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

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #164
Elevate Your Therapeutic Impact: A Journey Into Self-Awareness and the Power of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy
Saturday, May 25, 2024
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center, 300 Level, Ballroom B
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
Chair: Amanda M Munoz-Martinez (Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia)
Presenting Author: MAVIS TSAI (University of Washington)

Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) creates deep, meaningful and healing therapeutic relationships by focusing on the subtle ways clients' daily life problems occur in the therapy session. FAP uses awareness, courage and love (behaviorally defined) in the therapist-client relationship to produce significant change. Yet, you can only take your clients as far as you yourself have gone. In this talk, I will discuss the five rules of FAP that are simple but profound, and help you explore how you can bring your best self into the therapy room by facing avoidances, fears, obstacles and challenges that prevent you from flourishing personally and professionally.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the five FAP rules that increase connection, intensity, and effectiveness in your interventions; (2) Explain when commonly used interventions can be inadvertently counter-therapeutic; (3) Assess wounds, longings, avoidances and obstacles that prevent you from being your best therapeutic self.
MAVIS TSAI (University of Washington)
Mavis Tsai, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and senior research scientist at the University of Washington’s Center for Science of Social Connection. She is the co-creator, with the late Robert Kohlenberg, of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), a treatment that harnesses the power of the therapeutic relationship to transform clients’ lives. She is the co-author of five books on FAP and over 75 articles and book chapters, a recipient of Washington State Psychological Association’s Distinguished Psychologist Award in recognition of significant contributions to the field of psychology, and is a Fellow of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science. She is proud to be named by New Harbinger Publications as one of “13 Badass Psychologists… Who Happen to be Women”, and literally kicks ass as an advanced practitioner of the martial art of Kajukenbo. As Founder of the Nonprofit Organization “Awareness, Courage & Love Global Project”, she trains volunteers to lead chapters in six continents to create a worldwide network of open-hearted change-seekers who strive to meet life’s challenges through deepening interpersonal connection and rising to live more true to themselves.



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