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Conference Presentation Abstracts and Bios

FRIDAY EVENING WORKSHOP

Demystifying ACT

Speaker:

Dr. Daniel J. Moran

Bio:

Dr. Daniel J. Moran is the founder of the MidAmerican Psychological Institute, founder of Pickslyde Consulting, and the past-president of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, the worldwide Acceptance and Commitment Therapy organization. The Association for Behavior Analysis International gave D.J. the Outstanding Mentor Award. He co-authored ACT in Practice, the canonical case conceptualization manual for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and several publications applying ACT to clinical issues, leadership, and behavioral health. Dr. D.J. has appeared on The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, and The Oprah Winfrey Network discussing anxiety disorders and hoarding, and is also a Recognized ACTrainer and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Abstract:

Incorporating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy into your treatment approach will have a significant impact on your clinical effectiveness and the well-being of your clients. ACT is a rich, integrative approach, and has been shown to be effective for many clinically-relevant concerns. Because ACT takes a different perspective on psychotherapy, some clinicians wonder how to blend the applications into their own therapy approach. Other clinicians who have embraced the ACT concepts still have questions about certain aspects of the therapy.

SATURDAY MORNING KEYNOTE

The Mindful Action Plan

Speaker:

Dr. Daniel J. Moran

Bio:

Dr. Daniel J. Moran is the founder of the MidAmerican Psychological Institute, founder of Pickslyde Consulting, and the past-president of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, the worldwide Acceptance and Commitment Therapy organization. The Association for Behavior Analysis International gave D.J. the Outstanding Mentor Award. He co-authored ACT in Practice, the canonical case conceptualization manual for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and several publications applying ACT to clinical issues, leadership, and behavioral health. Dr. D.J. has appeared on The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, and The Oprah Winfrey Network discussing anxiety disorders and hoarding, and is also a Recognized ACTrainer and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Abstract:

The Mindful Action Plan (MAP) aims to simplify Acceptance and Commitment Therapy principles in order to assist practitioners with influencing complex behavioral change.  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is founded in behavior analysis, modern functional contextualism, and relational frame theory research. The MAP creates a practical approach toward changing behavior in healthier directions, and has also been used as an Acceptance and Commitment Training tool in the domain of Organizational Behavior Management.

The primary goal for this keynote event is to help clinicians understand the six core domains of ACT treatment and blend those important elements into their skills repertoire.  Ultimately, this presentation aims to take the core principles of acceptance, defusion, contacting the present moment, self-as-context, values clarification, and committed action, and turn them into a combined holistic approach that helps a person be able to say, during challenging situations, “I am here now accepting the way I feel and noticing my thoughts while doing what I care about.”  In addition, a new approach to mindfulness will be discussed and the term commitment will be redefined to make both more useful in complex behavior analytic work.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON KEYNOTE

Part 1: An Update on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board
Part 2: An Ethics Update from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Speaker:

Dr. Melissa R. Nosik

Bio:

Melissa R. Nosik, PhD, BCBA-D is the Deputy CEO at the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Dr. Nosik received her master’s degree from Florida Institute of Technology in 2004 under the mentorship of Dr. Jose Martinez-Diaz, her doctorate in 2013 from the University of Nevada, Reno under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Williams and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Behavior Analyst Certification Board under the mentorship of Dr. James E Carr. Her professional interests include credentialing, public policy, practitioner training, mentorship practices, behavior-analytic applications in higher education, and diversity of practice. Dr. Nosik has 15 years of experience in practice and has trained behavior analysts both in the United States and internationally. Dr. Nosik has served as a board member for the Tennessee, Nevada, and Colorado Associations for Behavior Analysis.

Abstracts:

Recent developments at the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) will be presented. The most current data on the BACB’s credentialing programs and university course sequence systems will be presented and discussed in the context of the profession’s rapid growth. In addition, a summary of the BACB’s international activities will be presented to illustrate important developments in behavior-analytic infrastructure around the world. Finally, a number of the BACB’s recent activities will be discussed, including revisions to key standards and US legislative developments.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe recent BACB data trends.
  2. Participants will be able to describe the BACB’s recent developments.
  3. Participants will be able to describe key faces of the BACB’s international development efforts.

Resources on ethical conduct in behavior analysis (e.g., ethics code, coursework, publications, continuing education) have primarily been in development over the last two decades and only widely available in the last decade. It was not until 2016 that the first fully enforceable code of ethics in behavior analysis went into effect: the BACB’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the BACB’s disciplinary system and data on the Notices of Alleged Violation received in the past 2 years. I will also discuss three areas of the Code on which the BACB receives the most reports, and propose individual- and group-level solutions to preventing such violations. Finally, I will summarize the steps that should be taken when one encounters an instance of potentially unethical behavior.

Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to briefly describe the history of the BACB’s ethics code.
  2. Participants will be able to describe key ethics areas in need of training resources.
  3. Participants will be able to describe the process to follow after they identify a potential ethical
    concern.

The second half of this presentation will qualify for one Ethics CEU

SATURDAY LUNCHTIME PRESENTATION

Life Lessons from Humanistic Behaviorism: Bringing the best out of yourself and others

Speaker:

Dr. E. Scott Geller

Bio:

Scott Geller, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems, has authored or coauthored 43 books, 84 book chapters, 265 magazine articles, and more than 300 research articles. His recent 700-page textbook: Applied Psychology: Actively Caring for People, published by Cambridge University Press, reflects the mission of his teaching, research, and scholarship throughout his 48-year career at Virginia Tech. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality Sciences. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Psychological Foundation and the International Organizational Behavior Management Network. In May 2011, the College of Wooster awarded Dr. Geller the Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters.

Abstract:

Seven evidence-based guidelines for improving the quality and increasing the frequency of desirable actively-caring-for-people (AC4P) behavior will be described and illustrated as relevant for benefiting human welfare and well-being throughout a culture. If taught and practiced extensively, these life lessons would most assuredly improve overall quality of life by reducing interpersonal conflict and bullying, preventing the occurrence of unintentional injuries and fatalities, and enhancing work productivity, environmental sustainability and life satisfaction.

The first three guidelines reflect the applied behavioral science principles of positive reinforcement, observational learning, and behavior-based feedforward and feedback. The subsequent four life lessons are essentially derived from humanism, and would likely not be among a list of life lessons created by an applied behavior analyst.

Techniques for operationalizing these humanistic guidelines will be presented to demonstrate the social validity of integrating select principles from humanism with behaviorism.  The result: humanistic behaviorism–the application of some humanistic fundamentals to make behaviorism more acceptable, effective, and sustainable on a large scale. Our mission: to cultivate and sustain an AC4P culture.

SATURDAY BREAKOUT

Applications of Behavioral Science to Promote Human Welfare and/or Well-being: Reflections of the actively caring for people movement

Speaker:

Dr. E. Scott Gellar, Shirleen Rahman, Trevin Glasgow, Kasey Warren

Abstract:

This three-part symposium will report behavioral science research that reflects the actively caring for people (AC4P) Movement initiated over a decade ago to improve human welfare and well-being. Study One: The impact of exercise instruction on the mood and satisfaction of participants in a spin class. A person-oriented vs. a task-oriented leadership style was compared with regard to goal/task achievement and personal gratification from the exercise. Study Two: Public statements of gratitude to drivers who stop for pedestrians at high-use crosswalks were systematically observed. Pedestrian were observed at crosswalks for more than six months to evaluate the impact of a modeling intervention on pedestrians’ gestures of gratitude. Although observational data collection is ongoing, gestures of gratitude have been below 20% and an effect of modeling has not been evident. Study Three: Opportunities for police officers to apply positive consequences in interactions with citizens were observed. For more than six months observers, riding with campus and community police officers, documented various real-world opportunities for police officers to give citizens AC4P wristbands as feedforward or feedback for their pro-social behavior. Although data collection for this project is ongoing, it is obvious that police officers have numerous opportunities to promote the AC4P Movement.

SATURDAY BREAKOUT

Uncomfortable BCBA

Speakers:

Megan Sullivan Kirby, Dr. Barbara Kaminski, Arielle Mabry, Steven Perkins

Bios:

Megan Sullivan Kirby completed her undergraduate degree at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida and graduate degree in special education at The University of Virginia. She is the Director of ABA Services with Spectrum Transformation Group, and co-founder of Uncomfortable BCBA. Megan has served as the Secretary of Virginia Association for Behavior Analysis (VABA) since 2013, a member of VABA’s Public Policy Committee and has been an advocate for behavior analysts in Virginia wishing to work as Early Intervention (EI) Developmental Specialists since 2015.

Dr. Kaminski received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the Behavior Analysis Training Program at West Virginia University. She worked extensively in behavioral pharmacology, conducting research on the behavioral factors involved in drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, she left the lab and joined an ABA clinical practice. Currently, she is the Clinical Director at Green Box ABA, which provides applied behavior analysis services to individuals with autism. In addition, she teaches graduate level courses in Applied Behavior Analysis for George Mason University and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (DC Campus).

Arielle Mabry is a graduate of Old Dominion University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Pathology. She completed her ABA coursework through The Florida Institute of Technology, and is currently a graduate student at Arizona State University, studying Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is an Assistant Behavior Analyst with Spectrum Transformation Group in Richmond, VA with over five years of experience working with individuals with Autism and other developmental delays. She has a special interest in early childhood intervention.

