When cognitive behavior therapy emerged in the 1950s, driven by the work of Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, basic behavior principles were largely sidelined in clinical psychology curricula. Issues in cognition became the focus of case conceptualization and intervention planning for most therapists. But as the new third-wave behavior therapies begin to address weaknesses in the traditional cognitive behavioral models-principally the modest effectiveness of thought stopping and cognitive restructuring techniques-basic behavior principles are once again attracting the interest of front-line clinicians. Many of today's clinicians, though, received their training during the years in which classical behaviorism was not a major part of clinical education. In order to make the best use of the new contextual behaviorism, they need to revisit basic behavioral principles from a practical angle. This book addresses this need.
The ABCs of Human Behavior offers practicing clinicians a pithy and practical introduction to the basics of modern behavioral psychology. The book focuses both on the classical principles of learning as well as more recent developments that explain language and cognition in behavioral and contextual terms. These principles are not just discussed in the abstract-rather the book shows how the principles of learning apply in the clinical context. Practical and easy to read, the book walks clinicians through both common sense and clinical examples that help them learn to use behavioral principles to observe, explain, and influence behavior in a therapeutic setting.