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Can I do ACT for that? Delineating an Individualized Boundary of Competence for ACT in ABA


General Information

Title:  Can I do ACT for that? Delineating an Individualized Boundary of Competence for ACT in ABA

Presented By:  Michael Bordieri, Ph.D., BCBA 

Live Webinar Date: Thursday, June 11, 2020

Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm eastern (New York)

Recording Availability:  June 12, 2020 - June 21, 2020 

Recording Closes at 11:59 pm eastern (New York)


Behavior analysts have shown increased interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) in recent years as ACT has gained mainstream acceptance within applied behavior analysis. Given that ACT’s intellectual origins are closely aligned with behavior analysis, it is natural to assume that behavior analysts can readily learn ACT techniques and integrate them into their professional practice. However, ethical challenges emerge when behavior analysts with a diverse range of training experiences and professional backgrounds attempt to implement ACT across a diverse range of settings, populations, and target behaviors. While significant attention has been placed on broadly defining the scope of practice of ACT within ABA (Szabo & Tarbox, 2018), relatively limited attention has been placed on exploring boundaries of competence at the level of the individual behavior analyst. This workshop is designed to empower behavior analysts to define their own boundary of competence with regard to ACT and to identify specific contexts, populations, and target behaviors where they can ethically and effectively utilize ACT to influence socially relevant behaviors. Particular emphasis will be placed on the “grey areas” that lie at the boundary of ethical and potentially unethical practice. Participants will practice using a series of decision making tools (e.g., Rosenberg & Schwartz, 2018) to help them identify when they are practicing within “grey areas” and safely navigate towards the ethical practice of ACT within ABA.

Target Audience: Professionals for whom the topic is within their scope of practice. We welcome students and others who are also interested in the topic to join us.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify common ethical challenges that can occur when integrating ACT into professional practice as a behavior analyst.
  2. Discriminate between contexts where the use of ACT techniques falls within and outside the boundary of competence for most behavior analysts.
  3. Select appropriate decision making tools and questions to help guide the development of an individualized boundary of practice of ACT within ABA.
  4. Identify appropriate strategies to mitigate ethical concerns when participants find themselves in the “grey areas” at the boundaries of their competence.


Presenter Bio and Disclosure Statement

Dr. Michael Bordieri is an assistant professor of psychology at Murray State University. He earned a M.S. in behavior analysis and therapy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and went on to earn his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Mississippi. He is a board-certified behavior analyst and licensed as a behavior analyst and psychologist in Kentucky. His clinical work focuses on acceptance and mindfulness-based behavioral treatments across a broad range of presenting problems and populations. His research interests broadly fall under the umbrella of translational work linking acceptance and mindfulness treatment components to basic behavioral processes. 

Disclosure Statement

 The presenter(s) and/or presenters’ family members do not have financial arrangement or affiliation with any of the products, organizations, or programs mentioned during this talk. 


6:00 pm: Introduction
6:05 pm: Webinar begins
7:30 pm: 10 minute break
7:40 pm: First Q&A session
7:50 pm: Webinar resumes
8:45 pm: Second Q&A session
9:00 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms

Credit Hour Information

Behavior Analysts: 3 CEUs  Ethics (Learning)*

Psychologists, Social Workers and Counselors: Not eligible for CE

You must pass the post-test with 80% or above and submit all attendance codes to receive a certificate

*CE for viewing Live or Recording
** CE only for viewing Live

For ABAC's continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page