Steven Perkins is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Virginia. He received his Masters degree in Special Education and a Master’s Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from George Mason University. He has worked at Green Box ABA for 2.5 years and now serves the role of Assistant Clinical Director. Prior to Green Box, Steven was a Special Education Teacher in an Enhanced Autism room in Fairfax County Public Schools. His interests include Early Intervention, Social Skills and Ethics. In college, Steven also received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and debated moving to New York City. His hobbies include Washington DC Sports leagues and trying new activities.

Abstract:

This interactive, 50-minute panel discussion will feature a diverse set of professionals working in the field of tiered ABA services at various stages in their careers. Presentation will be led by 3 panelists (1 LABA, 1 RBT, 1 BCBA-D) a chair/moderator (Megan Kirby) will present case studies of situations encountered in this ABA service delivery model. Panel will bridge science and practice of field. Various topics will be discussed from the perspective of each panelist following a historical overview of how each experienced and may currently deliver supervision to staff who work in the community and homes of clients. In addition, the panel will present data from a recent environmental scan/needs assessment relevant to ongoing issues with race, diversity, discrimination when staff are on the receiving end of hate speech, etc. and reflect on areas where supervisors can improve upon their own actions and practices to provide appropriate responses and mentorship for early career professionals who are needed to help our profession grow- reaching new populations, all areas of social significance. Questions will be solicited from audience members.

This presentation will qualify for one Supervision CEU

SATURDAY BREAKOUT

Fun with Home-Based ABA and Intervention Integrity: Some Thoughts on Building Technical Capacity with Staff and Families

Speaker:

Hannah Robicheau

Bio:

Ms. Robicheau got her initial clinical training in Massachusetts while working for The May Institute in the neurorehabilitation brain injury program. She also worked briefly with early intervention in the home, and then with school districts as a consultant and trainer on the south shore of Massachusetts. After relocating to Arizona in 2013, Ms. Robicheau went into private practice in an outpatient setting, and took an additional position building a program that served individuals with severe behavior, complex cases, and performed school assessment and consultation across the state of Arizona. While in Arizona, Ms. Robicheau worked with legislators and the AZ Board of Psychologist Examiners as chair of the Legislative Liaison Committee for the Arizona state ABAI chapter, AZABA. She was nominated and ran for President Elect of AZABA in 2015. In 2016, Ms. Robicheau moved to Virginia after accepting a position to work on developing a site to offer home-based ABA services in central Virginia/Richmond. She subscribes to a comprehensive service delivery model that includes support to families with psychoeducation and training, as well as active support with overcoming barriers to treatment. Ms. Robicheau is interested in how behavior analysis is accepted within the behavioral health and education communities, and works to connect with community members to increase the acceptance of ABA and behavior analysts.

Abstract:

As it is hard to control for extraneous variables within the home setting, compared to a more controlled school or center-based environment. Using a behavioral skills training approach within a pyramidal training model allows for maximum efficacy for training staff, and at the same time providing a model for training caregivers. By utilizing this training model with families from the beginning of services, as opposed to waiting until clients have mastered skills with a provider, then utilizing caregivers solely for generalization, expectations of training for provider and caregivers are established early on in treatment, reducing treatment barriers. Additionally, repetition of a model for the skill, and participating in the process of evaluating problem behavior and skill deficits from an evidence-based perspective can be integrated into caregiver learning from the start of services. Finally, effective evidence-based data collection methods to assess competency by the family is rarely used, such as an integrity checklist, and providers often rely on one-dimensional data collection methods such as continuous or incident-based recording to evaluate progress towards building capacity within the family, so that ABA services may be faded. To remediate this, an integrity checklist for assessing caregiver procedural integrity will be introduced and discussed.

SATURDAY BREAKOUT

Performance and Pay: Motivating Employees with Tangibles

Speaker:

Dr. Byron Wine

Bio:

Dr. Byron Wine worked in early intervention and taught English as a Foreign Language to adults while in graduate school.  He then served as a behavior analyst, and later a senior behavior analyst, in a residential setting for adults with disabilities.  Since 2013, he has worked as an assistant professor at the Florida Institute of Technology.  Byron joined Faison in January 2016 as a senior behavior analyst and continues to function as the Virginia site director for the Florida Institute of Technology.

Byron received his doctorate in educational psychology from Temple University, and completed both his master’s degree in applied behavior analysis, and bachelor’s degree in psychology at the Florida Institute of Technology.  He is a Virginia-licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and has published over 20 research articles and book chapters on behavior analysis.

Abstract:

This presentation will compare and contrast various pay and incentive schemes commonly used in organizations. After an overview of various incentive systems, a brief discussion of the ethics involved in changing employee behavior will be presented. Lastly, recommendations for using tangibles in clinical practice will be provided.