Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Clinical: Approaches · Group therapy · Techniques · Types of problem · Areas of specialism · Taxonomies · Therapeutic issues · Modes of delivery · Model translation project · Personal experiences ·

Nathan H. Azrin (1930 - 2013 ) was an American behaviour therapist who applied behavioural analysis principles to the problems presented in clinical psychology.


He was born in Boston Massachusetts.


In 1951 he revieved his BA from Boston University and a year later his MA from the same institution. He then went onto Harvard University tocomplete his PhD in 1956.



Token economy Edit

In the early 19th century, long before there was any knowledge about operant learning, there were some precursors of token economies in schools and prisons. In those systems points could be earned and exchanged for many different items and privileges. Only in the 1960s the first real token economies arose in psychiatric hospitals. Teodoro Ayllon, Nathan Azrin and Leonard Krasner were important pioneers in these early years.[1][2] The very first token economy bearing that name was founded by Ayllon and Azrin in 1961 at Anna State Hospital in Illinois. In the 1970s the token economies came to a peak and became widespread. In 1977 a major study (a randomized controlled trial), still considered a landmark, was published.[3] This study showed the superiority of a token economy compared to standard treatment and specialized milieu therapy. Despite this success token economies declined from the 1980s on. It became fairly quiet on that front due to a variety of problems and criticism.

==Couples therapy In early 1970s he published his concept of mutual reinforcement and reciprocity [4] Azrin stated that

  • (1) human behavior is maintained by reinforcement on the person who performed the behavior
  • (2) people have a tendency to treat others as they are treated and
  • (3) mutual reinforcement accounts at least partially for concepts like friendships, joy, and love.

And he explored the implementation of these principles in couples therapy

Toilet trainingEdit

His book "Toilet Training in Less than a Day"[5] has been used by many mothers.

Working with families with alcohol abuseEdit

Community reinforcement and family training The community reinforcement approach has considerable research supporting it as efficacious.[6] Started in the 1970s by Nathan H. Azrin and his graduate student Hunt, the community reinforcement approach is a comprehensive operant program built on a functional assessment of a client's drinking behavior and the use of positive reinforcement and contingency management for nondrinking.[7] When combined with disulfiram (an aversive procedure) community reinforcement showed remarkable effects.[8]


He has served as President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies


In 1975 he received the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology. In 1992 he received the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award


See alsoEdit


  1. R.P. Liberman: The token economy. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2000, 157, 1398.
  2. T. Ayllon & N.H. Azrin : The Token Economy: a motivational system for therapy and rehabilitation. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1968. ISBN 0-390-04310-9
  3. G.L. Paul & R.J. Lentz : Psychosocial treatment of chronic mental patients: milieu versus social-learning programs. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977. ISBN 0-674-72112-8
  4. Azrin, NH, Naster, BJ, and Jone, R. (1973). Reciprocity counseling: A rapid learning-based procedure for martial counseling. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 11, 365-382.
  5. Azrin, Nathan (1976). Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, New York: Pocket Books.
  6. Smith, J.E.; Milford, J.L. & Meyers, R.J. (2004) CRA and CRAFT: Behavioral Approaches to Treating Substance-Abusing Individuals. The Behavior Analyst Today, 5(4), pp. 391–403 BAO
  7. Hunt, G.M. & Azrin, N.H. (1973). A community-reinforcement approach to alcoholism. Behavior Research and Therapy, 11, 91–104.
  8. Azrin, N.H.; Sisson, R.W.; Meyers, R.J. & Godley, M.D. (1982). Alcoholism treatment by disulfiram and community reinforcement therapy. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 3, 105–112.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.