Functional Analysis: most ‘problems’ serve a purpose, and revealing that purpose can be the key to success

1 module


Course Length
1 hour

Dr William Davies



In this module from the APT, we talk about the functions our patients' problems and behavior serve for them, what fallacies exist around for example 'attention-seeking behavior', and what to do once we have uncovered the functions of the behavior. We'll look at hunches and ABC Analysis, depression, behavior that has 'built-in' functionality, and the importance of verifying that there aren't underlying physical causes. Functional Analysis is a concept that has long been recognised by those working with 'challenging behavior' but in fact it relevance is much wider than that.

This module is part of the exciting Higher Order Therapy series of one hour modules. Each consists of an audio lasting 15-30 minutes, plus an exercise and resources for you to you use and practice with afterwards. The series is so named because it features all the 'higher order' factors that make therapy successful. If you examine the leading therapies they overlap to a fascinating degree, so by studying all the overlapping elements and then 'picking off' the elements that are unique to each particular therapy you achieve an extraordinary power and breadth in your ability to help others. And this is what the Higher Order Therapy series enables you to do. 

If you are an experienced therapist looking at the Higher Order Therapy modules you will quickly be able to see the ones you are proficient at and the ones you maybe need to brush up on, and that's exactly what you can do here. 

Every module in the Higher Order Therapy series is designed to be accessible, relevant and engaging, so encouraging both novice and expert therapists alike to develop exactly those elements they want to.

Finally, don't be misled by the price; you may feel that the low price suggests these are not serious modules whereas in fact they very much are. The APT's purpose is to make the best, most relevant and engaging training accessible to as many mental health professionals as possible.


To understand the apparent contradiction that many behaviors and conditions can serve a perfectly rational purpose for the patient, even when they are unhelpful to them.

To be able to help patients to reconcile this apparent contradiction by helping them find better ways of achieving just the same end-result.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate 1 hour CPD

Learning Credits

Functional Analysis
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Added 11 days ago, by Anonymous
Added 28 days ago, by Anonymous
This module was a useful refresher, I especially enjoyed the case examples which brought it to life.
Added 3 months ago, by Adaeze
Added 5 months ago, by Anonymous
Really useful and easy to follow.
Added 6 months ago, by Mark
Easy to listen to but not worth £20
Added 7 months ago, by Anonymous
interesting topic
Added 8 months ago, by Susannah
I thought it was an hour long, but the half hour was informative
Added 9 months ago, by Anonymous
An ok overview of FA. However, not suitable for those with a role in PBS (positive behaviour support) or ABA (applied behaviour analysis) focussed services
Added 9 months ago, by Maggie
Brilliant and very informative
Added about 1 year ago, by Marc
Fantastic course and really brings ideas of practice to life. Many things we, as clinicians, should be considering to improve the quality of lives of the people we care for.

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