Conference 2019 / Workshop

Dr. Evelyn Gould, BCBA-D


Title: Supercharging your practice with Acceptance and Commitment Training

Subtitle: An introduction to ACT for ABA practitioners


Date: 9am - 5pm Friday, 26 July 2019


7 BACB CEs available for this workshop!



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.