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Lecture 9

PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Relational Frame Theory, Nonviolent Communication, Gestalt Therapy

Course Code
PSYC 215
John Lydon

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Applications of behavioral technology, also known as Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA, have
been particularly well established in the area of developmental disabilities since the 1960s.
Treatment of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders has grown especially rapidly
since the mid-1990s. This demand for services encouraged the formation of a professional
credentialing program administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. (BACB)
and accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. As of early 2012, there are
over 300 BACB approved course sequences offered by about 200 colleges and universities world
wide preparing students for this credential and approximately 11,000 BACB certificants, most
working in the United States. The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts was formed in
2008 to meet the needs of these ABA professionals. Modern behavior analysis has also
witnessed a massive resurgence in research and applications related to language and cognition,
with the development of Relational Frame Theory (RFT; described as a "Post-Skinnerian
account of language and cognition"). RFT also forms the empirical basis for the highly
successful and data-driven Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In fact, researchers
and practitioners in RFT/ACT have become sufficiently prominent that they have formed their
own specialized organization that is highly behaviorally oriented, known as theAssociation for
Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). It has rapidly grown in its few years of existence to
reach about 5,000 members worldwide.
Humanistic psychologists generally do not believe that we will understand human consciousness
and behavior through traditional scientific research. The objection that humanistic psychologists
have to traditional research methods is that they are derived from and suited for the physical
sciences and not especially appropriate to studying the complexities and nuances of human
meaning-makingThese preliminary meetings eventually led to other developments, which
culminated in the description of humanistic psychology as a recognizable "third force" in
psychology (along with behaviorism and psychoanalysis). Significant developments included the
formation of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) in 1961 and the launch of
the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (originally "The Phoenix") in 1961.Subsequently,
graduate programs in Humanistic Psychology at institutions of higher learning grew in number
and enrollment. In 1971, humanistic psychology as a field was recognized by the American
Psychological Association (APA) and granted its own division (Division 32) within the APA.
Division 32 publishes its own academic journal called The Humanistic Psychologist. In 1972,
KOCE TV and the Coast Community College District, produced an award winning television
series titled As Man Behaves with Carl Rogers as a primary consultant, working with Mathew
Duncan as psychologist host and with Bernard Luskin executive producer. This was one of the
most viewed television series in psychology ever produced and widely fostered the various
aspects of humanistic psychology.
Humanistic psychology includes several approaches to counseling and therapy. Among the
earliest approaches we find the developmental theory of Abraham Maslow, emphazising a
hierarchy of needs and motivations; the existential psychology of Rollo May acknowledging
human choice and the tragic aspects of human existence; and the person-centered or client-
centered therapy of Carl Rogers, which is centered on the client's capacity for self-direction and
understanding of his or her own development. The therapist should be focusing ensuring that all
of the client’s feelings are being considered and that the therapist has a firm grasp on the
concerns of the client while ensuring that there is an air of acceptance and warmth.
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