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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: April, 2021
Apr 26, 2021

In previous appearances on this podcast and elsewhere, Pat Friman has told the story of Father Flanagan, founder of BoysTown. According to Pat, Father Flanagan often made the following statement when describing his philosophy of helping troubled youths: "there is no such thing as a bad boy, only bad environments, bad modeling, and bad teaching."

For the Spring 2021 issue of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Dr. Linda LeBlanc invited Pat to expand on these remarks in the issue's lead paper. In this podcast, I'm joined by both Linda and Pat, as well as Inside JABA regular, Dr. Claire St. Peter, where we talk at length about the "circumstantial view" of behavior as it applies to both clinical practice in particular, and societal trends more generally.

Specifically, we discuss the following:

  • How this paper fits into LeBlanc’s “big idea paper” concept.
  • How “big idea” papers are often conceptual rather than data based.
  • Why Pat stopped presenting papers with original data, and why he started giving more thematic talks.
  • The difference, from Pat’s perspective between giving a talk and writing a journal article.
  • A brief history of BoysTown.
  • Just what is the Circumstantial View of problem behavior?
  • Some examples from Pat’s life where he failed to take the Circumstantial View of behavior.
  • Why the Circumstantial View has failed to flourish?
  • How supervisors can incorporate these views with trainees and other team members?
  • Why it is important to tell a real-life story as a vehicle for explain a behavioral principles.
  • Why Pat’s view of Walden Two has changed.
  • Movies that demonstrate both the Circumstantial and Characterological View of behavior.
  • And much more!

During this conversation, we discussed many papers and other resources. I've done my best to capture all of them below:

In keeping with previous Inside JABA Series podcasts, there will be no ads in this episode. However, this show happens to be eligible for BACB Continuing Education. So click here for more information. And, to help incentivize getting Pat's important message out there, I’m running a 50% 55% off sale from now, through the first week of May, 2021. Use offer code Boystown, to get more than half off any CEU in the Behavioral Observations catalog.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. If so, please consider sharing with friends and colleagues!

Apr 13, 2021

I had a great chat with fellow Auburn University alum Dr. Alice Shillingsburg. Alice has been doing great work in the field for decades, as you can see from her bio below:

Dr. Shillingsburg currently serves as Sr. Vice President of Children’s Clinical Services and Training at May Institute. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Auburn University and completed her predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Marcus Institute. She previously served as the Director of the Language and Learning Clinic at the Marcus Autism Center and held an appointment of Associate Professor at Emory University in the Division of Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Shillingsburg is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Her clinical expertise includes the development of language and behavioral programming to address a variety of behavioral difficulties and social communication deficits associated with autism and other developmental disabilities. She has published over 50 empirical papers and book chapters on interventions for children with autism and related developmental disabilities. She is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, editorial board member of Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, and is past associate editor for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How she got into the ABA field.
  • Our similar experiences at Auburn University's Psychology Department
  • Her work in clinical leadership at The May Institute.
  • Things to avoid when trying to advocate for change.
  • Her upcoming talks (two of them!) at the Verbal Behavior Conference 2021
  • Teaching Social Skills.
  • Using Speech Generation Devices... and so much more. 

As noted in the interview, the VBC is coming up right around the corner. If you do decide to register, use the code Podcast10 at checkout to save some $$$. As we mentioned towards the end of the show, the May Institute is looking for staff to invest in, so click here to learn more about available job opportunities.

This podcast is brought to you by the following:

  • Behavior University. Their mission is to provide university quality professional development for the busy Behavior Analyst. Learn about their CEU offerings, including their brand new 8-hour Supervision Course, as well as their RBT offerings over at behavioruniversity.com/observations.
  • How-to-ABABeing a BCBA can be lonely and overwhelming.  At howtoaba.com, we help BCBA’s feel supported and confident by providing easy to access printables, CEU's and a collaborative community. Also, your monthly pro membership includes access to CEU’s! Along with the community of over 1000 ABA professionals, howtoaba.com will help you save time, feel confident and master what you love! For more information, Go to howtoaba.com/joinbxresource.  When you join today and use code BOP, you’ll receive 10% off a yearly subscription (includes CEU’s!).
  • Consider joining the BOP Patreon. Patreon members get early access to podcasts, bonus podcast material, discounts on CEU events from FTF and other continuing ed purveyors, occasional Zoom hangouts, and more!
Apr 5, 2021

In Session 153, , which I'll get to in just a minute. But to set the context for our conversation, I'd like to start by noticing that I often see the quote by Skinner, "When you run into something interesting, drop everything else and study it," posted on social media quite frequently. In fact, when I plugged that quote into Google, it returned almost 9 million results!

Now, I could be wrong about this, but this notion of following one's interests would seem to fly in the face of developing a successful research career. That is, it may be more productive from a publishing point of view to go an inch-wide and mile-deep into a particular topic, and that academic contingencies perhaps nudge researchers away from investigating a wider range of phenomena.

What does all this have to do with this interview? Well, it seems that Nicole had done quite well in bucking this tendency, and that she has been quite successful doing research across a wide area of clinical topics. And in this conversation, we cover many of these research and practice interests, including supporting individuals with restricted and repetitive problem behaviors, the effects of physical reactions to aggressive behavior, what she's going to be talking about at the 2021 Verbal Behavior Conference, her outreach to Spanish speaking clients and families, and what it's like to pursue so many different research ideas.

She closes out the show with some fantastic advice that is not only applicable to newly minted BCBA's, but practitioners of all experience levels. I don't want to spoil it here in the intro, so you'll want to make sure to listen all the way through. Long story short, this was a fun conversation, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In this episode, we discussed the following:

This podcast is brought to you with support from the following:

  • Institutional Tier Patron Greenspace Behavioral Technology. For more information on their products and services check out greenspacebehavior.com.
  • 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. When you work with HRIC, you work directly with Barb, thereby accessing 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.
  • Consider joining the BOP Patreon. Patreon members get early access to podcasts, bonus podcast material, discounts on CEU events from FTF and other continuing ed purveyors, occasional Zoom hangouts, and more!

Become a Patron!

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