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The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria

This is a podcast about the field of Behavior Analysis. Each episode will feature an interview with a Behavior Analyst where we discuss a specific topic in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Some of these topics include functional behavioral assessment, treating severe behavioral disorders such as aggression and self-injurious behavior, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), behavioral ethics, autism treatment, parenting, and the history of Applied Behavior Analysis.
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The Behavioral Observations Podcast with Matt Cicoria
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Now displaying: May, 2020
May 27, 2020

Providing feedback to staff members is essential for delivering quality services, but doing it effectively is easier said than done. That's why I'm excited to share this conversation I had with Dr. Natalie Parks from BehaviorLeader.com.

Natalie, along with co-authors Adam Ventura, Erica Crowley, and Dennis Uriarte, just published "Feedback F!@# Ups and How to Avoid Them," and in Session 119, we really dive deep into this topic.

Natalie describes some best practices for providing feedback, including how to do so in the current digital-meeting age. We also talk about how to provide feedback to the "difficult" staff member, as well as how to incorporate the feedback process in staff on-boarding procedures.

If you find this topic interesting, I suggest heading over to BehaviorLeader.com and click on the Featured Products button, and order a copy for yourself. There's also a 5-Day "Fix Your Feedback" Challenge on their website as well, which sounds like a lot of fun!

If you find this episode helpful and would like to get a supervision CEU for it, click here to get more info. You'll also find CEU's on many more topics there, and bulk-purchase discounts are available if you're a procrastinator like me ;-)

Lastly, I’d like to mention that I've been running a membership program for the podcast for a few years now; think of it as a DIY Patreon…

It costs the princely sum of $9/month. Members get access to a private FB group in which they are able to get nearly instantaneous access to the videos of these podcast interviews, often weeks or months before they are published. 

The best part is that members get the raw conversation itself. That means no ads, and none of the introductory comments, and sometimes, some bloopers, re-takes, and do-overs.

Another cool thing we do is hold Zoom Hangouts with former guests. We do this about 6 times a year, and it works like this: we schedule a Zoom call, a former guest comes on and joins us, and the members have the opportunity to ask them questions directly. So if you'd like to learn more, head to BehavioralObservations.com/membership.

May 18, 2020

You may recall that a few months back, I interviewed Dr. David Cox (@davidjcox_). In our discussion, we spent a fair amount of time talking about the literature on the use of psychedelics for the treatment of a variety of behavioral and mental health challenges.

I recently got the opportunity to extend this conversation with Dr. Matthew Johnson (@Drug_Researcher). Matt Johnson is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at John Hopkins University, and he's been a leading figure in this area of research for over 15 years. His expertise in this area is so well regarded that he's been sought out by media outlets such as (takes deep breath):

The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Globe and Mail, Daily Mail, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Baltimore Sun, CNN, CBS News, NBC News, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Vogue, Whole Living, The Washingtonian, Scientific American, Nature, Vice, Insider, Inverse, Healthline, Psychology Today

(pause to inhale...)

60 Minutes, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Situation Room, Fox Business News’ Kennedy, the Dr. Oz Show, PBS’ Retro Report, Labyrint (television show in the Netherlands), Spectrum News NY1, the BBC World Service, NPR’s Morning Edition, NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi Show, New Zealand Radio, and Newstalk Radio Ireland... just to name a few.

Matt has also been featured in a special episode of The Tim Ferriss Show on this very topic. As such, I'm a little more than humbled to chat with him on Behavioral Observations!

In our chat, we did a quick overview of Delay Discounting, talked about decision making with condom usage, and the behavioral economics of cannabis. As an aside, we've done quite a few shows on Behavioral Economics. Here's a quick list of them if you want to get really up to speed:

Back to this show, Matt and I spent a large part of our chat discussing his groundbreaking work in the area of psychedelics. We really get into the weeds, as it were, of how these studies are done, and discuss everything from recruiting participants, the timing of these trips, how participants are supported through their experiences, bad trips, transformative experiences, hypothesized mechanisms of action, what these treatments will look like in five years, and much, much more. 

And before I forget, here are some links to additional readings that we referenced:

We close with a fun discussion of the concept of impulsivity. In Matt's view, as a psychological construct, the term isn't very useful, and we get into how he came to that conclusion. 

This episode is brought to you by:

  • HRIC Recruiting. Barb Voss has been placing BCBAs in permanent positions throughout the US for just about a decade, and has been in the business more generally for 30 years. Like Batman, she works alone, which means that when you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb and get highly personalized service. So if you're about to graduate, you're looking for a change of pace, or you just want to know if the grass really is greener on the other side, head over to HRIColorado.com to schedule a confidential chat right away.
  • Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings and podcast-specific discounts over at behavioruniversity.com/observations.
  • Lastly, I’d like to mention something I don’t bring up all that frequently. I have a membership program for the podcast; think of it as a DIY Patreon… It’s been running for a few years now, and it costs the princely sum of $9/month. Members get access to a private FB group in which they are able to get nearly instantaneous access to the videos of these podcast interviews. The best part is that members get the raw feed. That means no ads, and none of the introductory comments. You just get right to the interview.

    Another cool thing we do is hold Zoom Hangouts with former guests. We do this about 6 times a year, and it works like this: we schedule a Zoom call, a former guest comes on and joins us, and the members have the opportunity to ask them questions directly. 

May 11, 2020

You may recall that in Session 112 I chatted with Kelle Rich about, among other things, the upcoming Verbal Behavior Conference. In these pre-pandemic times, the event was supposed to be held in Austin, Texas. However, in anticipation of the stay-at-home orders, quarantines, and so forth, Kelle wisely shifted this event to the online space.

So VBC 2020 became a virtual conference, and was executed as scheduled on April 2nd and 3rd. I had the pleasure of moderating the speakers' panel, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you here.

This was indeed an august group, and featured Drs. Barbara Esch, Anna Petursdottir, Caio Miguel, Pat McGreevy, David Palmer, and Mark Sundberg.

VBC 2020 VIRTUAL PANEL

During the panel, we made some references to the speakers' earlier presentations. But don't worry, there's enough context in the Q and A, so I don't think you'll have a problem understanding what we're talking about. The one exception to this is that in Dr. Barbara Esch's presentation, she talked extensively about the book, Enjoy Old Age: A Practical Guide, by Skinner and Vaughn, and I asked her some questions about it, so if you hear a reference to "the book," that's what we were talking about. 

I should also note that due to the video conferencing software, the audio - though listenable - is far from podcast quality. I apologize in advance for that, and encourage you to give the show a listen nonetheless, as there are a lot of fun exchanges, anecdotes, and lessons from all the panelists.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Kelle Rich and her team at the Central Texas Autism Center for asking me to be a part of this fun event!

This podcast is brought to you with support from The Essential for Living curriculum. If you are looking for a curricular alternative for children and adults with limited repertoires, especially those without an effective, efficient method of speaking, seriously consider Essential for Living. From now until May 31, you can use the coupon code ‘efl420’ to receive $20 off the regular price of the Essential for Living handbook.

Since we're on the subject of marketing, I also want to let you know about the Behavioral Observations Podcast Membership Program. Think of this as a DIY Patreon program where members get access to ad-free videos of podcast interviews, oftentimes weeks (months in some cases) before they're publicly released. We also hold occasional special events in which I will bring previous guests from the show into a Zoom hangout, and members can have some direct Q & A. For more information about this, click here.

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