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

Event Details

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Symposium #106
Self-Care Across the Developmental Life Span of the Behavior Analyst
Saturday, May 25, 2019
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Cuvee
Area: CSS/OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Victoria Hanczyk (Teacher's College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Nicholas Weatherly (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Self-care is an ill-defined set of behavioral repertoires to help increase job performance and decrease burnout and turnover. Behavior analysts worked in applied settings are often exposed to highly emotional and highly stressful situations that may increase rates of job-related stress and burnout. Given lack of self-care has been tied to a number of negative outcomes in other service areas, behavior analysts must be aware of self-care repertoires and their impact throughout the developmental progression of their careers. These symposia will examine self-care behaviors appropriate for individuals at multiple stages of their careers: from graduate school, to practicing professionals, to those further in their career, and beyond. Interventions and strategies to promote self-care and reduce behaviors associated with burnout and turnover will be examined, and methods to be used in the future will be explored. Recommendations for future practice and future directions of research will be discussed, as well as the limitations that currently exist in enacting a self-care routine.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Self-Care in Graduate School: Making the Most of the Very Little
ABBY LEWIS (Teachers College, Columbia )
Abstract: Graduate school is often experienced as a time of intense stress for a number of individuals in the field of behavior analysis and other helping professions. Limited financial resources, location changes, time constraints, and demanding practicum and course work are associated with high levels of dissatisfaction and potential departure from graduate programs and the field as a whole. This presentation will explore possibilities in planning outside of the box with regard to self-care during this time when limited financial and time resources make self-care incredibly difficult and even more crucial. Components of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) will be utilized to maximize self-care routines in relation to individual student’s values and ability to engage in committed action. Initial data from two graduate students, as well as limitations and future directions, will be discussed. Of note, particular barriers to implementing self-care routines will be discussed, as we well as providing potential solutions to such complex problems.

Real Talk: Self-Care and Self-Care Deficits Among Practitioners

SHANE SPIKER (Positive Behavior Supports, Corp.)

As a helping profession, behavior analysts are regularly exposed to difficult, troubling, and/or dangerous situations that have lasting effects. We are skilled at identifying socially significant problems with individuals we serve, but we still struggle with turning the research lens on ourselves to some degree. This, in turn, prevents us from being able to identify, explore, and organize information about the behavior analyst as a practitioner. This paper focuses on the direct experiences of behavior analysts in discussion self-care, self-care deficits, and the direct impact self-care deficits may have on our practice.


Self-Care and Habit Development With Organizational Behavior Management: Workplace and Other Applications

JACQUELINE NOTO (Florida Institute of Technology), Nicholas Weatherly (Florida Institute of Technology)

Organizational Behavior Management research and applications are broad, spanning a variety of businesses, industries, and any setting where getting results is reliant on other people. Results come through behavior and behavior comes when good things happen when workers perform. Managers should strive not just for a productive workplace, but a workplace where productivity does not sacrifice the happiness, health, and overall wellbeing of the workforce. In all areas of performance management, external consequences delivered by others can help build performance, but the natural consequences will build habits. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss an OBM model to understanding performance and how to build healthy, ethical and productive habits.


ACT Like You Matter: Using Acceptance and Commitment Training to Facilitate Your Own Self-Care

Tom Buqo (Hofstra University), ANA ELISA ESCALANTE (BehaviorMe)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, pronounced as the word) is a third-wave behavior therapy based upon a functional contextualist framework. The purpose of the therapy is to increase repertoires of behavior that promote psychological flexibility and ultimately well-being. While access to a therapist may be difficult due to social, economic, and other barriers, principles and concepts from ACT can be applied by individuals to allow for improvement in their own quality of life. The purpose of this presentation is to present the hexagon model of psychological flexibility and discuss how behavior analysts can apply each of these six processes in their own lives to improve values alignment, commitment to action, and overall well-being. Potential barriers to this will be discussed, as well as providing examples that people can use in the moment to manage their own lives, decrease burn out, and move in the direction of a life worth living.




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