WHAT ARE THE APPLICATIONS OF BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION AND MENTAL HEALTH?
All human behavior falls within the domain of the behavior therapist, and practitioners of behavioral treatment are to be found among educators and special educators, psychologists, social workers,medical professionals,and paraprofessionals in every area of human service.The frequent criticism that applied behaviorism ignores subjective (i.e., mental) events has been blunted in recent years by an increasing interest in the manipulation and treatment of “covert processes’’ (Cautela, 1973). Thoughts, sensations,and other private experiences now appear to be as open to functional analysis and modification as overt behavioral events. A serious problem is that of measurement reliability insofar as private events are directly observable only by the person within whose body they occur.
Nonetheless, behavior therapists have found that systematic arrangement of covert events (for example, practiced imaginary sequences) can alter the frequency of both covert and overt behaviors, and that overt events may havereliable effects on covert behaviors (Kazdin, 1977).
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