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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46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details


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Invited Paper Session #134
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
TRAUMA: Flexibility After Trauma: Exploring Vitality Through ACT and Feldenkrais Method
Saturday, May 23, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Liberty I-L
Chair: Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Amy Murrell, Ph.D.
Presenting Authors: MIRANDA MORRIS (DC ACT Consortium; Private Practice), CHRISH KRESGE (Private Practice)
Abstract: Trauma can have profound and lasting effects on the lives of survivors. The impact on psychological functioning can be particularly severe and may have interpersonal, professional, and health consequences. While not all survivors experience long term problems, those who do can find their lives ruled by the experience of trauma. Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) holds that the long-term negative sequelae of trauma are primarily driven by two processes: avoidance and cognitive fusion (excessive, ineffective attempts to control unwanted private experiences). That is, survivors’ attempts to “not have” the memories, thoughts and feelings associated with the trauma may account for much of the distress associated with traumatic experiences. Together, avoidance and cognitive fusion function to increase psychological inflexibility and limit behavioral repertoires, costing survivors vitality, connection and engagement in valued living. The aim of ACT is to undermine these processes in order to increase psychological flexibility, defined in ACT as “the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being, and to change or persist in behavior when doing so serves valued ends.” In working with trauma survivors, the ACT therapist focuses on helping survivors reconnect with their values and move towards what they care about. In this talk, I will review the relationship of psychological (in)flexibility to post traumatic symptomatology. In addition, I will discuss how to use ACT to help clients come to terms with traumatic events and to build meaningful lives that are defined not by the past, but by what matters.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) explain how avoidance and fusion maintain post traumatic problems; (2) define psychological flexibility as used in ACT; (3) explain how to help clients clarify values and take committed action in the service of those values; (4) to operationally define ABMN Essential #1: Movement with Attention; (5) recognize ABMN Essential #7: The Learning Switch; (6) recognize ABMN Essential #6: Flexible Goals; (7) identify when ABMN and the Feldenkrais Method may be useful and complementary treatments in cases of trauma and its recovery.
 
In the Wake of Trauma: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Cultivate Valued Living
MIRANDA MORRIS (DC ACT Consortium; Private Practice)

Miranda Morris, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethesda, MD. She treats a broad range of difficulties and specializes in trauma and anxiety. Miranda is a Peer Reviewed ACT Trainer and the founder of DC ACT, a organization with two primary objectives: 1) the dissemination of contextual behavioral therapies in the DC region and beyond, 2) the provision of support and training opportunities for aspiring ACT trainers. Miranda conducts regular workshops in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and related contextual behavioral therapies including Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) and Clinical RFT. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) and is President Emeritus of the the Mid Atlantic Chapter of ACBS (MAC-ACBS).

Abstract: Trauma can be defined in many ways; the two most common interpretations of the word are a physical injury or a deeply emotionally upsetting event. In both cases, trauma can result in neurological and physiological as well as psychological damage and change. This damage often occurs early in life, either as a result of a genetic condition, birth-related injury, illness during infancy, or early childhood abuse or neglect. The negative consequences of trauma are often addressed in clinical psychology and sometimes specifically through clinical behavior analysis. However, in these methodologies, key effects on the child's somatic functioning may be neglected. This presentation will propose that the Anat Baniel Method of Neuromovement® (ABMN), based on the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, may be used to address neurological, physiological, and movement limitations associated with childhood trauma. Further, the presentation will explicitly outline the overlap between applied behavior analysis and these methods through educating the audience on essential principles associated with ABMN and Feldenkrais Method® movement practices.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) explain how avoidance and fusion maintain post traumatic problems; (2) define psychological flexibility as used in ACT; (3) explain how to help clients clarify values and take committed action in the service of those values; (4) to operationally define ABMN Essential #1: Movement with Attention; (5) recognize ABMN Essential #7: The Learning Switch; (6) recognize ABMN Essential #6: Flexible Goals; (7) identify when ABMN and the Feldenkrais Method may be useful and complementary treatments in cases of trauma and its recovery.
 
From Fixing to Connecting Through Movement With Awareness
CHRISH KRESGE (Private Practice)

Chrish is a Feldenkrais® practitioner (1998) who works with people of all ages and backgrounds, using movement as a primary tool for improving self-awareness, posture, thinking, voice, and overall health and wellness.  Chrish is also an actor, producer and director. She is passionate about using her diverse skills and background to help people find their optimal selves, innate dignity and composure. Chrish has been teaching the Feldenkrais Method® across the world for over 21 years in places such as the U.S., Ghana, Morocco, France, and Nepal.  During her teaching of the Feldenkrais Method, Chrish offers her students an enriching experience consisting of mental and physical improvement through natural, easy, and pleasurable ways of moving, using the brain’s amazing capacity to reorganize the body. In addition to working with performing artists and business executives alike, Chrish specializes in working with children with disabilities and trauma, and is a graduate of the Anat Baniel Neuromovement® Method for Children. Her studies with Ruthy Alon (Movement Intelligence) have also informed her work in many ways. Chrish has served three terms on the national Board of Directors of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America and has chaired numerous annual Feldenkrais Method® conferences in North America.

 

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