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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #345
CE Offered: BACB
The Potential Symbiotic Relationship Between Behavior Analysis and Clinical Psychology
Sunday, May 27, 2018
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, America's Cup A-D
Area: CBM/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Lauralee Davis (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Emily Thomas Johnson (Behavior Attention and Developmental Disabilities Consultants, LLC)
CE Instructor: Emily Kennison Sandoz, Ph.D.

Though there is much overlap between the work of behavior analysts and clinical psychologist, there often lacks communication between the disciplines. In fact, many graduate programs in clinical psychology do not expose their students to the study of behavior analysis, and vice versa. This symposium seeks to demonstrate the mutual benefits that behavior analysis and clinical psychology have to offer one another. First, a case example will be used to demonstrate the need for behavior analytic consultation in psychology clinics where difficult behavioral cases are presented with nowhere else to turn for services (e.g. rural communities). The second presentation will focus on evaluating clinical psychology literature from a behavior analytic lens and discovering what this literature has to offer to behavior analysts. The symposium will close with a discussion about how we can change our context to make it more likely that behavior analyst and clinical psychologists can work together to improve the lives of others through behavior change.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): cbs, interdiciplinary, psychology
Target Audience:

Practicing behavior analysts

Learning Objectives: - Identify challenges faced by clinical psychologists in areas with limited behavior analytic support - Identify areas of behavior analytic service that can be improved by clinical psychology literature - Discuss the formation of a mutual relationship with a clinical psychologist
The Things You Can Teach When They Seem Out of Reach: The Product of Clinical Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis Co-Therapy
EMMIE HEBERT (University of Mississippi), Brooklee Tynes (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: In rural Mississippi and communities throughout the United States, there are few, if any, qualified service providers for psychological and/or behavioral difficulties. This means that individuals in rural areas fail to receive evidence-based services that can significantly increase their quality of life. Two graduate students found themselves referring to the APA ethics codes when a 25-year-old client with autism presented to a university psychological services center in north Mississippi. After being denied services for years, the request for treatment by this client’s aging parents was likely his last chance for services. While this clinical graduate program, and many programs like it, trains their graduate students in basic behavioral principles, students are rarely provided the opportunity to receive direct training or supervision on applying these principles. This presentation is a call for a stronger working relationship between behavior analysts and clinical psychologists, particularly when the services of one of the fields are scarce. Specifically, skills that behavior analysts can bring to a clinical psychology practice or consultation with clinical psychologists will be discussed.

Peering Over Walls: Psychology as a Sister Science to Behavior Analysis

EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)

Behavior analysis is distinguished from psychology, in part, by the adherence to unique and well-integrated philosophical, theoretical, and methodological standards. This adherence serves to protect behavior analysis from disciplinary drift as novel terms, analytical approaches, and data are subjected to strict scrutiny. This scrutiny often amounts to, "Is this behavior analysis?" When the answer is "no," when the terms, approaches, or data are not based in behavior analysis, they are typically rejected. This is observable, not only at the individual level, but also systemically. Behavior analytic practitioners and academics often earn terminal degrees having barely been exposed to basic psychological science (outside of direct training in its rejection). This may be unnecessarily problematic, especially for behavior analysts embarking on the analysis of complex human behavior. As recognition grows for behavior analysis as an effective approach to socially significant change, behavior analysts are increasingly likely to face problems that applied psychology has grappled with for ages. This presentation will argue for the importance of behavior analysts'consumption of psychology as a sister science of human behavior. Thus, when faced with non-behavioral theories, terms, or methods, we might ask not, "is this behavior analysis" but "how would behavior analysis approach this?"




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