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Acta Comportamentalia

versão impressa ISSN 0188-8145


MOSKORZ, Luciana; KUBO, Olga Mitsue; LUCA, Gabriel Gomes de  e  BOTOME, Sílvio Paulo. Grounds for a review of different designations for interventions in the behavior analyst clinical context. Acta comport. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.3, pp. 343-365. ISSN 0188-8145.

Is the variety of denominations used to describe the work of behavior analysts in clinical context considered variations due to peculiarities of behavioral processes under examination or intervention, or are they changes in guidance and in the basic conceptual system called "Experimental Behavior Analysis "? Questions like these are relevant when considering the still remaining issues about which there is a lack of scientific knowledge produced in a systematic way, given the complexity of the processes that constitute the therapeutic work and the limits imposed by the conceptual development and technological resources that enable such production. Thus, to characterize the historical changes in the clinical intervention of the behavior analysts is an important condition to evaluate intervention procedures conducted by contemporary behavior analysts in the clinical setting and the many foundations that guided and still guide their intervention. Since the emergence of the first interventions produced by behavior analysts, named "Behavior Therapy" in the early twentieth century, it has been remarkable the amount of subjects which call for clinical intervention. One major aspect concerns the guiding principles and foundations for intervention in the clinical setting, including the procedures derived from those principles and that are not sufficiently clear to support the different existing classifications. It is reasonable to assume that other variables, besides those that were already subject to examination, such as the small emphasis given to verbal behavior and private events in the clinical work of the behavior analysts, at least in the 1970s, affected the demand for characterization and titles that could be descriptive of a more appropriate and integrative name than the one that has been used to name a variety of procedures performed under the aegis of "behavior therapy". Some of these variables are: 1) Aristotelian and Galilee conceptions in contemporary psychology; 2) implications for psychologists of conceptions based solely on the medical model, rather than on the psychological model; 3) the consideration that the psychologists' behaviors may be part of the "problem" and not the "solution" in professional decisions that characterize the intervention; 4) advancement of knowledge about their own scientific behavior and its implications for the quality of their professional work; 5) necessity for constant questioning of what would be the psychologists' object of study and intervention; 6) need for systematic review and development of fundamental concepts in the field; 7) psychologists' need for being able to quickly turn relevant and accurately scientific knowledge produced into professional behaviors. Observing these different contributions probably will prevent that names given to characterizes the behavior analyst's clinical intervention are perceived as "territory demarcation", when the most promising would be to understand the names given as a resource to facilitate the identification of the specific type of contribution constituted for certain procedures or certain foundations and conceptions about the phenomena constituted by the therapist's intervention. The history of changes developed under the name of "Behavior Therapy" probably will enable the understanding of the foundations that guided what has been done so far and what will guide the behavior of new generations of behavior analysts.

Palavras-chave : behavioral therapy conceptions; behavior therapy classifications; history of "Behavior Therapy"; variations of the name "Behavioral Therapy".

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