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THEORIES OF BEHAVIOURAL COUNSELLINGPROPONENTS/CONTRIBUTORSSkinner (1904-1990): B. F. Skinner is considered by many authori...
concerned with thenervous system, and specifically the cerebral cortex, not with anylawfulnessthat he might find in behavi...
behaviors. Behaviorists believe behavior can be studied in a methodical andrecognizable manner with no consideration of in...
THEIR BASIC ASSUMPTIONThe behavioural approach is the assumption that behaviour is learned. Experience andinteractions wit...
2. Behavioral counselling theory Assumes That Maladaptive Behaviors Are, To A   Considerable Degree, Acquired Through Lear...
behavior manifests itself in the present environment. Distant underlying causes       of behavior, or consequences that ma...
•   reschedule/cancel an appointment so another person may see a counsellor   •   pay bills in a timely manner   •   use p...
should be changed to manage around the existing culture, whether the culture should bechanged, or whether the strategy its...
COUNSELLING PROCEDUREPsychological counsellors are increasingly faced with the challenges of multiculturalwork. No therapy...
counsellors in understanding the detail of cultural diversity, however, has led tocriticism of counsellors becoming psycho...
desensitization can be applied. In this technique, instead of feeling fear or anxiety aboutan object, person or animal, cl...
humans are both rational and irrational, sensible and crazy. Irrationality and crazinessare inherent and may be encouraged...
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Theories of behavioural counselling man

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Theories of behavioural counselling man

  1. 1. THEORIES OF BEHAVIOURAL COUNSELLINGPROPONENTS/CONTRIBUTORSSkinner (1904-1990): B. F. Skinner is considered by many authorities to have beenthegreatest behavioral psychologist of all time. Earlier behaviorism had been concernedwith stimulus-responseconnections. Skinner looked at the learning process in theopposite way,investigating how learning was affected by stimuli presented after an actwasperformed. He found that certain stimuli caused the organism to repeat an actmorefrequently. He called stimuli with this effect the "reinforcers". Watson found that byproviding reinforcement in a systematic way one couldshape the behavior in desireddirections. Link to operantTeachers have benefited the most from Skinners fundamental work inreinforcement asa means of controlling and motivating student behavior. Itsvarious applications toclassroom practice are commonly called "behaviormodification", a technique that manyteachers consider to be one of theirmost valuable tools for improving both learning andbehavior of their students.(Charles)Pavlov (1849-1936): Ivan P. Pavlov is Russias most famous scientist. He first wongreat distinction for his research on the physiology of the digestive system. Pavlovencountered a methodological problem that was ultimately to prove more important andmore interesting than his physiological research. He had discovered "conditioning".For Pavlov, all behavior was reflexive. But how do such behaviors differ from thebehavior commonly called "instinctive" ? Instinctive behavior is sometimes said to bemotivated. The animal has to be hungry, to be sexually aroused, or to have nest-building hormones before these kinds of instinctive behavior can occur. But Pavlovconcluded that there seems to be nobasis for distinguishing between reflexes and whathas commonly been thought ofas non reflexive behavior. As a psychologist, Pavlov was 1
  2. 2. concerned with thenervous system, and specifically the cerebral cortex, not with anylawfulnessthat he might find in behavior.At a more abstract level, Pavlov thought that all learning, whether ofelicited responsesin animals or of highly conceptual behaviors in humans, wasdue to the mechanisms ofclassical conditioning. We now believe it to be wrong,but it is none the less one of thegreat ideas of our culture. (Bolles)Watson ( 1878-1958): John B. Watson was one of the most colorful personalities inthehistory of psychology. Although he did not invent behaviorism, he becamewidelyknown as its chief spokesman and protagonist.Watson was brought up in the prevalent tradition: Mechanism explains behavior. In awidely used textbook (Watson, 1914) he said that the study ofthe mind is the provinceof philosophy; it is the realm of speculation andendless word games. The mind has noplace in psychology. A science ofpsychology must be based on objective phenomenaand the ultimate explanationmust be found in the central nervous system.It was Watson, more than Pavlov or any other one person, who convincedpsychologiststhat the real explanation of behavior lay in the nervous systemand that as soon as weunderstood the brain a little better, most of themysteries would disappear. And, it wasmainly because of Watson that so manypsychologists came to believe that what theycalled conditioning was soimportant. (Bolles)THE MAJOR CONCEPTSBehavioral counselling theory is a philosophy of psychology based on the propositionthat all things that organisms do—including acting, thinking, and feeling—can andshould be regarded as behaviors, and that psychological disorders are best treated byaltering behavior patterns or modifying the environment. According to behavioralcounselling theory, individuals response to different environmental stimuli shapes our 2
  3. 3. behaviors. Behaviorists believe behavior can be studied in a methodical andrecognizable manner with no consideration of internal mental states. Thus, all behaviorcan be clarified without the need to reflect on psychological mental states. Thebehaviorist school of thought maintains that behaviors as such can be describedscientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypotheticalconstructs such as the mind. Behavioral counselling theory comprises the position thatall theories should have observational correlates but that there are no philosophicaldifferences between publicly observable processes (such as actions) and privatelyobservable processes (such as thinking and feeling) Behavioural theories contrastsharply with insight-oriented or Gestalt approaches. For one thing, counsellors holdingon to behavioural tenets are active when conducting sessions, compared to insighttherapies. Second, behavioural counsellors focus on changing clients’ behaviour ratherthan exploring thoughts and feelings. Third, counsellors using the behavioural approachwork within a short frame time of sessions, with clear-cut goals to achieve in a definedtime limit. Whereas insight-oriented counsellors believe on thoughts and feelings,behavioural counsellors focus on observable and measurable behaviour. They believethat behaviour is learned, thus it can be changed. The focus of counselling and therapiesis often on changing the behaviour, thoughts and feelings in such a way that the changecan be observed and measure. The goal of behavioural counselling is for thecounsellor and the client to mutually agree on counselling goals. Since behaviouristsfocus on observable and measurable behaviour, the main emphasis in counselling wouldbe to see and observe a change in behaviour, and such desired change is documented ina form of a contract. Goals are stated in terms of specific behaviour change that can bemeasured and can be reasonably achieved by clients. In other words, the client will getinvolved in deciding on what to change and how to change. 3
  4. 4. THEIR BASIC ASSUMPTIONThe behavioural approach is the assumption that behaviour is learned. Experience andinteractions with the environment make us what we are. This perspective has beencalled environment determinism because it suggests that we are determined by theenvironments in which we exist. The second assumption is that all behaviour can beexplained in terms of conditioning theory. Conditioning refers to changing behaviour inthe absorbable behaviour. The third main assumption is that we need to look no furtherthan the behaviours we can observe in order to understand and explain how humans andnon-humans animals operate. It is sufficient to be concerned only with external andobservable behaviour. A further assumption of the behaviour approach is that humansand non- human animals are only qualitatively different. This is supported by the theoryof evolution which suggests that all animals have evolved from common ancestors andare built from the same unit. Much behaviorist research is conducted with non-humananimals. It is important to recognize the contrasting perspectives within behaviourism;The nice thing about Behavioral interventions is that they force practitioners to bringsome degree of science and objectivity to skill training.Behavioral interventions keep us disciplined and focused on the objective aspects of thelearning process. Without it we cant really be sure about the effectiveness of ourinterventions, or even the behaviors the interventions are supposed to affect. In short,the value of incorporating behavioral philosophy into skills training is that it insulatesour interventions from subjective expectations that each of us carries with us. 1. Relative To Psychotherapy, Behavioral counselling theory Tends To Concentrate On Maladaptive Behavior Itself, Rather Than On Some Presumed Underlying Cause Behavioral counselling theory is practical; it concerns itself with behaviors that are incompatible with local community standards. Although there may be causative factors that underlay the target behavior, (such as emotions like anxiety or anger), behavioral counselling theory assumes they do not exist. 4
