A comprehensive review of research on Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

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APA Citation: 

Kanter, J. W., Manbeck, K., Kuczynski, A. M., Maitland, D. M., Villas-Bôas, A., & Reyes, M. (2017). A comprehensive review of research on Functional Analytic Psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology Review, 58, 141-156. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.09.010

Publication Topic: 
Other Third-Wave Therapies: Conceptual
Other Third-Wave Therapies: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, FAP, review

Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP; Kohlenberg & Tsai, 1991) is a transdiagnostic approach to outpatient psychotherapy that presented guidelines to instantiate the behavioral principle of natural, social reinforcement applied to idiographic behavioral targets within a genuine and authentic psychotherapy relationship. We present the first comprehensive review of research on FAP, including qualitative studies, uncontrolled and controlled single-case designs, group designs, and studies on training therapists in FAP. We conclude that current research support for FAP is promising but not sufficient to justify claims that FAP is research-supported for specific psychiatric disorders. There is stronger support for FAP's mechanism of therapist-as-social reinforcer: FAP techniques, when appropriately applied to idiographically defined behavioral problems—primarily in the realm of social functioning—produce positive change in those behaviors.

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