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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W13
CE Offered: BACB
CANCELLED: Clinical Behavior Analysis: A How-to Workshop on Moving Into the 'Mental Health' Arena
Thursday, May 25, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1A/B
Area: CBM/PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Angela Cathey, Ph.D.
Angela Cathey (Better Living Center for Behavioral Health;, John Wesenberg (Better Living Center for Behavioral Health;
Description: Clinical Behavior Analysis (CBA) is the use of behavior analytic methodology to conceptualize and intervene upon behaviors frequently considered “mental illness” (Skinner, 1948;1953;1957; Ferster, 1972). CBA’s development was largely stalled until the turn of the century, as cognitive-behavioral interventions took hold. In recent years, Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and the implications of rule-governed behavior have allowed the subspecialty of Clinical Behavior Analysis to take root (Dougher, 2000). CBA offers the behavior analyst ways to conceptualize that private events are behavior to be explained, opposed to the cause of behavior and that the “mental illness”is not solely causing the unusual behavior. CBA may offer psychology a way of unifying traditions, through behavioral approaches to case formulation and intervention, and returning to its roots within behavior analysis. This workshop will will address topics relevant to understanding how behavior analysts can begin to conceptualize common 'mental illnesses', specifically anxiety and related disorders (e.g., OCD, panic disorder, etc). This content has obtained credibility a demonstrated by the involvement of the broader practice, education, and science communities in studying or applying the findings, procedures, practices, or theoretical concepts. Additionally, this practice will heavily focus on the practicalities of moving into a new segment of practice serving individuals who report experiencing 'anxiety' in clinical practice. How to market, consent, screen, treat, and bill for these services will be addressed. Handouts will be provided to aid in guidelines for each of these areas. Substantial discussion will be held with attendees to help them address their practice development questions whether clinical or logistical in nature.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) State two guidelines for treatment of individuals reporting 'anxiety' related concerns. (2) Report two guidelines for staying within scope and contracting services appropriately to scope. (3) Discuss one major guideline for marketing behavior analytic services to the public appropriately as a clinical behavior analyst.
Activities: Instructional strategies include: lecture, discussion, small group breakout, and targeted reading.
Audience: Intermediate: Participants should have significant grounding in functional analysis and have some initial experience with orienting to developing a practice.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Clinical Behavior, Organization Development, Practice Development, Treatment Planning



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