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 #W15
CE Offered: BACB
Learn to Behave Well Using Mindfulness-Based Cognitive and Behavior Analytic Practices
Thursday, May 24, 2018
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom DE
Area: CBM/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Robert Stromer, Ph.D.
ROBERT STROMER (George Brown College), ELISABETH KINNEY (Behavioral Learning and Leadership), CYNTHIA A LONG (Square One)
Description: As Skinner and Vaughan (1997) said, "To enjoy life at any age one must view each difficulty as simply a problem to be solved." Unfortunately, though, one's current problem-solving skills may not suffice. For example, to maximally manage stress and the ever changing conditions that give rise to it may require retooling one's existing repertoire. For us, this meant adding mindfulness and meditative practices to better manage life's stressors and address ongoing concerns of health and wellness. This approach resulted in improved ways of dealing with and replacing verbal behavior that often got in the way of enjoyment. So, this workshop is about supplementing one's problem-solving skills to better cope with life's challenges and to reduce the likelihood of disabling emotional states such as stress, anxiety, and depression. The supplements come from empirically supported protocols focusing on stress management and cognitive therapy. Much of the content comes from Williams and Penman's (2011; best-selling self-help book on mindfulness meditation as its skills can be readily learned and generalized to real life. As a take-home practice, attendees learn a meditation called the breathing space. After the workshop, participants may attend weekly teleconferences designed to assist in their implementation of mindfulness practices.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: (1) state potential benefits of mindfulness meditation as a supplement to one's self-managed, problem-solving repertoire; (2) describe some of the key elements of the skill set involved in practices common to mindfulness-based therapy and other "third wave" cognitive therapies; (3) demonstrate the recommended chair-supported sitting posture used during formal practices and the kinds of self-instructions used to practice the three-minute breathing space; (4) identify exemplary digital and other resources for further mindfulness study and practice.
Activities: In a large-group format, we introduce mindfulness meditation and describe its nature and relevant background and rationales for offering a workshop on it. We also provide guided opportunities to participate in several warm-up meditations. Then, during the bulk of the workshop, methods resembling aspects of behavioral skills training and interteaching (e.g., dyadic discussion, question-and-answer, feedback) are used to inform meaningful practice opportunities in a pivotal meditation called the Three-Minute Breathing Space. Activities include the use of (a) live and video demonstrations, (b) written rationales and scripts appropriate for the two roles to be rehearsed by pairs of attendees, facilitator or teacher, and meditative student, (c) dyadic rehearsal of scripted and unscripted guidance of the Breathing Space and evaluative discussions of experiences, and (d) informative feedback while the instructors oversee dyad rehearsals. Finally, a wrap up period addresses questions and comments from the entire group and we share knowledge of several digital resources found helpful in our ongoing practices and self-study. (Content relevant to this workshop may be found at
Audience: The workshop is designed for all certified behavior analysts, those who already practice mindfulness meditation, and those with little or no experience in such practices.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Mindfulness meditation, Self-management, Self-talk, Stress reduction



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