Faculty Articles

Title

Remedying the Achilles Heel of Behavior Research and Therapy: Prescriptive Matching of Intervention and Psychopathology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1994

Publication Title

Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry

Volume

25

Issue/Number

3

First Page

179

ISSN

0005-7916

Last Page

188

Abstract/Excerpt

Recent calls for eclecticism in clinical practice have been fueled by the putative limitations of behavioral techniques in treating a variety of psychological problems. However, calls for such integration do not appear to be justified for two related reasons. First, the precise conditions under which behavioral interventions are and are not effective have not yet been adequately delineated. consequently, rejection of behavioral interventions in favor of relatively indiscriminate application of cognitive strategies is premature. Second, behavior therapy has as its hallmark a thorough grounding in inductive empiricism, while cognitive/dynamic theories are wholly based in deductive rationalism. As a result, wholesale acceptance of alternative theories and techniques by behaviorists is both inconsistent and retrogressive. Cognitive interventions have their place, but only when cognitive distortions have been specifically identified. Therefore, refinement of behavioral treatments into prescriptive interventions is warranted. The parameters of prescriptive behavior therapy are described in this paper.

DOI

10.1016/0005-7916(94)90018-3

Peer Reviewed

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