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 months ago, by Anonymous
Examples helped better understand functional analysis
Added almost 2 years ago, by Natasha
lots of good examples. A trigger-warming for self-harm and sexual assault should be included.
Added over 2 years ago, by Anonymous
Well explained, with good examples
Added almost 3 years ago, by Anonymous
Very informative
Added about 3 years ago, by Kari
Loved this course
Added over 3 years ago, by Anonymous

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