Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W85
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Learning to Behave Well Using Mindfulness-Based Cognitive and Behavior Analytic Practices
Saturday, May 28, 2016
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
St. Gallen 1, Swissotel
Area: PRA/CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Robert Stromer, Ph.D.
ROBERT STROMER (George Brown College), ELISABETH KINNEY (Behavioral Learning and Leadership), MARK GEREN (QBS Inc)
Description: The instructors share the opinion that, “To enjoy life at any age one must view each difficulty as simply a problem to be solved” (Skinner & Vaughan, 1997). For many, “enjoying life” includes being the best practitioner one can be; and doing that may require being well self-managed and as stress-free as possible. For the instructors, being well self-managed meant retooling their existing problem-solving skills. They opted to add mindfulness practices to better manage life’s stressors and ongoing concerns of health and wellness. This approach resulted in improved ways of dealing with and replacing verbal behavior that often got in the way of enjoyment. So, this workshop is about supplementing one’s problem-solving skills to better cope with life’s challenges and to reduce the likelihood of disabling emotional states such as stress, anxiety, and depression. The mindfulness practices stem from evidence-based mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) that blends traditional meditative teachings and behavior therapy techniques. Williams and Penman’s (2011) self-help version of MBCT is introduced; its skills can be readily learned and generalized, if regularly practiced and used in real life. As a take-home practice, and to begin a little therapeutic self-change, attendees learn MBCT’s signature meditation, the “three-minute breathing space.”
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: (1) state potential benefits of mindfulness meditation as a supplement to one’s self-managed, problem-solving repertoire; (2) describe some of the key elements of the skill set involved in mindfulness practices common to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and other “third wave” cognitive therapies; (3) demonstrate the recommended chair-supported sitting posture used during formal practices and the kinds of self-talk used to practice the three-minute breathing space; (4) identify exemplary digital and other resources for further mindfulness study and practice.
Activities: In a large-group format, we introduce mindfulness, describe its nature and relevant background and rationales for offering a workshop on it. We also provide guided opportunities to participate in several “warm-up” meditations. Then, during the bulk of the workshop, methods resembling aspects of behavioral skills training and interteaching (e.g., dyadic discussion, question-and-answer, feedback) are used to inform meaningful practice opportunities in a pivotal meditation of the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy program, the Three-Minute Breathing Space. Activities include the use of (a) live and video demonstrations, (b) written rationales and scripts appropriate for the two roles to be rehearsed by pairs of attendees, facilitator or teacher, and meditative student, (c) dyadic rehearsal of scripted and unscripted guidance of the Breathing Space and evaluative discussions of experiences, and (d) informative feedback while the instructors oversee dyad rehearsals. Finally, a wrap up period addresses questions and comments from the entire group and we share knowledge of several digital resources found helpful in our ongoing practices and self-study.
Audience: The workshop is designed for all certified behavior analysts (full or assistant), those who already practice mindfulness, but especially those with little or no experience in mindfulness meditation.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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