thoughts and
emotions that frequently become barriers to getting what we want out of life. ACT
teaches skills that help us to pursue our values and goals even when difficult thoughts and
emotions are present.
• Behavioral Activation is the modern application of clinical behavior analysis to
depression. This approach first identifies the current circumstances contributing to
depression and current patterns of behavior that may maintain feeling depressed.
Individuals are then encouraged to actively pursue goals and to monitor what they do
each day, so the relationship between different types of activity and changes in mood
may be noticed. Finally, individuals also practice the analysis of situation-behaviorconsequence
relations and their influence on mood.
• Behavioral Pediatrics is an emerging area of concentration that occupies the intersection
between pediatrics and behavioral psychology. Children with behavioral problems
typically enter into the healthcare system through contact with a pediatrician. Behavioral
pediatrics represents a natural ally for primary care pediatricians, providing the pragmatic
application of evidence based principles to a variety of presenting problems. Other
branches of psychology, which focus more on describing symptoms and searching for
psychopathology, do not blend as readily or as well. For these reasons, there is a unique
opportunity for the expansion of clinical behavior analysis into this domain of healthcare.
• Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT was initially developed to help individuals
struggling with severe, persistent, and multiple problems. Using individual and group
therapy sessions, this intensive treatment first focuses on establishing fundamental
emotion-regulation, mindfulness, interpersonal, and distress-tolerance skills;
subsequently, strategies for self-realization are also integrated into treatment.
• Functional Analytic Psychotherapy or FAP concentrates on the quality of our
interpersonal relationships. Very often, our behavior impacts others in ways that are quite
different from what we originally intended. FAP focuses on developing and honing the
skills that can help us create the kinds of relationships we want.
• Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy and Traditional Behavioral Marital
Therapy increase the quality of romantic relationships by enhancing intimacy and
closeness by increasing positive interactions, and building compassion, communication,
and problem-solving skills.
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