Despite voluminous experimental work in the area of learning, only within the last few years have principles derived from the laboratory begun to find their practical and ultimate application to therapy. The aim of behavior therapy with high level mentally retarded adolescents is twofold: to generate self control and to increase socially acceptable behaviors. There is reason to believe that retardates subscribe to the same laws of learning as normal individuals do. An extension of the laboratory situation into the therapist's office would suggest that the neurotic symptomatology is equivalent to the dependent variable, whereas behavior manipulation during therapy is equivalent to the independent variable. During the course of therapy, appropriate verbalizations are selectively reinforced by making them contingent upon social rewards at the therapist's discretion. The patient is also asked to memorize verbalizations commensurate with social norms and regulations.