What are Values in Clinical Behavior Analysis?

Abstract

The context of psychotherapy involves ethical, theoretical, and technical matters regarding limits and possibilities to clinical practice. Some of these matters concern values and their importance for clinical interventions. Given the central role that the concept of values seems to have in current behavioral therapeutic models, this article intends to analyze and discuss perspectives regarding this concept as presented by authors such as Skinner, Leigland, Plumb, Wilson, and Harris. It is argued that the definition of values should be described using low-level terms, so that it may generate basic and applied research without losing its relevance to the clinical setting. We propose that values are stable and comprehensive qualities of behaving, described by the subject in augmental rules that establish a positive reinforcing function for his/her own described behavior. Further utility of such a definition involves its precision and focus on aspects that are under direct influence of the client.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This is a verse from the song entitled “Firmamento,” by H. Lames and W. Foster; Portuguese vers. by Toni Garrido, Lazão, Bino Farias, and Da Gama.

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Correspondence to Tiago Alfredo da Silva Ferreira.

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da Silva Ferreira, T.A., Simões, A.S., Ferreira, A.R. et al. What are Values in Clinical Behavior Analysis?. Perspect Behav Sci 43, 177–188 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40614-019-00219-w

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Keywords

  • Values
  • Clinical practice
  • Clinical behavior analysis