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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Panel #126
CE Offered: BACB
From Individuals to Systems: Supporting Caregivers With Compassion
Sunday, May 28, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1E/F
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Karen Nohelty, M.Ed.
Chair: Karen Nohelty (Center for Autism and Related Disorders-CARD®)
ADAM DELINE HAHS (Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers)
EMILY CALLAHAN (Centria Healthcare)
KAREN NOHELTY (Center for Autism and Related Disorders-CARD®)

The goal of applied behavior analysis (ABA) is to effect socially significant outcomes. How ABA is implemented and how we interact with caregivers is just as critical as the specific strategies used during intervention. Collaborative relationships with caregivers can be fostered by approaching interactions with empathy and compassion. While social validity is a valuable aim in and of itself, engaging compassionately with caregivers has the potential to improve outcomes. This panel will explore definition and measurement of compassionate behavior, review empirically supported strategies in the space from within and outside of ABA, share pilot data, and propose future directions. A method of improving treatment planning will be shared which begins with a values alignment conversation and continues with alignment of therapeutic services with the identified values. While engaging compassionately with caregivers on an individual level is impactful, those interactions are just one part of a broader system. Thus, varied perspectives of compassionate care from multiple levels will be explored. Methods to promote compassionate organizational systems will be offered, including leveraging protective factors against burnout and discounting.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Participants should have experience conducting caregiver training.

Learning Objectives: 1) Participants will be able to define elements of compassionate care as it pertains to caregivers. 2) Participants will be able to identify how to link identified caregiver values to elements of the treatment plan. 3) Participants will be able to identify at least 2 empirically supported strategies to use to increase compassion with caregivers.
Keyword(s): caregivers, compassion, systems, values



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Modifed by Eddie Soh