• Robert J. Kohlenberg
  • Mavis Tsai


Most experienced clinicians, regardless of theoretical orientation, have had memorable clients who changed markedly in ways that far exceeded the stated goals of the therapy. For those clients, Greben’s description seems to capture an aspect of what the therapeutic process was like, even if the treatment were based on a theory that is quite different from his psychodynamic perspective. What is missing, however, from Greben’s writing and from most systems of therapy that focus on the relationship between therapist and client is a coherent conceptual system with well-defined theoretical constructs that lead to step-by-step therapy guidelines.

If I look back on those patients whom I have seen change a great deal, I know the heat was in the therapeutic relationship… There was struggle and fear and closeness and love and terror. There was intimacy and outrage, concern and humiliation… It was a journey of importance, more to the patient who had come seeking help, but in fact to both participants. It was a process which carried on throughout the course of therapy and left both patient and therapist altered by the experience… The therapeutic relationship is at the absolute heart of psychotherapy, and is the vehicle whereby therapeutic change occurs. (Greben, 1981, pp. 453-454)


Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Analyst Applied Behavior Comic Book Natural Reinforcement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Kohlenberg
    • 1
  • Mavis Tsai
    • 2
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Private PracticeSeattleUSA

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