Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Behavioral Rehearsal in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Nicole OrtizEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_76


Behavioral rehearsal is a technique that emerged from social learning theory and operant conditioning and is used to modify current behaviors or learn new behaviors. This technique is particularly effective in cognitive behavioral models of treatment for couples and families. It is most effective in learning behaviors that require practice.

Description of the Strategy or Intervention

This technique involves the clinician modeling behaviors or interactions for the clients, followed by the clients imagining or performing the behaviors and receiving feedback from the clinician. This may be covert or overt, such that the clients can imagine the experience, role plays the experience, or discussing future behaviors with the clinician in preparation for the real experience. These rehearsals are different from typical therapeutic role plays, because they focus on practicing skills rather than evoking emotional responses. This technique can be used to modify or teach responses,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jay L. Lebow
    • 1
  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA