Our Philosophy or How We View the World
Psychology is the science of behavior. Based on this maxim we have emphasized in our service tradition teaching others the knowledge required to help produce the necessary behaviors to live well.
Because of this, our goals and objectives are directed towards achieving that the human being can live in tranquility, in peace with himself or herself, and in harmony, not only with his or her own emotionality, reason and conscience, but with his or her immediate environment, that is, the family, as well as with the surrounding and universal society.
We believe that the basis for the logical and rational good social order consists basically in positively reinforcing the appropriate behaviors of others. What is positive reinforcement but another name for Love?
This is why many of our methods and technologies to achieve a more coherent and satisfactory life are based on the pondered application of this basic way of being for an adequate human coexistence.
My view of my work is to help others… Learn to Live Better®. This is part of why I call myself a Humanistic Behavioral Clinical Psychologist. It is just the way I do things in therapy. A philosophical view.
Humanistic behavioral clinical psychology is a branch of psychology that combines the principles of humanistic psychology with those of behavioral psychology. It is a holistic approach to understanding and treating mental health issues that emphasizes the unique experiences, feelings, and needs of each individual.
Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that emphasizes the inherent goodness of people and their capacity for self-determination and personal growth. It emphasizes the importance of subjective experiences and personal meaning in people’s lives, and promotes empathy, self-exploration, and self-actualization as key to psychological well-being.
Behavioral psychology, on the other hand, is a perspective that focuses on the role of environmental and learning experiences in shaping behavior. It emphasizes the importance of reinforcing or punishing specific behaviors in order to modify them, and uses techniques such as operant conditioning and classical conditioning to understand and change behavior.
Humanistic behavioral clinical psychology combines these two approaches by taking into account both the internal experiences and subjective meaning of an individual, as well as the external factors that may be influencing their behavior. This approach is often used in therapy to help individuals understand and change their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to improve their overall well-being.
My background is in Rogerian Client Centered Therapy grounded in learning theory principles, behavior modification and behavior therapy. When I learned these things, Cognitive Behavior Therapy was not yet conceived as an approach. Thus, my synthesis is a distillation of the approach I have developed as my own in over 45 years of clinical practice.
In working with couples of all sexes or groups of reference, I emphasize positive reinforcement, effective/direct/face-to-face communication of the dyad (vs. “speeches“), verification prior to responding, goal-setting, contingency management, behavioral contracting following my research on Interaction Therapy, etc., etc.
I have learned much from Gottman, but I do not follow “cookbooks“, unless I am actually cooking, which is also a passion of mine. When required, I provide permission, limited information, specific suggestions or intensive therapy when dealing with sexual concerns, as per Annon & Robinson’s PLISSIT Model.
When couples consult me, we establish a therapeutic contract in which we clarify the goals of therapy. Specifically, I make clear that the couple wants to stay together, for I am not very good at just being a referee of a boxing match. They need to learn to think if what they are going to say is to get closer to the partner or to punish the partner. We work on increasing the former and reducing the latter. Of course, at times partners realize they do not wish to continue being together. Then, if accepted, my task becomes to produce a friendly separation with minimal disruption to the lives of significant others, especially kids.
I follow similar approaches in working with individuals. Obviously, I first need to understand the needs of the consulting person, and have to ask questions to formulate in my mind not only what may be occurring (e.g., antecedents, behavior, consequences—the ABC’s of human behavior), but also what needs to be done, with the least effort possible on the part of the person, to accomplish those goals in a manner that is efficient and effective, in consonance with the mores of society, which I like to believe I represent.
Acceptance and reflection are important aspects of individual therapy. My approach is to offer suggestions that the person cannot refuse (somewhat à la The Godfather…). I believe that the judicious use of verbal positive reinforcement is instrumental in guiding the individual, like the forceful stream of a river, in the direction of the desired outcomes.
In working with families, the needs of the “parents” need to be weighed in reference to the needs of the “children”, who may themselves be adults already. The goals of the therapy need to be determined early on, and an acceptable set of outcomes agreed upon. The interaction amongst the members of the family is of paramount importance, leading to a variety of intervention approaches. In any event, the task usually revolves around reaching a negotiated and acceptable compromise that can be adhered to by all.
To be this way is to be a Humanistic Behavioral Clinical Psychologist.
Our doors are open to anyone that needs or wants to live better.
We are here to help you…
Learn to Live Better ®