Pursuing Clear Goals in Behaviorist Treatment

In behavioral treatment, which is often applied to help resocialize offenders, including convicted terrorists, or dangerous militants, practitioners need to set goals and targets. Not only should these help prevent the ones treated not to fall back into old habits, thereby re-assuming the terrorist or militant role and risking to behave dangerously, even violently. The goals and targets set in behavioral therapy should also help the ones treated to lead a productive life.

However, promising goals and targets can in practice be neglected due to a number of factors, which may also be linked to the social workers or psychologists involved: a) the practitioners might prefer their usual scheme, which they fail to adapt, b) the practitioners might be overwhelmed, choosing the simple way instead of the best yet perhaps more complicated strategy, c) reasons of finance, d) intermediary opposition from the potential offender who cannot realize that the set goals are ultimately in his or her favor.

If mixed methods are used in a trial and error setting or promising goals are wholly given up, the strategy might completely fail. Transparent, consistently poursued goals ‘felt’ and accepted by the potential offender should be of the order.

Thorsten Koch, MA, PgDip
30 November 2020

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