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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

Previous Page


Invited Tutorial #533
CE Offered: BACB
Meditation and Mindfulness
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Thomas Zane, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan W. Kanter (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Presenting Authors: : ROBERT J. KOHLENBERG (University of Washington)
Abstract: Meditation and mindfulness techniques are becoming increasingly popular for both self-improvement and as part of mainstream behavioral treatment (e.g., mindfulness based cognitive therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, mindfulness based relapse prevention). Correspondingly, these methods have garnered increased attention by behavior analysts, particularly from an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) perspective. Stereotypically, meditation involves sitting quietly, in silence, either in group or alone and attending to one’s own immediate experience. There are, however, some variations that do not fit this image and instead explicitly incorporate a more interpersonal context (e.g. Kelly Wilson’s “Mindfulness for Two”). Whether done in an explicitly “alone” or “interpersonal” context, therapeutic benefits are intended to extend into relational realms and thus address the interpersonal issues that are implicated in most clinical problems. This tutorial will involve a hands-on experience with two prototypical meditation and mindfulness preparations. The first is a modified version of an explicit “alone” method based on Herbert Benson’s “Relaxation Response.” The second incorporates an explicit interpersonal context that is derived from a less well known Buddhist method “insight dialogue.” We will discuss the potential mechanisms of action, benefits, and risks of these methods from a behavior analytic and functional analytic psychotherapy viewpoint.
ROBERT J. KOHLENBERG (University of Washington)
Dr. Bob Kohlenberg received his doctorate under Ivar Lovaas at UCLA and is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington where he was the Director of Clinical Training from 1997 to 2004. He is certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology and received the Washington State Psychological Association’s Distinguished Psychologist Award. He uses behavior analysis to help understand, teach, and do research on the curative role of a close and intense therapist-client relationship as well as a broad range of clinical phenomena. The approach is represented by the 1991 book Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (known as FAP) by him and Mavis Tsai. Using this approach he and his colleagues (who are often first authors) have done research and published papers on electrical energy conservation, migraine, PTSD, marital counseling, OCD, depression, previously undocumented psychological side effects of anti-depressant medication, DBT, CBT, BPD, acceptance, personality, the self, DSM IV Axis II diagnosis, co-morbidity, the integration of psychotherapies, and the parallels between implanted memories and the therapy rationales presented to clients by behavior therapists. He has also contributed radical behavioral genetic material to help produce his daughter, Dr. Barbara Kohlenberg, a distinguished behavior analyst, talented clinician, teacher, researcher, and co-author.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh