Originally published in 1984, one of the few facts that emerged clearly in the beleaguered field of psychology and mental health at the time was the extent of poor social skills in psychiatric patients, the mentally handicapped and problem adolescents. As a result, during the 1970s, social skills training – espoused as a form of behaviour therapy – seemed to offer great promise, based on the notion that social skills, like any other skills, are learnt and can be taught if lacking. However, in evaluating social skills training, many investigators found that skills did not endure and generalise.
This book attempts a major re-assessment of social skills training. It examines the underlying paradigms, which are shown to be fundamentally behaviourist. Such paradigms, it is argued, severely constrain the aims and method of current types of training. Thus the book develops what is termed an ‘agency’ approach, based on man as a social agent who actively constructs his own experiences and generates his own goal-directed behaviour on the basis of those constructs. This new model is developed in both theoretical and practical ways in the main body of the book and should, even today, be of great interest to all those involved with social skills training.
Contributors Part 1: Theory and Research Peter Trower Introduction and Review 1 James P. Curran, Albert D. Farrell and Aimee J. Grunberger Social Skills Training: A Critique and a Rapprochement 2 Peter Trower A Radical Critique and Reformulation: From Organism to Agent 3 Rom Harre Public-collective Psychological Processes and Social Skills 4 Richard Wessler Cognitive-social Psychological Theories and Social Skills 5 Charles S. Carver and Michael F. Scheier A Control-theory Approach to Behaviour, and Some Implications for Social Skills Training 6 Mary M. Bandura, Ellen J. Langer and Benzion Chanowitz Interpersonal Effectiveness from a Mindlessness/Mindfulness Perspective 7 Malcolm Coulthard Conversation Analysis and Social Skills Training Part 2: Practice 8 Michael G. Dow and W. Edward Craighead Cognition and Social Inadequacy: Relevance in Clinical Populations 9 Geoff Shepherd Assessment of Cognitions in Social Skills Training 10 W. Dryden Social Skills Assessment from A Rational-emotive Perspective 11 W. Dryden Social Skills Training from a Rational-emotive perspective. Index
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