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Finding aid for the Dr. Joseph Wolpe papers 0197
0197  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The papers, book manuscripts, articles, notes, and audiotapes and video tapes of Dr. Joseph Wolpe, the important South African-born American psychiatrist who helped usher in behavior therapy. Wolpe is probably best known for urging his colleagues to view psychotherapy as an applied science in which the effectiveness of treatment is evaluated through controlled experiments.
Background
Dr. Joseph Wolpe, the South African-born (April 20, 1915) American psychiatrist, helped usher in behavior therapy with his treatment to desensitize phobia patients by exposing them incrementally to images of their fears. In addition to establishing the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy and founding the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, he helped to develop assertiveness training as an approach to combating depression and other emotional problems. Wolpe is probably best known for urging his colleagues to view psychotherapy as an applied science in which the effectiveness of treatment is evaluated through controlled experiments. The techniques of behavior therapy and relaxation techniques, guided imagery and other scientifically validated exercises were based on theories of learning derived from the classical conditioning research carried out by Ivan Pavlov and from the work of B.F. Skinner, John B. Watson, and Andrew Salter. A specialist in the study and treatment of neurosis, Wolpe produced scientific data that phobias are based on learned behavior, as opposed to repressed conflict, and can therefore be "cured" in far fewer sessions than needed in traditional psychotherapy. Wolpe's influence can be felt in today's managed care, which favors short-term, empirically supported treatments over long-term psychotherapy.
Extent
62.25 linear ft. 113 boxes
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
There are correspondence files and case study files that are considered confidential, and, therefore, access is restricted to those files.