Computer Simulation Utilization in Graduate Behavior Therapy Training
Practicum experiences are thought to be a time for honing clinical skills and integrating content course material with clinical practice. Often, however, the range of clinical problems encountered during practica is restricted, limiting the variety of learning experiences available to practicum group members. To provide a wider range of standardized learning experiences, four computer simulations in the areas of agoraphobia, chronic headache pain, bulimia, and cocaine abuse were developed. Simulations were designed to replicate assessment, diagnostic, and treatment processes appropriate for community mental health centers, behavioral medicine clinics, university counseling centers, and substance abuse treatment centers. The simulations were field tested in four American Psychological Association approved doctoral training programs and a social work training program. The structured evaluation form assessed the students' opinions about the simulations. Results suggest that trainees learned how to integrate various methodologies and appeared to support the use of the behavior therapy computer simulations. Questions remain about the novelty effect of the simulations, effect on counselor performance, maximizing the learning process, and integration of computer simulations into behavior therapy training programs. (Author/ABL)
Lambert, M.E. Computer Simulation Utilization in Graduate Behavior Therapy Training.