Psychology and Brain Sciences | Behavior Modification
P430 | 27006 | Bates, J.

How can we help people to change?  What really works?  The
psychological intervention approach that has inspired the largest
amount of empirical research in the past few decades is behavior
therapy.  This course provides an advanced introduction to important
topics in behavior therapy, including basic principles of assessment
and intervention, as well as of clinical research. We will consider
not only approaches to solving problems as defined by DSM
categories, but also interpersonal, educational, workplace, and
other problems. It is assumed that students enter with a basic
understanding of psychopathology and the main principles of
learning. The course will involve a mixture of reading and writing,
lectures, discussions, films,and class and individual exercises.
Students in previous P430 classes have commented that the class is
demanding but rewarding.  Former students have also reported later
that the course was a helpful foundation to them in their further
development in graduate programs in clinical psychology, school
psychology, and clinical social work. The emphasis of the course is
on scientific, clinical psychology, but it is not designed only for
those planning careers in psychology-related fields.  For example,
students aiming for business, legal, criminal justice, therapeutic
recreation, and teaching careers have found it useful and have
provided valuable perspectives in class discussions.

Grading will be mainly based on several papers and two exams. The
papers concern two projects:  1. A review of literature on a relevant
topic of special interest to the student (e.g., treatments for
delinquency or depression) and 2. A self-change project (e.g.,
increasing a positive behavior such as preparing healthy meals or
decreasing a behavior such as verbal hostility).  Intensive writing
credit can be arranged for this course on an individual basis.
Professor Bates has a background in developmental psychopathology
research, and has a special interest in treatment of oppositional
behavior problems in children and their families.  He has worked
clinically with a number of other problems, including behavior
problems in a residential facility for mental retardation, marital
problems, and a variety of other adult, child, adolescent, and family
problems.  He can be contacted at or 855-8693.