Covert Conditioning with Children and Adolescents

Description of the Strategy

Covert conditioning refers to a set of procedures that share a common basis in the use of imagery as the means of altering response frequency. The term covert is utilized because clients are asked to use unobservable, imagined processes to establish new, adaptive responses. Such imaginal processes can include thinking or talking to oneself, imaging, feeling, or reproduction of sensations or bodily cues. A variety of types of imagined scenes can be utilized in covert conditioning, including scenes based on actual experience, the experiences of others, perceived “ideal” situations, and painful or feared situations. The term conditioning refers to the fact that the behavioral change being addressed is theoretically governed by the laws of learning, primarily operant conditioning. ...

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