Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

Functional Analytic Therapy

Functional Analytic Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses structural models to analyze behavior and interactions in a client. The features of this treatment will vary depending on the patient which the counselor is most sensitive to. Otherwise known as FAP, this has been developed recently stemming from integrative approaches. There are many who react to the treatment negatively because it recognizes only the behavior that has been repressed in the client. It is based on the relationship between therapist and patient as well as reinforcement contingencies. The treatment promotes healing and psychotherapeutic change which also acts as a form of radical behaviorism.

Goals of Functional Analytic Therapy

As a treatment that has undergone an extensive amount of scientific study, the goal of FAP is to use the relationship with the therapist and access an innate being. This will, in turn, create a meaningful connection with others. Understanding one's self is essential in building valued relations. By taking risks with the counselor and being aware, a "self" begins to develop in the client. When the Functional Analytic Therapy has been completed the patient can walk out of the sessions feeling in control of themselves. They will know what steps to take in life and relationships. As a form of mental clarity the client benefits from being able to communicate themselves to others.

When is Functional Analytic Therapy Used?

This new method of conducting psychotherapy treatment is aimed toward those who suffer from cognitive behavior disorders such as panic, trauma, GAD and obsessive compulsive disorder. The clients often deal with interpersonal problems and depression. Treatment is used to accept the client, understand them and perform therapy so that there is a trusting relationship between the patient and counselor. The client base who benefit from this form of therapy deal with behavioral issues that are affecting their decision making in relationships. Functional Analytic Therapy is used to eliminate the behavior. It is likely that these clients have experienced traumatic relationships with others which have caused a lack of trust and affection in new relationships. The continuance of such a behavior can result in dangerous responses such as isolation – which is why it cannot be suppressed. If the issue isn't addressed it can continue to isolate the patient or their empathy toward others.

How Functional Analytic Therapy Works

The therapist starts off the sessions by explaining treatment to the client and deliberating to them that the purpose of the therapy is to get rid of problems that are resulting in human conflict. There is a lot of personal suffering that can happen as a result of emotional conflicts that have to do with love and human connections. FAP works by awakening the courage within them and allowing for human participation and compassion toward others.

The therapist uses behavioral principles to create a state of awareness in the patient and promote courage in areas that they are lacking in. During Functional Analytic Therapy the relationship between the client and therapist is vital because it is the primary force behind transforming. The relationship can shape the interpersonal effectiveness within the patient. Compassion and nurturing behavior is expressed during the sessions as a contemporary scientific-based approach. This may be used as a method on top of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which also focuses on clinical change and trusting relationships between the individual and counselor. How the client is changing throughout the treatment is measured by problematic behavior, the behavior that is being managed and the statements that are made by the client. CRB or clinically relevant behavior describes all three of these measurements.

The idea that the treatment is based on statements made by the client are relevant in a new form of cognitive behavioral therapy because the study is based on the functional dimension of the client and how they feel. It is only measured by their behavior and responses. The client will learn about the model of child development throughout treatment as well as the development of personalities. By creating an identity in them the therapist is using stimulus control. This provides them with stability. All of the processes are conducted in a verbal manner. Although the approach is not aggressive it does call for an extensive amount of response from the client.

Criticism of Functional Analytic Therapy

Critiques made toward Functional Analytic Therapy are based on the entire concept. Some point out that it is difficult to measure a client accurately based solely on their behavior without measuring cognitive phenomena.


Application of functional analytic psychotherapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from valero vives 2006.pdf

What is fap?. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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