  5. 5. 2. Behavioral counselling theory Assumes That Maladaptive Behaviors Are, To A Considerable Degree, Acquired Through Learning, The Same Way That Any Behavior Is Learned. Behavioral counselling theory assumes that few behaviors are not learned behavior, and strives to help clients "unlearn" them, or learn new behaviors in their place.3. Behavioral counselling theory Assumes That Psychological Principles, Especially Learning Principles, Can Be Extremely Effective In Modifying Maladaptive Behavior. Behavioral counselling theory is often used as a training strategy for the severely mentally handicapped, such as the mentally retarded, autistic or mentally ill. Because the ability to learn is inherent in behavioral counselling theory these populations are less likely to be lost to the "palliative care" excuse for not supplying services. ("Dont waste your time. He cant learn -- hes retarded.")4. Behavioral counselling theory Involves Setting Specific, Clearly Defined Treatment Goals. Behavioral counselling theory generates interventions based on objective measurements of observed behaviors. Therefore clearly defined goals, strategies and interventions are necessary order for interventions to maintain objectivity and validity.5. The Behavior Therapist Adapts His Method Of Treatment To The Clients Problem. One of the dangers inherent in behavioral counselling theory is the tendency for practitioners to unwittingly develop a small number of "intervention templates" that are slightly modified to meet the needs of different learners. Practitioners must discipline themselves to remember that intervention plans are individualized, and must adapt themselves to all aspects of the client.6. Behavioral counselling theory Concentrates On The Here And Now. Behavioral counselling theory is a pragmatic approach that is concerned only with how a 5
  6. 6. behavior manifests itself in the present environment. Distant underlying causes of behavior, or consequences that may manifest themselves far in the future, are not relevant to behavioral counselling theory. 7. It Is Assumed That Any Techniques Subsumed Under The Label Behavioral counselling theory Have Been Subjected To Empirical Test And Have Been Found To Be Relatively Effective. Behavioral counselling theory has a component of strategies and interventions that have proven to be effective in laboratory conditions and have been endorsed as being effective and ethically acceptable by academia and behavior mod organizations. THE GOALS OF BEHAVIOURAL COUNSELLING • To encourage personal growth in clients by assisting them to be brave enough to become aware of themselves, more genuine or “real” in their day-to-day interaction. • To encourage clients to be responsible for their own experiences and actions instead of blaming others for what they think, feel or do. In doing so, clients will hopefully increase their inner strength and not rely too much on support from others, although asking for help is not seen as a wrong thing. • To guide clients to develop skills and values that will allow them to meet their needs without trespassing on the boundaries of others.THE ROLE OF THE CLIENTClients have a role to: • provide complete information about one’s illness/problem, to enable proper evaluation and treatment • ask questions to ensure an understanding of the condition or problem • show respect to the counsellor and other patients 6
  7. 7. • reschedule/cancel an appointment so another person may see a counsellor • pay bills in a timely manner • use prescription or medical devices for oneself only • inform the practitioner(s) if one’s condition worsens • provide requests for permission to release records in writingROLE OF THE COUNSELLOR • To help clients develop awareness and experience the present moment, or the now. • To focus on the whole persons • To invite clients into actively experimenting with their attitudes toward life and new behaviours. Through dialogues, the counsellor will guide and provide catalyst for clients to try out new ways of behaving.THEIR TECHNIQUES This method of diagnosis emphasizes the surface level of organization culture--the pattern of behaviors that produce business results. It is among the more practicalapproaches to culture diagnosis because it assesses key work behaviors that can beobserved. The behavioral approach provides specific descriptions about how tasks areperformed and how relationships are managed in an organization.Cultural diagnosis derived from a behavioral approach can also be used to assess thecultural risk of trying to implement organizational changes needed to support a newstrategy. Significant cultural risks result when changes that are highly important toimplementing a new strategy are incompatible with the existing patterns of behavior.Knowledge of such risks can help managers determine whether implementation plans 7
