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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.
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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Seminar; San Diego, CA; 2018
Invited Paper Session #3
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
On the Role of Acceptance and Commitment Training for Adolescents and Adults With Developmental Disorders
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom ABC
Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, Ph.D.
Thomas G. Szabo (Florida Institute of Technology)
RUTH ANNE REHFELDT (Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Rehfeldt holds a BA in psychology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA (1993), and masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nevada (1998 graduation), where she was a student of Dr. Linda J. Hayes. Dr. Rehfeldt has published approximately 100 articles and book chapters in behavior analysis. Her expertise focuses specifically upon basic and applied investigations of verbal behavior, Relational Frame Theory, and Acceptance and Commitment Training. She co-edited a book with Yvonne Barnes-Holmes entitled “Derived Stimulus Relations Applications for Learners with Autism and other Developmental Disorders: A Progressive Guide for Change, and is currently co-editing a text on applied behavior analysis of language and cognition with Johnathan Tarbox, Mitch Fryling, and Linda Hayes. Dr. Rehfeldt served as the editor and business manager for The Psychological Record for 12 years. She is or has been an editorial board member for a number of behavior analytic journals, and has been awarded several awards at Southern Illinois University for her research and teaching. She is currently the director of SIU’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, where her and her students’ research focuses on Acceptance and Commitment Training and social skills instruction for adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. She is a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and the coordinator of university accreditation at SIU.
Behavior analysts receive little formal training for intervening with their clients’ private, internal experiences, yet because many behavior analysts work with highly verbal clinical populations as well as parents and staff, there are good reasons that a technology for addressing internal experiences by these professionals is in order. This presentation will provide a justification for the implementation of Acceptance and Commitment Training with individuals with mild developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. This justification will extend to direct-care staff providing direct services to these populations. Highlighted will be recent research on the use of ACT in conjunction with interventions based on applied behavior analysis. Studies using components of ACT in conjunction with behavioral skills training will be discussed, as will studies that have evaluated the efficacy of components of ACT in increasing the engagement of direct care staff with their clients with severe developmental disorders. The presentation will underscore the importance of the discipline’s adoption of ACT as a technology for intervening on private events and enhancing committed actions.
Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.
At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) articulate the rationale for addressing psychological flexibility in adolescents and adults with developmental disorders, as well agency staff-members working with such populations; (2) discuss the general procedures and results from studies exploring the use of ACT in conjunction with ABA; (3) recognize the theoretical constructs constituting the ACT hexaflex and their role as tools of behavior change.
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