Jonathan Tarbox – Practicing Acceptance and Commitment Training inside Behavior Analysis: Foundations and Latest Developments

1.0 Type II Ethics CE Credit

This talk was filmed at the 2019 Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis Conference

About the presentation:

B.F. Skinner always envisioned behavior analysis as a comprehensive science of all human behavior, including private events. In recent decades, behavior analysts have begun to address the complex overt and covert behaviors of typically developing adults as derived relational responding and have developed procedures for producing substantial changes in socially meaningful overt behaviors, via intervening on the clients’ verbal repertoires that interact with such overt behaviors in complex ways. Most of this work has been done under the umbrella of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The goal of interventions based on ACT is to disrupt control of maladaptive behaviors by rigid and ineffective rules, particularly rules that describe short-term negative reinforcement contingencies and reorient behavior to be controlled to a greater degree by rules describing longer-term positive reinforcement contingencies. Although ACT was originally developed as a behavior analytic approach to treating traditional psychological disorders, it is based on a behavior analytic interpretation of the role of complex verbal behavior in overt behavior change and is therefore equally applicable to bringing about valued behavior change in any behavioral situation in which a person’s verbal behavior might be relevant to their overt behavior change. This presentation will provide a behavioral conceptual analysis of ACT procedures in terms of behavioral functional relations, will present recent data on the use of ACT inside of ABA, and will discuss issues related to scope of practice.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the presentation, the participants will be able to:

1. Identify what ACT is and how it can be applied to behavior analysis.
2. What type of behavior ACT is helpful in treating.
3. Name the current trends taking place in ACT.

About the presenter:

Dr. Jonathan Tarbox is the Program Director of the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program at the University of Southern California, as well as Director of Research at FirstSteps for Kids. Dr. Tarbox is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Behavior Analysis in Practice and serves on the editorial boards of several major scientific journals related to autism and behavior analysis. He has published four books on autism treatment, is the Series Editor of the Elsevier book series Critical Specialties in Treating Autism and Other Behavioral Challenges, Co-Editor of the forthcoming book “Applied Behavior Analysis of Language and Cognition,” and an author of well over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters in scientific texts. His research focuses on behavioral for teaching complex skills to individuals with autism and applications of Acceptance and CommitmentTraining (ACT) to applied behavior analysis.


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