Conference 2019 / Speakers

Dr. Evelyn Gould, BCBA-D


Date: Friday, 26 July 2019

BACB CEs available for this workshop!

Title: Supercharging your practice with Acceptance and Commitment Training

Subtitle: An introduction to ACT for ABA practitioners


Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) is part of a growing body of literature on "third-wave” behavioral therapies that is gaining increasing attention from the ABA world. Derived from Behavior Analysis, ACT seeks to increase adaptive, flexible responding by reducing the influence of problematic private events, including rule-deriving and rule-following. Empirical support for ACT-based interventions across a broad range of settings and populations continues to grow; however, research examining the application of ACT within ABA settings is still in its infancy. This workshop presents ACT as a treatment model that holds promise for practitioners working with families of children with autism in ABA settings. Relevant literature will be reviewed and the key behavioral components of ACT outlined. Clinical applications with parents, children, adolescents, and staff will be presented, and participants will learn how to integrate ACT into their everyday work with families. Throughout the workshop, the benefits of combining traditional ABA strategies with ACT will explored and demonstrated.


At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. define ACT as a behavior analytic treatment approach;
  2. outline the key behavioral conceptual and theoretical foundations of ACT;
  3. describe the potential benefits of integrating ACT into ABA treatment settings;
  4. discuss the role of functional assessment in the design and implementation of ACT-based treatment plans; and
  5. identify a variety of ACT-based interventions that might be utilized by ABA practitioners to facilitate desired behavior change in parents, children and in-line staff.


Evelyn Gould, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA, is a Clinical Behavior Analyst and Research Associate at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI-Jr) at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. The OCDI-Jr provides residential level of care for children and adolescents struggling with treatment refractory OCD and related disorders. The program emphasizes evidence-based behavioral interventions, including ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Dr. Gould also continues to collaborate with FirstSteps for Kids in Los Angeles, providing clinical consultation, mentorship, and training to staff working with families of children with autism in ABA programs. Evelyn has extensive experience working with children and adolescents with ASD (and their families) across settings, and has fulfilled a variety of clinical, training, and research roles in the USA, UK, and N. Ireland over the years. Evelyn remains passionate about the provision of high-quality clinical services for families, and the dissemination of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Gould is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, and an Editorial Board Member for Behavior Analysis in Practice. Evelyn is also actively involved in a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and is a current board member of the ABAI ACT SIG and the Women in ACBS SIG.


Dr. Cynthia Anderson, BCBA-D

Keynote Presenter

Title: Behavior Analysis in School Settings


The technology of behavior analysis is well equipped to address concerns commonly voiced by educators, such as disruptive behavior in the classroom, learning difficulties, and deficits in social interaction. It is surprising then, that behavior analysis is not in widespread use in public schools and that behavior analysts are not in high demand. In this presentation, I will address challenges faced by behavior analysts working in schools. I will describe a framework for developing and maintaining positive and effective consulting relationships with educators.


  1. Delineate barriers and enablers for delivery of behavior analytic services in schools
  2. Identify gaps in the literature that may contribute to educator’s perceptions of behavior analysts
  3. Articulate a framework for working effectively in schools

Title: Functional Behavior Assessment in School Settings


The technology of functional behavior assessment (FBA) and function-based interventions has tremendous experimental support and is considered an evidence-based practice. Conducting FBA in schools can be challenging due to constraints on time and resources, as well as expectations of teachers, parents, and other stakeholders. Partially in response to such constraints, different methods of FBA have been developed, not all of which are effective for identifying variables evoking and maintaining problem behavior. In this presentation, a model from moving from indirect to experimental methods of FBA will be discussed, and guidelines for developing function-based interventions described. Emphasis will be placed on methods that are resource efficient and effective.


  1. Identify evidence-based indirect and direct methods of FBA
  2. Describe decision-rules for determining which method of FBA to conduct
  3. Use a logic model to guide decisions about intervention components based on results of an FBA

Donna Quay

Invited Speaker

Title: Using OBM to Strengthen Workplace Culture in Heavy Industry


There is a belief held by many that highly regulated, procedurised jobs are what keep people safe. But how effective are those regulations and procedures if people do not follow them or more importantly do not value them? Historically, the mining and manufacturing industry has relied on a “do what you are told” approach to safety leadership. As time has moved on, the focus has moved on to what is now called “inspirational leadership”, a term coined from the Systems Leadership management philosophy. But what does that mean and can it be taught? How do we transition people from being told what to do to taking ownership and accountability? As organisations chase best in industry safety and business performance they have become more diverse in the management practices they are willing to try. This introduces layers of varying philosophies into an organisation with the expectation that teams will make use of them all.

Join me as I share real life examples of these diverse philosophies and methodologies and how they link back to OBM. Learn how to integrate OBM into non-behavioural science systems, programs and procedures. And finally, leave with some OBM improvement ideas you can apply to your own organisation.

Donna Quay