|Clinical Applications of Assessing and Implementing Acceptance & Commitment Therapy in Community Based Settings
|Monday, May 29, 2023
|12:00 PM–12:50 PM
|Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 5-7
|Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
|Chair: Justice Leslie Dean (Emergent Learning Clinic)
|CE Instructor: Justice Leslie Dean, M.S.
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been used widely with many disorders and populations. Applied research is necessary to continue to assess and evaluate the efficacy of the use of ACT. The current set of studies sought to implement ACT in different settings. In one study, Board Certified Behavior Analysts were asked how they prescribe ACT based interventions with the clients they service. In another study, behavior technicians were exposed to an ACT workshop and mindful techniques to increase their psychological flexibility and present moment thoughts. In a final study, further evaluation of an online mindful and intuitive eating intervention to combat disordered eating with university students (Albers, 2018; Resch, 2019) was implemented. The goals were to increase education and decrease overall disordered eating. Current pilot data shows that disordered eating did decrease, mindful and intuitive eating increased, and general mindfulness improved across the duration of the study. The current studies show the progress that has been made in utilizing ACT as an intervention to the applied settings.
|Instruction Level: Intermediate
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy - some knowledge
|Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to identify how to increase present moment awareness thoughts and how to operationally define them. 2. Participants will be able to identify mindful strategies related to body image and eating. 3. Participants will understand how BCBAs are applying ACT in an applied setting.
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy: Turning Covert to Overt Behavior in a Clinic Setting
|Autumn N. McKeel (Emergent Learning Clinic), Jesse Sears (Emergent Learning Clinic)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been used to improve employee’s psychological flexibility and give them tools to deal with workplace stress (Bond, et al., 2006). There has yet to be studies published that evaluate ACT techniques used with behavior technicians in an ABA clinic setting. The purpose of the current studies were two-fold: to increase present moment thoughts and psychological flexibility following a workshop; and to examine how effective teaching employees a brief mindfulness exercise is to increase the number of thoughts identified as “present moment thoughts”. In Experiment 1, a workshop teaching exercises related to working with children with autism was presented over a four hour time period. In Experiment 2, behavior technicians were asked to write down 10 present moment thoughts before and after being exposed to a short mindfulness exercise. Results showed an increase in psychological flexibility and an increase in present thoughts following the workshop. In addition, the experiential mindful exercise resulted in an increase in present moment thoughts. Implications show an objective evaluation of how to measure whether thoughts are related to present moment following this talk aloud procedure.
Further Evaluation of a Brief Zoom-Facilitated Mindful and Intuitive Eating Intervention to Decrease Disordered Eating
|ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Clinical eating disorders are psychological disorders that impact a small percentage of the population. Subclinical disordered eating is a broader term for eating patterns and behaviors that do not meet clinical threshold, but that still may be life impairing (Burnette & Mazzeo, 2020). Subclinical disordered eating impacts many more individuals than clinical eating disorders do and is often present without the direct awareness of the people affected by it. Mindful and intuitive eating approaches have recently begun to emerge as combined and stand-alone treatments for disordered eating and eating disorders. Studies have been limited in terms of population, with individuals with eating disorders making up the large majority of research subjects. The current study was further evaluation of an online mindful and intuitive eating intervention to combat disordered eating with university students (Albers, 2018; Resch, 2019). The goals were to increase education and decrease overall disordered eating. Current pilot data shows that disordered eating did decrease, mindful and intuitive eating increased, and general mindfulness improved across the duration of the study. While the hypotheses were partially supported, only the results for disordered eating and intuitive eating were significant. Despite lack of power due to small sample size, participants verbally reported approval of the benefits of the intervention.
CANCELLED: Utilization of Higher-Level Language-Based Interventions with Autistic Children: Determining the Appropriateness of Using ACT
|Jessica Hinman (University of Illinois at Chicago ), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Over the years, behavior analysts have reported increased interest in utilizing higher-level language-based interventions, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), with autistic clients. However, few resources and research studies are available to help behavior analysts navigate when and how to best implement ACT with the individuals they provide services to. The current study sought to examine the clinical decision-making process by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) who utilize ACT, determine whether clinicians can formulate appropriate and systematic ACT-based goals, and distinguish when it is not appropriate to implement ACT with clients. Six participants were presented with brief descriptions of potential clients seeking ABA services and asked whether they would recommend ABA services, whether services would include ACT goals, and whether to provide three ACT-based and non-ACT clinical goals. When presented with three potential client descriptions, there was significant variability regarding whether BCBAs would recommend ABA services or refer the client to alternative services and the recommended hours per week (SD1 = 2.58; SD2 = 8.20; SD3 = 3.20). Although BCBAs identified similar non-ACT goals for each client, ACT-based goals primarily consisted of strategies to be utilized by clients rather than measurable outcomes and were inconsistent across participants. Implications for clinical decision-making regarding ACT use within ABA services will be discussed.