  8. 8. should be changed to manage around the existing culture, whether the culture should bechanged, or whether the strategy itself should be modified or abandoned.The behaviourist approach to understanding abnormality is very reductionist because itreduces explanations for behaviour to simple reward and punishment. While somebehaviours, such as the acquisition of phobias, can be explained this way, there aremany abnormal behaviours that seem to be passed on genetically, for examplealcoholism, autism, and schizophrenia, and so it is difficult to explain them solely interms of classical or operant conditioning. Similarly there are many disorders, forexample depression, that seem to feature abnormal levels of neurotransmitters and so abiological explanation may be more sensible than a simple behaviourist one.Behaviourism can explain the role of the media in the acquisition of certain abnormalbehaviours. Anorexia has long been linked with the perfect body image as portrayed inthe media. People may learn to be anorexic through social learning by observing modelsand actresses, reading about the diets they are on, and copying the behaviour they see.Much of the research into classical and operant conditioning has been conducted onanimals. Aside from the possible ethical implications of animal research, there is alsothe issue of generalising findings from one species and applying them to another.Assumptions have to be made that at least some human physiology and psychology isthe same as animal physiology and psychology, but clearly humans are different toanimals. The behaviourist approach is extremely determinist because it states that abehaviour that has been reinforced WILL be carried out, and one that has been punishedWILL NOT be carried out. However humans clearly have a degree of free will and areable to decide when to carry out some behaviours and when to resist them. Cognitivetheories of behaviour try to account for free will and decision making, and so it may bebetter to combine behaviourist and cognitive approaches when trying to explainabnormal behaviour. 8
  9. 9. COUNSELLING PROCEDUREPsychological counsellors are increasingly faced with the challenges of multiculturalwork. No therapy, however, can (or indeed should) be culturally neutral. Although it issometimes claimed that particular therapeutic frameworks are especially useful forworking with minority cultures (e.g. Van Deuzen-Smith 1988), it is evident thatpsychological models of counselling have yet to seriously incorporate cross-culturaldimensions. The attempt to develop a distinct Intercultural Therapy ( Kareem &Littlewood 1992) has generated some interesting and useful insights but it is far fromoffering an effective framework to displace the more familiar forms of therapy.Bronfenbrenner (1976) distinguishes between two levels of systems. The microsystemrefers to the system parameters usually mapped by family therapists. These arecontained within the constellation of relationships between the person and theirimmediate environment (family, home and work settings etc.). The macrosystem, incontrast consists of the overarching cultural institutions including socio-economic andlegal-political infrastructure. Though usually considered to be outside the immediatescope of psychological counselling, the wider system has an undoubted impact, andmay be increasingly forcing its way through the psychological microsystem. At the veryleast, counsellors will inevitably encounter clients whos experience of culture ismarkedly different from their own. For many such clients belonging to a different andminority cultural group may be an alienating and disadvantageous experience.Therapists cannot hope to help their clients intrapsychic difficulties if they unable tocomprehend the impact of the macrosystem.The counselling professions are relatively young and sometimes impatient to showthemselves as above cultural biases. It is clear, however, that much needs to be done inthe recruitment and training of its members. It remains an overwhelmingly white andmiddle class occupational group which has had very limited opportunity to workmulticulturally before engaging in professional practice. Efforts to train psychological 9
  10. 10. counsellors in understanding the detail of cultural diversity, however, has led tocriticism of counsellors becoming psychological "tourists" visiting their clients culturalexperiences (Krause & Miller 1995).The way forwards appears to be through psychological counsellors developingmulticultural sensitivity (Tien & Johnson 1994). It is essential, however, that trainingand supervision does not engage in reverse racism where trainees are victim blamed fortheir own cultural encapsulation. Equally, indoctrination through political correctnesscan only be counter productive. Clinical supervision has an especially important role toplay in this process by encouraging trainees and practitioners to constructively exploretheir attitudes and expectations of multicultural work in an atmosphere of support andrespect.Psychological counsellors have the prospect of expanding their personal sensitivity andprofessional effectiveness by embracing multicultural work. As I have describedelsewhere (Rawson et al 1999:22): "Counselling operates within a cultural context.Failure to respond sensitively will inevitably lead to a negative view of the profession.Through cross-cultural