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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W11
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy With Children and Parents: A Practical Guide
Friday, May 25, 2012
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
205 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Christopher Mccurry, Ph.D.
CHRISTOPHER MCCURRY (Associates in Behavior and Child Development, Inc.)
Description: This workshop will provide clinicians with the background and fundamentals of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) as it applies to clinical work with children and parents. Background will be established first through a comparison of the formal DSM approach to diagnosis with a functional-contextual approach. I will briefly describe the similarities and differences between ACT and other acceptance-based therapies that have been applied to children's issues (e.g., MBCT-C, DBT-A). The theoretical and historical foundations of ACT (radical behaviorism, relational frame theory, etc.) will be discussed. ACT fundamentals concerning problem formulation (e.g., experiential avoidance), success criteria, therapeutic stance, and basic technique will be discussed. Moving into the realm of child clinical work, a survey of early child social-emotional and cognitive development will show the developmental origins of ACT concepts such as fusion, literality, and psychological inflexibility. Childhood disturbances of emotion and behavior will be examined within this developmental framework with particular emphasis on the role of the parent-child relationship in teaching and encouraging psychological flexibility. Case examples will describe an ACT approach to treating some of the more common presenting problems in child practice: anxiety, oppositional behavior, ADHD, and depression. Clinical examples will include children from age 5 through adolescence.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

Describe the origins of and basic concepts underlying acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and related acceptance-based therapies

Place ACT within the contexts of normal development and parent-child transactions

Present ACT-consistent strategies and techniques for treating childhood behavioral and emotional problems with special emphasis on the parent-child dyad

Activities: This workshop will involve lecture, discussion, and role play.
Audience: This workshop is appropriate for clinicians who work with children (psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatrists, master's-level counselors) with an interest in applying ACT in their work.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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