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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W73
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Treating Children With Psychiatric Disorders: The Impact of Learning History on Diagnosis and Treatment
Friday, May 26, 2017
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall B
Area: CBM/DEV; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jeannie A. Golden, Ph.D.
JEANNIE A. GOLDEN (East Carolina University)
Description: Typically, functional behavioral assessment (FBA) has been used with individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders. The goal of FBA is to identify the function of aberrant behavior and to teach the individual to exhibit an acceptable replacement behavior that can serve the same function. Traditional counselors view aberrant behaviors in individuals with psychiatric disorders as symptoms of underlying constructs and use the diagnosis as a reason for these behaviors, proposing more global treatments such as evidence-based therapies or medications. On the other hand, behaviorists view those behaviors as serving an environmental function. Once the environmental function of a psychiatric symptom is identified, it can be treated effectively by replacing it with a more acceptable behavior serving the same function. However, there are several components that are often missing in the analysis of behavior that is related to psychiatric diagnoses. These include: 1) the analysis/understanding of establishing operations in the form of private events, physical sensations, bio-behavioral states, psychological feelings, and covert tacts/mands; and 2) learning history with particular discriminative stimuli for reinforcement or punishment. These workshop presenters will discuss the process of conducting FBAs and function-based treatments taking into account the aforementioned components with several different symptoms of psychiatric diagnoses. Symptoms include: anxiety, disturbed attachment, callousness and lack of emotionality, non-suicidal self-injury, and oppositional and defiant behaviors.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the symptoms of psychiatric disorders as behaviors serving an environmental function; (2)Describe the process of conducting FBAs with children diagnosed with psychiatric disorders; (3) Describe the role of learning history in treating with children diagnosed with psychiatric disorders; (4) Describe the role of motivating operations in the form of private events in treating children diagnosed with psychiatric disorders; (5) Describe how to develop and implement function-based treatments for children diagnosed with psychiatric disorders.
Activities: Participants will listen to didactic information and real-life case histories in homes, schools and community settings, take notes, ask questions, view a power point presentation, present their own cases for feedback, and participate in role-play situations.
Audience: Participants would include board certified behavior analysts, psychologists, counselors, health care providers, social workers and/or teachers who serve children with developmental disabilities or children who are typically-developing who have emotional difficulties and/or have been given psychiatric diagnoses.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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