work, the counselling profession has the opportunity to take asignificant part in leading…towards a more integrated multicultural society, not just topick up the pieces when it goes wrong. This perhaps is its greatest challenge."Counselling procedure are based on the various principles of learning proposed in thebehavioural approach. Using operant conditioning principles, undesirable behaviourmay be decreased or eliminated through using reinforcement or punishment, eitheroperated by clients themselves, or by significant others in the clients’ environment. Tolearn new behaviour or skill, the counsellor will use shaping technique, where the targetskill is broken down into smaller, achievable unit so that clients can accomplish onesmall change at one time until they acquire the whole new behaviour. Rehearsal is amajor technique for clients to practice new behaviour. Using classical conditioningprinciples where fear or phobia has been acquired, a technique called systematic 10
  11. 11. desensitization can be applied. In this technique, instead of feeling fear or anxiety aboutan object, person or animal, clients are taught to feel relax and calm at various smallsteps approaching the main feared figure. Modelling is another technique where clientsobserve a model demonstrates the desirable behaviour. The model can be thecounsellor, a peer or a family member.APPLICATION TO NIGERIA SITUATIONAn example of a currently used behavioral approach to psychology is setting up anincentive system in order to get your child to do chores. They do a chore, they get atoken, at the end of a certain amount of time they turn their tokens in for somethinglarger (money, an outing, whatever). Behavioral psychology believes that we LEARNby manipulating (not necessarily in a negative way) the situation to provoke the desiredbehavior, and if it happens over and over, the person has learned it and ultimately wontneed to have the situation manipulated anymore. This sprung from Pavlovs researchwith dogs (rang the bell, gave them food, later rang the bell and sometimes gave themfood, eventually they salivated every time he rang the bell even though hed stoppedgiving them food after it). Behavioral approaches deal in the here and now, and arentterribly concerned with the inner workings of the mind, or things that happened in thepast to create the current behavior. This sometimes accounts for its limitations,particularly with trauma victims. A psychodynamic approach IS interested in the innerworkings of the mind. Some therapists use a combination of behavioral andpsychodynamic methods.A popular behavioral approach being used now is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy(REBT). It is probably the most complex, and the approach that most deals with theinteraction between the mind, using logic and motivation, and behavior, includingemotional behavior. A behavioral consultation can take place in a clinicalsetting(medical office or clinic) or educational setting (your kids school), or with anindependent practitioner, like a psychologist or social worker. According to Ellis, 11
  12. 12. humans are both rational and irrational, sensible and crazy. Irrationality and crazinessare inherent and may be encouraged unless, a new way of thinking is taught. Irrationalthinking, or irrational beliefs contribute to negative emotions and ineffective behaviour.It is not the events that create bad feelings, but how humans think about the events.Irrational pattern of thinking may begin early in life or reinforced by significant others,as well as the general society and environment. Ellis believed that when people haveemotional problems, their irrational thoughts would lead to verbalization or self-talkthat are based on faulty logic and assumptions. Subsequently, what people tellthemselves is related to the way they feel or act.REFERENCESEysenck, Hans (2004) [1999]. Gregory, Richard L. (ed.). ed. Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 92–93. ISBN 0-19-860224-3.Robertson, D. (2010). The Philosophy of Cognitive–Behavioural Therapy: Stoicism as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy. London: Karnac. ISBN 978-1-85575-756-1.Wolpe, J. & Lazarus, A. (1966) Behavior Therapy Techniques: A Guide to the Treatment of Neuroses, pp. 1–2.Thorndike, E.L. (1911), "Provisional Laws of Acquired Behavior or Learning", Animal Intelligence (New York: The McMillian Company)In A.J. Bachrach (Ed.), Experimental foundations of clinical psychology (pp. 3–25). New York: Basic BooksMartin, G.; Pear, J. (2007). Behavior modification: What it is and how to do it (Eighth Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 978-0-13-194227-1Lindsley, O.; Skinner, B.F.; Solomon, H.C. (1953). Studies in behavior therapy (Status Report I). Walthama, MA.: Metropolitan State Hospital.Clark, David M.; Christopher G. Fairburn (1997). Science and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-262726-0. 12

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