Leone Centre Glossary

Functional Analysis

Functional Analysis

Functional analysis in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a key method used to understand and change behaviour patterns.

Deep Dive

Functional analysis involves a detailed examination of the antecedents, behaviours, and consequences (often referred to as the ABC model). This process helps to uncover the root causes of behavioural issues and facilitates the development of more adaptive responses.

Key Features

  1. Identifying Triggers: Understanding what precedes a behaviour.
  2. Examining Behaviours: Observing the behaviour itself.
  3. Analysing Consequences: Looking at the outcomes that reinforce the behaviour.


  1. Insightful: Provides deep insights into behavioural patterns.
  2. Empowering: Helps individuals gain control over their actions.
  3. Structured: Offers a clear framework for therapists and clients.

Convenience and Flexibility

Functional analysis can be adapted to individual needs, making it a flexible tool in various therapeutic settings.


What is the purpose of functional analysis in CBT?
Functional Analysis aims to understand the reasons behind behaviours by examining their triggers and consequences, which helps in modifying those behaviours.
How does functional analysis help in therapy?
It provides insights into behavioural patterns, enabling clients to develop more adaptive responses and gain better control over their actions.
Can functional analysis be adapted to individual needs?
Yes, it is a flexible tool that can be adapted to suit the specific requirements of different clients and therapeutic settings.


  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information
  2. Psychology Tools
  3. Verywell Mind
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision