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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W106
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Using Motivational Interviewing Techniques to Alter Motivating Operations and Increase Parent Engagement in ABA Therapy
Friday, May 25, 2018
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom D
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Monica Gilbert, M.S.
MONICA GILBERT (Albizu University; Crystal Minds New Beginning ), JACQUELINE MOLINA (Crystal Minds New Beginning)
Description: Behavior Analysts often find barriers when providing parent training. Although Behavior Analysts offer empirically validated strategies and successfully change behaviors, it can be difficult for parents to adhere to treatment. A reason for parents inability to engage in treatment may be due to their "resistance". Resistance is defined as a private event that is evoked by an antecedent stimuli (clinician's confrontational language), which is reinforced by escape of the aversive stimuli. Motivating Operations have a behavior/value altering effect in that they make "escaping" the stimuli (clinician) by engaging in resistant behaviors more or less reinforcing. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an empirically proven intervention that has shown substantial success in the literature in changing addictive behaviors in substance abusers, medication adherence, and developmental disabilities. MI is the route by which private events can be altered by using "change talk" strategies to decrease resistant behaviors and increase cooperation between parents and clinicians. In this workshop, we will discuss private events as Skinner defined it and as they relate to MI strategies. We will also present the proven strategies of MI to decrease resistance and foster a collaborative working relationship between parent and clinicians. Transtheoretical model (stages of readiness) will also be presented. Attendees will build skills in assessing level of resistance and use change talk procedures to successfully decrease them.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Assess parent's motivation based on the trans-theoretical model and using different proven measures; (2) Provide examples of effective change talk strategies to develop and build collaborative relationships with parents; (3) Describe motivation using private events; (4) Identify traps that can harm clinician-parental relationships; (5) Describe key features of effective MI strategies; (6) Measure change talk vs. counter-change talk; (7) Identify key features necessary for cooperative relationships between caregivers and clinicians.
Activities: Workshop activities will include didactic instruction, small group breakout, guided practice and role plays.
Audience: BCaBA, BCBA, graduate students, and licensed psychologists.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ABA, Behavior Management, Mental Health, Private Events



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