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.


46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W16
CE Offered: BACB
An Applied Behavioral Medicine Approach to Marital Behavior Change: Skip the Whining and Arguing and Focus Directly on Changing Behaviors
Thursday, May 21, 2020
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Area: CBM/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Richard Cook, M.D.
RICHARD COOK (Applied Behavior Medicine Associates of Hershey, PA)
Description: this workshop will assist attendees already versed in the philosophies and methodologies of Applied Behavior Analysis in applying those fundamental concept to changing behaviors within a marriage. Changing the behaviors will arguably most effectively decrease the disagreements and arguing that serve to undermine and ultimately destroy the discordant marriage. Traditional cognitive behavioral and family therapy techniques attempt to talk and understand, processes doomed to fail when a basic problem is the inability to communicate within the marriage in the first place. no couple falls back in love at the suggestion of a counselor; couples fall in love, then out of love, as a function of behaviors, overt and private, and the consequences on each other and the marriage itself. the love within a marriage is restored most effectively and most efficiently as a function of behaviors the spouses experience with one another. the workshop presents guides for therapists to follow that focus directly on idenitfying and modifying problematic behaviors, deliberately seek out positive aspects of the marriage and each spouse, and markedly decrease the potential for the arguing often associated with (typically ineffective) marriage counseling.
Learning Objectives: 1 . Attendees will develop habits of identifying specific issues (from within the cacophony of intramarital discord) on which to focus and deconstructing them into chains of behaviors as well as the physical, physiologic, and behavioral infrastructure (antecedents) that can be adjusted in the couples behavioral equation to increase the likelihood of emission of behaviors which will address those identified issues. 2. Attendees will practice using and develop habits of practice that will assist the spouses in identifying core problems, and then they themselves deconstruct into factors they can manipulate to solve those problems and in the future become their own counselors 3.attendees will develop the habits of assisting spouses in recognizing responsibilities to other parties within the marriage besides themselves and their often cherished "resentments," and leveraging those responsibilities ( such as to their children, to the family itself as a party and entity) to help effect behavior changes needed to address issues.
Activities: Lecture with ongoing discussion Guided notes Small Group Practice implementing Skills and Concepts discussed
Audience: Conference attendees who professionally conduct marriage counseling/marital and family therapy Conference attendees who are married or might become married who seek to establish desirable, healthy habits within the marriage
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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