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Análisis funcional de la interacción verbal entre terapeuta y cliente con diagnóstico de Trastorno Mental Grave / Functional analysis of the verbal interaction between therapists and clients diagnosed with serious mental disorders.

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Psychological interventions are effective in the treatment of people diagnosed with severe mental disorder (SMI). The empirical evidence to determine the efficacy of treatments has been generated in the evidence-based practice in psychology movement. Thanks to this movement, several treatments have been shown to be effective in solving the psychological problems related to SMI diagnoses (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and borderline personality disorder). While there is agreement on the efficacy of various treatments for these problems, no consensus has been reached on the basic psychological principles and processes that explain the efficacy of the treatments. Knowing that something works does not imply knowing why it works. In this context, this work endorses the usefulness of a process research with a functional-analytical perspective of human behavior. Specifically, as in Clinical Behavior Analysis, this work shares the interest in the study of the processes involved in the verbal control of behavior. The purpose of this work is to analyze the verbal interaction between therapists and clients diagnosed with severe mental disorder. For this, an observational system for analyzing the verbal interaction between the therapist and the client has been designed, refined, and validated. This system is based on a functional analytical perspective of verbal behavior, so all its categories are based on a functional description. This system facilitates the analysis of the learning processes that are set in motion in the verbal interaction during clinical session. In fact, this work analyzes the allocation of the different functions of verbal behavior of various therapists throughout different cases (6 therapists in 12 different cases with 76 sessions in total). Specifically, the performance of the therapists of two groups (cases with SMI and without SMI) at different times (36 evaluation sessions and 40 treatment sessions) is described. Also, a sequential analysis of the verbal interaction was carried out and the therapist’s performance patterns that are related to a greater size of the effect of the psychological intervention on the client's behavior were analyzed. To conclude, we analyze the performance of a therapist with training in behavior analysis in the psychological treatment of a person diagnosed with SMI (16 sessions in total). In this case, a descriptive and sequential analysis of the therapist’s performance is also carried out and her performance is related to the change in the client's behavior. In general, these studies have allowed us to study the processes of verbal control of behavior that operate during psychological treatments. Also, the role of the therapist's verbal behavior in the efficacy of psychological treatments is discussed.
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... In the formation of equivalence relations, certain stimuli acquire the functions (i.e., the particular effect on behavior) of other stimuli -what is known as "transfer of functions" (see also Pilgrim, 2019). So-called "derived relations" are important here, for they imply a transfer of functions between stimuli which haven't been explicitly paired or whose "matching" hasn't been explicitly trained (Barnes-Holmes et al., 2004;Hayes et al., 2001;Pilgrim, 2019; see also Alonso-Vega, 2021). For instance, after training a child to a) choose the image of a guitar (among other comparison stimuli) when presented with a guitar sound, and b) choose the written word "guitar" when presented with the image of a guitar, a number of non-trained or derived equivalence relations might emerge: the kid might spontaneously choose the guitar image when presented with the same guitar image (i.e., reflexivity), choose the guitar image when presented with the word "guitar" (i.e., symmetry), and choose the word "guitar" when presented with a guitar sound (i.e., transitivity) (see Sidman, 2009). ...
... fined. An example of such an approach is provided by the work of Froxán-Parga and collaborators (e.g., Alonso-Vega, 2021;Alonso-Vega et al., 2019;Calero-Elvira et al., 2013;Froján-Parga, 2011;Froján-Parga et al., 2006, 2010aMontaño-Fidalgo et al., 2013;Pascual-Verdú et al., 2019;Pereira et al., 2019;Ruiz-Sancho et al., 2015). ...
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