ERIC Number: ED269672
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Training Beginning Therapists Using an Operant Format.
Engebretson, Darold E.; Ackerley, Gary D.
This paper outlines a 9-week program for the acquisition of basic psychotherapeutic knowledge, attitudes, and skills for pre-practicum graduate students in professional psychology. Basic to the design of the described program are assumptions that participants have previously acquired, and demonstrated, proficiency in interactional skills which are precursors of the outcome behaviors specified for this course. The format presented includes: (1) use of videotape recorders; (2) verbal setting operations designed to elicit verbal behaviors that can be operantly shaped for successful mastery of recognizing and pursuing appropriate therapeutic leads and subsequent responses; (3) attitude shaping to effect a positive therapeutic climate; (4) "in vivo" experience in correlating the intended purpose of basic therapeutic leads and responses with subsequent patient behavior and affect; and (5) acquisition of knowledge gleaned from dyadic interactions, from brief presentations by the trainers, and from focused reading. Major contributions of the program are discussed, including the recognition of the prior experiential background of the participants, the use of an operant paradigm for the refinement and enhancement of therapeutic behaviors, and the design of teaching/learning activities which lowers the threat level and is self-affirming because recognition of existing competencies is acknowledged and reinforced. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).