Reply To: Behavioral Therapy Not Working

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I believe the whole system of behavioural therapy and rewards is perverse and is not supported by an understanding of human behaviour.
I have ADHD myself, I am a health practitioner and I always did at least moderately well at school, sometimes very well. Even in subjects that were dull I failed to fail. I always did much better if I liked the teacher, and I knew he/she liked me.

That is called attachment based learning. It is well covered in the book “Hold on to your Kids” by Dr Gabor Mate and Dr Gordon Neufeld. The latter is a clinical psychologist who specialises in troubled adolescents.
He emphasises the need for children to be able to attach to adults who like them, and also that standard approaches like rewards and time out are insulting and damaging.
He is right.
The effect was demonstrated decades ago in “The Magic Marker Experiment”.
In this experiments kids were given some nice textas and paper and asked to draw what interested them.
One group was given an incentive reward for each picture they produced. The other was not.
The group that was not given rewards produced more art.

I can’t for the life of me figure out why this has not filtered through into behavioural psychology.

This attachment effect influences us all to some extent- but it is much stronger in ADHD. Our emotions are as unstable as our attention.
That’s not surprising- they are both orienting responses.

Many kids perceive this sort of behavioural therapy as insulting.
I would too.
Their resistance shows strength of character.