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Behavior Therapy


Behavior Therapy SPED 835- Dr. Kasik- Spring 2001 Presented by Patrick Lovelace Behavior Therapy The systematic application of the principles of learning ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Behavior Therapy

Behavior Therapy
SPED 835- Dr. Kasik- Spring 2001
Presented by
Patrick Lovelace
Behavior Therapy
  • The systematic application of the principles
    of learning to the direct modification of

Key Figures
  • John Broadus Watson (1878-1958) considered the
    founder of American behaviorism stated that If
    psychology is to be a natural science, it must
    limit itself to observable, measurable events.
  • Ivan Pavlov, a Russian scientist, discovered that
    dogs would salivate at the sound of a bell due to
    the fact that the sounding of the bell was
    associated with feeding time.

B. F. Skinner
  • Introduced the concept of Reinforcement.
  • Organisms learn to behave in certain ways
    because they have been reinforced (rewarded) to
    do so and so was born the idea of Operant

What is Behavior Therapy ?
  • The systematic application of the principles of
    learning to the direct modification of behavior.
  • The terms Behavior Therapy and Behavior
    Modification are often used interchangeably.
    However, in a practical sense they are different.
  • Question Are teachers therapist?

What is the difference?
  • Behavior Modification can be practiced by
    teachers, parents, or anyone else properly
    trained in the basic principles and techniques.
  • Behavior Therapy should only be offered by a
    licensed psychologist with a background in

How is behavior modification used ?
  • Behavior modification techniques are utilized
    in the treatment of a wide variety of behavioral
  • Drug and alcohol addictions.
  • Social maladjustment disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Phobia
  • ADHD and Conduct disorder

Categories of Behavior Modification
  • Behavior modification techniques can be
    generally grouped into 4 categories.
  • Fear Reduction
  • Aversion Conditioning
  • Operant Conditioning
  • Self monitoring / Self control
  • Operant Conditioning and Self Monitoring are the
    techniques most commonly used in the classroom.

Token Economy
  • Students are allowed to earn tokens or points
    in exchange for positive behavior. Students are
    then allowed to use these tokens or points to
    buy treats or privileges within the classroom.

Successive Approximation
  • The student learns to achieve goalsone step
    at a time. The teacher rewards (reinforces) the
    students success at the completion of each task
    until the overall goal has been achieved.
  • In the case of Behavior Shaping, the
    student is encouraged to maintain positive
    behavior in gradually increasing increments of

Social Skills Training
  • The student learns and practices appropriate
    social behavior to replace negative behaviors in
    social situations. When the student uses the
    new skills, the student is given feedback
    (reinforcement or corrective action) to let the
    student know how he or she has done. The student
    also verbalizes how he or she feels after
    demonstrating appropriate skills.

Functional Analysis
  • The student is encouraged to keep a journal
    of his or her behavior. The entries are
    discussed with the teacher or therapist in order
    to identify patterns or triggers that will help
    the student better understand and alter
    troublesome behaviors.

Programmed Learning
  • A complex task is broken down into smaller
    tasks. Each task should be created to eliminate
    student error.
  • The goal is to teach the student the correct
    behavior (action) chain to successfully complete
    the task.
  • This method requires that the teacher do a
    complete task analysis on the targeted task to
    insure that each prerequisite task is covered.

Planned Ignoring
  • This method requires that the teacher
    purposely ignores negative behaviors, and
    promptly rewards positive behavior.

Time Out
  • Time Out requires that the student be placed
    in a drab, restrictive environment for a
    specified time period. The student is not to be
    allowed any attention from peers or teachers.
    (unless positive peer culture is used in
  • Time out is less effective with older students

Positive Peer Culture
  • Students are taught to regulate and reinforce
    the behavior of their peers. Students give each
    other honest feedback about how they feel
    regarding the behavior of their peers. This
    method also allows for the peer group to create
    disciplinary measures for inappropriate behaviors.

Tough Love
  • Tough Love is defined as the use of strict
    disciplinary measures and limitations on freedoms
    or privileges, as by a parent or guardian, as a
    means of fostering responsibility and expressing
    care or concern.
  • Tough Love is not mean spirited or demeaning. It
    is meant to be administered with compassion and

Tough Love is
  • Giving children clear, concise rules with
    reasonable limits
  • .
  • Allowing children to experience the natural
    consequences of their choices.
  • Not rescuing children from the repercussions of
    their own poor decisions.
  • Sticking to the rules and expectations set forth

  • Modeling is simply giving the students a positive
    role model to demonstrate the kinds of behavior
    expected from the student. Surround the student
    with positive influences. Be the kind of person
    we want the child to become.

Assessment Tools
  • Behavior Rating Profile (Brown Hammill, 1990)
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (Sparrow, Balla,
    Cicchetti, 2000)
  • AAMD Adaptive Behavior Scale School
    Edition(Lambert, Windmiller, Tharinger, Cole,
  • Devereux Adolescent Behavior Rating Scale
    (Spivack, Spotts, Haimes, 1967)

Final Thoughts
  • It is important to remember that, as
    teachers, we are not therapist. We can only hope
    to create positive learning environments for our
    students by maintaining the rules of behavior we
    have set forth in our classrooms. If behavior
    modification is our method of choice, we must be
    sure to have solid understanding of the basic
    principles and techniques. Like any other
    method, it must be tailored to the individual
    needs of the students. Remember, MODELING is one
    of the best forms of Behavior modification.

  • Gilbert, Sara. What Happens In Therapy ?,
    Lothrop, Lee Shepard Books, New York., 1992.
  • Lingren, Herbert G., PH.D Tough Love With
    Teens. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2001
  • Rathus, Spencer A., Psychology in the New
    Millennium. 6th Edition, Harcourt Brace, 1996.
  • Schloss, Patrick J., Smith, Maureen A., Schloss,
    Cynthia N., Instructional Methods for Secondary
    Students with Learning and Behavior Problems. 3rd
    Edition, 2000
  • Weisberg, Lynne W., MD, PH.D, Greenberg, Rosalie
    MD., When Acting Out Isnt Acting-Out,
    Understanding Child and Adolescent Temper, Anger,
    and Behavior Disorders, 1988