Cognitive Behavior Therapy
The theoretical origins of what we now call cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can be traced to the emergence of theories of learning and their influence on clinical practice. The development of behavior therapy in the 1950s by pioneers such as Hans Eysenck (1916-1997) and Joseph Wolpe (1915-1977) initially owed much to the experimental work of Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) and B. F. Skinner (1904-1990). The essence of this new behavioral approach was that, as with any other behavior, problematic behaviors are understood to be the result of learning rather than, say, conflicts between psychodynamic forces. The process of learning, involving both the individual and the environment, could be through classical conditioning or operant learning. Indeed, the theorist O. H. Mowrer (1907-1982) developed a formulation of phobias based on a combination classical and operant learning. Thus, the initial acquisition of the fear response takes place through classical learning which is then maintained through negative reinforcement.