How to Chart Your Own Career Path: Session 177 with John McElwee


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As far as podcast go, this episode was kind of tough to write a headline for (a task that I probably devote way too much time to doing!). My guest in Session 177, John McElwee, has been in the field - to paraphrase a line from Aubrey Daniels - before there was a field.

John has had a long and productive career that's had some very interesting twists and turns. He's still going strong these days, and learning new things to help individuals with a wide variety of developmental and behavioral challenges.

With that in mind, I suppose an overarching theme in this episode could be thought of as how John charted his own career path. In other words, by being open to new experiences, and actively investing in his professional development, he has been able to do some really interesting things in the field of ABA. So for early career professionals, try to listen to this episode with this in mind.

In this episode, we discuss how John got into the field, the he took a detour in his graduate training to work as a union electrician, the work he did in the area of marriage and family systems, his connections with folks like Drs. Alan Kazdin and Russell Barkely, and lots more.

But in the latter half of the show, we spend a considerable time discussing how John serendipitously discovered Relational Frame Theory by chatting up Dermot and Yvonne Barnes-Holmes at an ABAI conference, and how he saw the benefits of using this approach with individuals with ASD in an Early Intervention context.

Along the way, we discuss the upcoming webinar series that John's doing with Peak Behavioral. If you're interested in learning more about this, it starts in March 2022. You can find information about this webinar series as well as individualized coaching opportunities with John through Peak Behavioral Services' website: If this is something you're interested in and you'd like to save a few bucks in the process, use the promo code "podcast22" at checkout to receive a discounted price of $79 per webinar.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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  • And of course, the aforementioned Peak Behavioral, where you can sign up for John's webinar series using the discount code, podcast22 at checkout.

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