Covert conditioning is an approach to mental health treatment that uses the principles of behavior modification, which emerged from the applied behavior analysis literature to assist people in making improvements in their behavior or inner experience. The method relies on the person's capacity to use imagery for purposes such as mental rehearsal. In some populations it has been found that an imaginary reward can be as effective as a real one (Cautela, 1986). Effective covert conditioning is said to rely upon careful application of behavioral treatment principles such as a thorough behavioral analysis.
Some clinicians include the mind's ability to spontaneously generate imagery that can provide intuitive solutions or even reprocessing that improves people's typical reactions to situations or inner material. However, this goes beyond the behavioristic principles on which covert conditioning is based (Cautela, 1986).
Therapies and self-help methods have aspects of covert conditioning. This can be seen in focusing, some neuro-linguistic programming methods such as future pacing, and various visualization or imaginal processes used in behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Other articles related to "covert conditioning":
... part of a behavior modification package, covert conditioning has been shown to be effective with sex offenders ...
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