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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #259
Mindfulness as Process: An ACT/RFT Conceptualization
Sunday, May 27, 2007
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Edward AB
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lindsay B. Fletcher (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: Mindfulness is being incorporated by many modern behavioral therapies (e.g. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and has been shown to be promising as an effective treatment component. However, in some of these cases, a rationale for what the concept of mindfulness might be has not been provided. Overall, the concept of mindfulness has been defined either at the level of process, technique or outcome, but here we propose a modern behavioral definition of mindfulness that is grounded in a testable theory that at the same time is likely to suggest clinical applications. In this symposium we will approach the phenomenon of mindfulness at the level of process between therapist and client. We will also examine mindfulness from the point of view of perspective taking and deictic frames, and finally we will discuss how our understanding of mindfulness is related to meditation.
Mindfulness, Meditation, and ACT.
LINDSAY B. FLETCHER (University of Nevada, Reno), Michael Levin (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: A modern behavioral definition of mindfulness will be presented that includes the ACT processes of acceptance, defusion, self-as-context, and present moment awareness. These processes are targeted in many ways in therapy and lab-based studies have provided preliminary evidence for these processes as important mechanisms of change. Meditation is a mindfulness practice that is self-directed and has been used for thousands of years to alleviate suffering. We propose that meditation acts through these mindfulness processes and is a useful skill that can be applied within the context of therapy.
Mindfulness pour Deux: Oh, Mamma, This Is Some Strange Behavior Therapy!
KELLY G. WILSON (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: Mindfulness and being-in-the-present moment are central concerns in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Sometimes mindfulness exercises are used as a prelude to exposure and defusion exercises. However, ongoing therapeutic interventions themselves can take on a deliberate, present-focused mindful quality. These interventions could be characterized as mindful conversations—mindfulness for two. Meditative interventions such as this may seem strange in a behavioral treatment. However, intensely present-moment focused, mindful interventions are entirely sensible when understood in terms of basic behavioral processes. In this talk, I will describe a mindful therapeutic interaction. I will then examine the intervention in terms of basic behavioral principles.
Deictic Frames and Mindfulness: Theoretical Underpinnings and Practical Implications.
ROGER VILARDAGA (University of Nevada, Reno), James Edward Yadavaia (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: According to Relational Frame Theory, deictic frames are a class of derived relational responses defined by their dependence on the perspective of the speaker. This concept was introduced by Hayes (1984) in the article “Making Sense of Spirituality,” which laid the conceptual foundation for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Some of the implications of deictic frames connect to various Mindfulness traditions, such as Buddhism, and therapeutic models like Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. In this paper we will re-explore the behavioral analytical interpretation of this psychological process and provide some clinical insights based on this interpretation.



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