Behavior Rehearsal

Description of the Strategy

In the 1950s, what was termed behavioristic psychodrama was employed with certain clients who found it unusually difficult to apply assertive behaviors in their day-to-day relationships. Unlike the usual role playing and psychodrama of the day, in which patients acted out their existing attitudes, the aim was to enable the clients to stand up to people who evoked anxiety in them. The therapist would play the role of some person(s) with whom the client was timid or inhibited, the assumption being that appropriate remarks made during this “play” situation would be a stepping-stone toward dealing with the actual people and events. To achieve greater clarity, I introduced the term “behavior rehearsal” in 1966 and emphasized that it is a ...

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