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Forensic psychologists should use the behavioural experiment to facilitate cognitive change in clients who have offended

Gannon, Theresa A. (2016) Forensic psychologists should use the behavioural experiment to facilitate cognitive change in clients who have offended. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 27 . pp. 130-141. ISSN 1359-1789. (doi:10.1016/j.avb.2016.02.008) (KAR id:54578)

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A key technique associated with effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the behavioral experiment (BE). Within mainstream clinical psychology, the overall aim of the BE is to treat clients' problematic beliefs as a set of hypotheses to be tested. In this review, I examine the BE as a treatment technique and argue that widespread implementation of the BE could significantly improve CBT-based forensic psychological practice. I examine contemporary conceptualizations of cognition within forensic psychology as well as commonly used treatment techniques for instilling cognitive change. This analysis highlights that although some experiential techniques are used in forensic psychology to facilitate cognitive change (e.g., schema therapy), there is still a key focus on rational reasoning techniques such as Socratic questioning, psychoeducation, and thought monitoring. In this paper, I argue that current methods of instigating cognitive change within offending populations neglect key strategies necessary to generate convincing cognitive change. I offer the BE as a convincing and effective technique for facilitating change in problematic offender cognition at both the rational and experiential levels. I offer several recommendations for how to design and incorporate BEs into forensic practice and provide examples of BE use in forensic settings.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.avb.2016.02.008
Uncontrolled keywords: Offender; Cognition; CBT; Behavioral experiment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Theresa Gannon
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 08:43 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Gannon, Theresa A.:
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