Presented here is a series of readings developing and illustrating a hypothesis to the effect that rational treatments of neurotic disorders can only be developed by drawing upon learning theory, and treating neuroses as learnt habits.
Apart from electroshock treatment, the major type of therapy for neurotic disorders in the Iast 50 years has been psychotherapy, usually with a psychoanalytic bias, and it has become more and more apparent that psychotherapy as a method of treatment has many drawbacks and disadvantages. While methods of treatment deriving from learning theory have been used in isolation for quite a few years, there has never been an attempt before to put them altogether and present them in a systematic way. The name “Behaviour therapy” given to this group of treatments distinguishes it from psychotherapy. Of particular interest are the details of the work on conditional inhibition as a method of treatment, which has not been used outside the Institute of Psychiatry Laboratory, and on which is thrown a good deal of light. This unique book will be of great benefit to psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and psychologists interested in personality and learning theory, and it will also interest laymen with some knowledge of the subject.