The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 30–38 | Cite as

Dysfunctional control by client verbal behavior: The context of reason-giving

  • Robert D. Zettle
  • Steven C. Hayes


Dysfunctional control exerted by reason-giving in adult psychopathology is interpreted from a radical behavioral perspective. Verbal-social contingencies which support the establishment of reason-giving and its control over maladaptive actions are reviewed. A contextual approach to psychotherapy, comprehensive distancing, which attempts to weaken dysfunctional verbal control is described briefly. Data relevant to therapeutic process are presented. The overall results suggest that comprehensive distancing facilitates therapeutic change through a process consistent with a behavioral analysis of reason-giving. Suggestions for further research and radical behavioral approaches to psychotherapy are discussed.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Zettle
    • 1
  • Steven C. Hayes
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWichita State UniversityWichitaUSA
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaGreensboroUSA

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