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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W9
CE Offered: BACB
Managing Stress Using Mindfulness Meditation and Behavior Analytic Practices
Thursday, May 23, 2019
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, St. Gallen 3
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Robert Stromer, Ph.D.
ROBERT STROMER (George Brown College), ELISABETH KINNEY (Behavioral Learning and Leadership), CYNTHIA LONG (Square One)
Description: The ability to manage stress under ever-changing conditions is an essential skill set for the behavioral practitioner; and doing so may require retooling one’s self-care 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 relaxation. Therefore, this workshop is about supplementing one’s self-management and self-regulation skills to cope with life’s challenges and to reduce the likelihood of disabling emotional states such as stress, anxiety, and depression. The supplement skills come from empirically supported protocols on stress management and cognitive therapy – Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Koru Mindfulness® – skills readily learned and generalized to real life. As a take-home practice, attendees learn a meditation called the Three-Minute Breathing Space. Participants also devise a post-workshop plan for relaxation training and everyday stress management. Follow-up teleconferences by the workshop instructors assist in attendees’ implementation of their plan. Practitioners in command of mindful self-care skills may enjoy their work more and be well equipped to teach others to do the same.
Learning Objectives: a) State potential benefits of mindfulness meditation as a supplement to one’s emotional self-regulation repertoire. b) Identify key skills common to mindfulness meditation and stress reduction (contexts, physical postures, breathing, self-instructions, etc.). c) Demonstrate the chair-supported sitting posture used during formal practice and the kinds of self-instructions that typify the Three-Minute Breathing Space.
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) enable meaningful practice opportunities in a pivotal meditation called the Three-Minute Breathing Space. Activities include the use of (a) demonstrations, (b) written rationales and scripts appropriate for the two roles rehearsed by pairs of attendees, 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. Wrap-up activities address questions and comments from the entire group; and we assist attendees design a follow-up plan to investigate further the self-care skills targeted in the workshop. Afterwards, participants may contract with us to attend weekly teleconferences designed to assist in their implementation of mindfulness meditation practices.
Audience: The workshop is 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



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