Behavioral Approaches to the Problems of Later Life

  • William S. Richards
  • Geoffrey L. Thorpe


The unifying feature of the various procedures described by “the behavioral approach,” “behavior therapy,” “behavior modification,” “applied behavior analysis,” and “social learning theory,” is the general approach taken to the assessment and clinical management of undesired, intolerable, or dysfunctional behavior. In this context, the term “behavior” is used to underscore the fact that, ultimately, problems are manifested in some area of activity, whether verbal or non-verbal; the formulation does not preclude examination and treatment of problems in emotion, cognition, or imagery. Originally, “behavior therapy” referred to the practice of specific therapeutic procedures which were developed in a two-stage process: First, clinical applications were sought of certain principles explicated by experimental psychologists (particularly the principles of learning theory); and second, the resultant procedures were empirically evaluated in their own right in clinical—and in analogues of clinical— settings (cf. Eysenck and Rachman, 1965; Wolpe and Lazarus, 1966).


Behavior Therapy Operant Conditioning Behavioral Approach Apply Behavior Analysis Mental Patient 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • William S. Richards
    • 1
  • Geoffrey L. Thorpe
    • 1
  1. 1.The Counseling CenterBangorUSA

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