Behavior Theory Critique
Being, by nature, an organizer myself, the systematic and structured approach to assessment and treatment is appealing to me. However, I believe a great deal of flexibility is also needed as a structured and systematic approach may hinder some fruitful interaction. Additionally, while I have great respect for the empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of the techniques used and would be open to using these techniques myself (with proper training of course), I don't believe we can restrict our treatment options to only proven methods. As Christians, we must be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. What works for the majority may not work for the client in our office.
Thus, I disagree with the concept that technique is of greater importance than the client/therapist relationship and with the implied superiority of the therapist. It is essential that we know our clients and their challenges and respect their ability to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to make desired changes in behavior. It is important to remember that our goal is to help the client become wholly who God designed them to be and that there may well be challenges and issues beyond the presenting problem to be dealt with. These will not be discovered if we simply address the current behavioral challenge without developing a deep and trusting relationship with the client.
I also disagree with the concept that behavior is a product of learning. While learning does play a significant role in behavior, I believe that it is what we choose to do with what we learn that determines behavior. Therefore, choice is the greater determining factor in behavior and client's can be held responsible for the choices they make and empowered to make better choices regardless of what they have learned.
Corey, G. (2009). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. (8th ed.). USA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
Hinkley, P. (n.d.). Behavior therapy presentation. Retrieved July 17, 2009 from http://www.liberty.edu/media/1413/COUN510/Behavior_Therapy/index.html.