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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W18
CE Offered: BACB
Acceptance and Commitment Training for Preschool Educators
Friday, May 22, 2009
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
North 128
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: Amy Davies Lackey, Ph.D.
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute), Georgia L. Layton (Early Education Program, Inc.)
Description: This workshop is designed to assist people working with young children in dealing with their own stress and the emotional behavior of young children. Based on recent research, including a series of randomized controlled trials, we will use the procedures of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to provide participants with new ways of dealing with common stressful experiences in preschool and day care settings, including stressors involving children, parents, and coworkers. Participants will learn new ways to think about unpleasant thoughts and feelings. They will be assisted in clarifying their values for themselves and for young children and will be helped to focus on how they can act in keeping with their values even when their thoughts and feelings seem to be obstacles to effective action. The workshop will particularly focus on evaluation and how it gets in the way of effective cooperation among staff members. We will describe the impact of this ACT perspective on a preschool for children with developmental disabilities. We will particularly focus on how ACT has facilitated in the implementation of the PATHS program, an evidence-based strategy for teaching children about emotion that is quite consistent with the ACT perspective.
Learning Objectives: People should come out of the workshop with greater clarity about what they are doing as behavior analysts, how their work contributes to the broader effort to improve human wellbeing, and how they can enhance their own contribution to prosociality. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: • Accept and defuse from unpleasant thoughts and feelings. • State their values. • Act in the service of their values, even when experiencing distress • Give and receive evaluative feedback from coworkers. • Work more effectively with young children when they are experiencing strong emotion.
Activities: We will focus on how to foster beneficial cultural evolution by increasing the prevalence of environments that nurture development of prosocial behavior and reducing the prevalence of coercive environments that produce antisocial behavior. We will begin with a synthesis of the evidence about prosocial and antisocial behavior. We will review the evidence on the role of coercive family processes in development of aggressive social behavior and depressive behavior and their sequelae, including substance abuse and risky sexual behavior. We will then turn to acceptance of thoughts and feelings involved in working with young children, with a focus on how to increase prosocial behavior. A set of exercises will help people clarify their most important values. Participants will work on what their values are and what shared values they might have. We will then connect that with caring and the support of prosociality. People will next work on how what they are doing relates to this broad approach to influencing the evolution of cultural practices. We will discuss the role of evaluations in increasing distress and obstructing effective action, complete exercises to reduce the deleterious effects of evaluation, and discuss teaching emotional skills to young children.
Audience: Those who work with young children in preschool and daycare settings.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



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