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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #329
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis in Acceptance and Commitment Training and Therapy
Sunday, May 26, 2024
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 9-10
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Katelyn Frahm (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Thomas G. Szabo (Capella University)
CE Instructor: Thomas G. Szabo, Ph.D.

Functional analysis broadly describes identifying environment-behavior interactions that influence behavior. In the context of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Training (ACT; Dixon et al., 2023), assessment must identify behavior-behavior process interactions that mediate behavior-environment relationships, and this analysis extends from research on relational framing and rule-governed behavior. Presenters will discuss a series of innovative studies that attempt to isolate behavior-behavior and behavior-environment relations with clients and staff. The first presentation demonstrates a method for identifying salient ACT processes using novel analytic methods to guide intervention, including an experimental functional analysis and language processing using speech samples. The second presentation compares ACT-based supports to existing strategies for staff who may implement ACT methods with clients, showing how ACT-based analyses can support all members within a treatment context. These varied yet compatible methods will be discussed with an eye to the future of behavior analytic practice and supporting the whole service context.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Practicing Behavior Analysts and RBTs

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the core processes of the ACT Hexaflex 2. Discuss the role of speech analysis in identifying ACT processes 3. Describe the role of ACTr with staff implementing behavioral services

Comparison of Training Methods for Discriminating Between Acceptance and Commitment Training Processes From Speech Samples

TAYLOR MANUGE (Brock Univeristy), Kendra Thomson (Brock University ), Thomas G. Szabo (Capella University), Vriti Bajaj ( .), Samantha Wallbank (Brock University), Kenneth Fung (University of Toronto), Johanna Lake (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Accurate identification of the six processes of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACTr) is foundational for practitioners, yet no published research has compared methods for teaching this skill. This exploratory study compared the efficacy and efficiency of two methods (discrimination training, DT and self-paced, mastery-based training, SPMB) for training graduate students to identify two ACTr processes from speech samples. Two processes were selected as training targets based on a logical analysis conducted with six behaviour analysts trained in ACT. Respondents rated fusion/defusion and lack of present moment awareness (PMA)/PMA to be of relatively equal discrimination difficulty. The training procedures were compared in an adapted alternating treatment design embedded within a delayed concurrent multiple baseline design across four students. In the DT condition, participants viewed training videos and completed exercises, and participants read chapters of an ACTr text in the SPMB condition. Participants completed assessments after each training session which included listening to a vignette then selecting the observed process. Results suggest that students accurately identified the ACTr processes in few session (M= 9), although the relative efficacy and efficiency of the two training procedures is somewhat undifferentiated. Findings may inform future ACTr research and ultimately increase the effectiveness of ACTr interventions.


A Comparative Analysis of Behavior Skills Training (BST) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to Increase Instructional Control With Behavior Technicians

JESSE LEE SEARS (Emergent Learning Center), Claire Stromley (Emergent Learning Center), Autumn N. McKeel (Emergent Learning Clinic)

Behavior technician reliability and validity of implementing direct sessions with clients can vary from person to person. Literature in the field of behavior analysis utilizes behavioral skills training as the gold standard in training staff to competency of skills. Research has shown that Acceptance & Commitment Therapy may be an effective intervention when striving for long term effects of behavior change. The current study evaluated whether behavior skills training (BST) was effective and/or more effective than values based training following BST when teaching instructional control procedures to behavior technicians. Utilizing a multiple baseline design, data show that the BST package was indeed effective in teaching technicians to increase instructional control with their clients. Preliminary data also show that values based training increased compliance in these strategies even more. Data suggest that BST may not be enough in maintaining competent behaviors in staff, therefore, more intrinsic, values based approaches may be evaluated and implemented to increase maintenance.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh