Wilson & Blackledge, 1999

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APA Citation: 

Wilson, K. G., & Blackledge, J. T. (1999). Recent Developments in the Behavioral Analysis of Language: Making Sense of Clinical Phenomena. In M. J. Dougher (Ed.), Clinical behavior analysis. Reno, NV: Context Press.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
RFT: Conceptual
Publication Type: 
verbal behavior, behavior analysis, ACT, RFT

Verbal behavior and related topics, such as the treatment of the problem of private events, have been persistently interesting topics for behavior analysts since Skinner's earliest work (e.g., Day, 1969; Moore, 1975; Skinner, 1945, 1953, 1957). However, all this talk about talk has born little fruit in the domain of applied problems. In part this is the result of Skinner's eloquent, but we think premature analysis of verbal behavior and the implications of that analysis for understanding the impact of private events (Friman, Hayes, & Wilson, 1998; Hayes & Hayes, 1992; Hayes & Wilson, 1993; Wilson & Hayes, in press). A strategy was adopted early on in behavior analysis where behavior among infrahumans was studied and it was assumed that these principles would apply to humans in a straightforward manner. This "continuity strategy" (Hayes & Hayes, 1992) has produced potent behavior change strategies In some applied areas, such as developmental disabilities. However, it has left other areas virtually untouched. The realm of adult outpatient psychotherapy is one such area.

In 1938, Skinner speculated that...

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