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

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Symposium #178
CE Offered: BACB
Coping With Clients' Demands for Medication: Behavioral Alternatives, Recommendations, and a Primer on Psychotropic Drugs
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: W. Joseph Wyatt (Marshall University)
CE Instructor: Janet Twyman, Ph.D.
Abstract: Increasingly, clients arrive at treatment convinced that medications, rather than non-medical interventions such as functional analytic techniques, represent their best hope for improvement. This symposium will review the methods employed by organized psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry as they have worked to promote this phenomenon. It will also describe data-based behavioral treatment for several common disorders, including those frequently seen in developmentally disabled and non-developmentally disabled populations. Topics also include the relative risks of several common psychotropic medications vis-a-vis behvioral treatments and the extent to which both are grounded in research. Attendees will be introduced to a primer on psychotropic drugs designed to help behavioral practitioners and others avoid being intimidated by, or giving excessive deference to, psychiatrists regarding medications. It contains a user-friendly summary of the basic facts concerning drugs and enables the user to quickly find main effects, side effects, black box warnings and typical dosages.
What To Do, Now Yhat Big Pharma and Psychiatry Have Thrown Empiricism Under the Bus
W. JOSEPH WYATT (Marshall University)
Abstract: Organized Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry have worked toward a mutually reinforcing cultural zietgeist, to wit: the majority of psychological/behavioral disorders are biologically caused and medications are the treatments of choice. The history of this phenomenon and its implications for behavioral practitioners will be presented.
Superior Efficacy of Exercise and other Nonmedical Behavioral Treatments for Common Psychological Problems and Disorders
STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Although medications are frequently touted as the treatments of choice for common disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and child conduct problems, behavioral interventions have proven to be equal, or greater, in effectiveness. Additionally, non-drug treatments do not bear the risks of drug dependency and unfortunate drug side-effects. Several of these behavioral treatments, and the research that underlies them, will be presented.
A Primer on Psychotropic Medication: A Tool for Dealing With Psychiatrists' Deference to Drug Treatment
MATTHEW L. ISRAEL (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: Behavioral practitioners may be overwhelmed by the deference they are expected to demonstrate toward psychiatrists and toward drug treatment. Thus, it is useful to be well informed regarding psychotropic medications. A primer will be described which contains a user-friendly overview of basic facts about psychiatric drugs' main effects, side effects, black box warnings, typical dosages and other useful information.
Positive Behavioral Treatment With Supplementary Skin-Shock: An Alternative to Medication for Treatment of Aggression
ROBERT VON HEYN (Judge Rotenberg Center), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: Historically, severe aggression has often been treated via heavy doses of medication, and that has been the case especially with aggression in the developmentally disabled. However, such medications frequently have severe, sometimes irreversible, long-term negative side-effects including neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia. Additionally, the medications may leave the client lethargic, and may need to be taken daily forever. In contrast, supplementary skin-shock may eliminate aggression altogether, or may reduce it to more managable levels, and it may do so without harmful side-effects. The procedure will be described along with case study and research-based descriptions of its use.



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