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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #129
Expanding the Reach of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: A Grab at FAP Measurement Utility, Therapist Training, and an Untapped Treatment Population.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lindsey Knott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a relatively new contextual behavior therapy that has become increasingly popular for those interested in treating problematic behaviors associated with interpersonal relating and intimacy. FAP researchers have developed idiographic measurement techniques to assist therapists in assessing interpersonal behaviors of interest, termed clinically relevant behaviors (CRB). These techniques are proposed to be useful for identifying CRB, providing routes to discuss function of behavior, and potentially tracking changes over time. It is also common for therapists trained in FAP to be encouraged to take a similar approach to their own areas of interpersonal functioning with the idea that it would help them to be more interpersonally effective. This increase in interpersonal effectiveness would then theoretically assist therapists in shaping client behavior in session. Presently, the research is lacking in studies examining the ability of FAP measurement techniques to predict actual behavior as well as in studies that examine the impact of FAP trainings on therapists’ interpersonal repertoire. Through this symposium we provide a sample of research that seeks to address these gaps and further provide evidence for the application of FAP in a clinical setting.
Keyword(s): FAP, Measurement, Therapy, Training
The FIAT-Q's and Functional Assessment of Depression's Predictive Ability in a Simulated Social Interaction Task
DANIEL W. MAITLAND (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Rausch (Western Michigan University), Kellie Reynolds (Western Michigan University), Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: A common Characteristic of most contemporary behavior therapies is a focus on the function of behavior instead of the topography (Hayes, 2004). Given this focus on the function of behaviors, it would be valuable for researchers and therapists to have access to an assessment tool that allows for effective communication about possible functions of behavior in social interactions and within diagnoses. Two such attempts at developing this tool is the Functional Idiographic Assessment Template Questionnaire (FIAT-Q) (Callaghan, 2006) and the Functional Assessment of Depression measure (Darrow & Follette, 2011). While the FIAT-Q and FAD have face validity, their ability to predict interpersonal behavior in day to day life has yet to be established. The current study will evaluate the strength of the FIAT-Q and FAD for predicting interpersonal skills via the Simulated Social Interaction Test (SSIT; Curran & Monti, 1982). Additionally, convergent validity of the FIAT-Q, FAD, and a measure of psychological distress (the Outcome-45; Lambert, et al, 1996) will be assessed to investigate the claim that interpersonal functioning has a role in psychological distress (Hortowitz, 2004).
The Impact of Training in Functional Analytic Psychotherapy on Therapists’ Target Behaviors
LINDSEY KNOTT (Western Michigan University), William Norwood (University of Houston - Clear Lake), Chad Wetterneck (Rogers Memorial Hospital)
Abstract: Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a behavior therapy that utilizes the therapeutic relationship to shape client maladaptive, interpersonal responding into more functional behavior. FAP assumes that to some degree clients and therapists enter into therapy with the interpersonal repertoire exhibited in their personal lives. A focus of FAP trainings is to increase therapists’ awareness of their own maladaptive behavior and offer opportunities to engage in alternative more functional behaviors. The current pilot study evaluated two FAP trainings composed of three hour sessions for up to eight weeks. Data was collected at three baseline points and each weekly session for ten participants. We hypothesized that therapists would demonstrate increased use of functional and decreased use of maladaptive out-of-session behaviors. Further, we hypothesized that increased use of out-of-session functional behaviors would be associated with changes on specific items on the Functional Idiographic Assessment Template Questionnaire (FIAT- Q). Results indicated partial support for increase in desirable out-of-session behavior as well as in associated changes on FIAT-Q items related to these behaviors. This study represents an attempt to examine the impact of FAP training on therapist interpersonal behaviors. Implications and future directions will be discussed.
Functional Analytic Psychotherapy for Nursing Home Residents: A Single-Subject Design
SONIA SINGH (Bowling Green State University), William J. O'Brien (Bowling Green State University)
Abstract: Nursing home residents report significantly higher rates of depression and a diminished quality of life. They are also exposed to social contingencies that support inactivity, passivity, and atypical communication patterns (e.g., medical symptom talk). Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a third-wave behavioral therapy designed to modify behavior via interaction between therapist and client. The effects of FAP have not been evaluated for depressed nursing home residents. The current study assesses the effects of FAP on the nursing home residents using a single-subject AB design. The study consists of a 2-week baseline phase followed by a 4-week FAP treatment phase. Participants will complete pre-treatment and post-treatment measures of depression, psychological inflexibility, and self-compassion. Additionally, each session will be recorded and coded to measure changes in clinically relevant behaviors. Using the reliable change index, we hypothesize post-treatment levels of depressive symptoms and psychological inflexibility will be significantly lower than pre-treatment levels and self-compassion will be higher. Further, using time series analyses, we predict that in-session occurrence of adaptive clinically relevant behavior will increase while maladaptive clinically relevant behaviors will decrease. At this time, participants (n = 3) have completed pre-treatment measures and are within the baseline phase of the study.



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