Behavior Analysis, Cognitive Therapy, and Covert Conditioning

J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 1990 Jun;21(2):83-90. doi: 10.1016/0005-7916(90)90013-b.


Branch (The Behavior Therapist 10, 79-84, 1987) and others have expressed interest in extending the behavior analytic framework into the realm of behavior therapy and private events. We point out that several imagery-based behavior therapy procedures such as systematic desensitization, implosive therapy, and covert conditioning were designed to be employed according to learning principles and that covert conditioning is specifically based on principles of operant conditioning. Since the covert conditioning model already combines the advantages of behavior analysis, behavior therapy, and imagery, covert conditioning, rather than cognitive therapy, should be considered by behavior analysts seeking ways to study and modify both private and public events.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Conditioning, Operant*
  • Humans
  • Imagination