Towards Trauma-Informed Applications of Behavior Analysis: Inside JABA Series #10


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In the 10th (tenth!!!) installment of the Inside JABA Series, Dr. Linda LeBlanc and I are joined by Drs. Jenn Austin and Dithu Rajaraman to discuss the paper they co-authored with Drs. Holly Gover, Tony Cammilleri, David Donnelly, and Greg Hanley.

The paper is titled, Towards Trauma-Informed Applications of Behavior Analysis, and you can find it in the latest issue of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

If you haven't seen the paper yet, check out the abstract below:

Despite a growing acknowledgement of the importance of understanding the impacts of trauma on therapeutic approaches across human service disciplines, discussions of trauma have been relatively infrequent in the behavior analytic literature. In this paper, we delineate some of the barriers to discussing and investigating trauma in applied behavior analysis (ABA) and describe how the core commitments of trauma-informed care could be applied to behavior analysis. We then provide some examples of how trauma-informed care might be incorporated into ABA practice. We conclude by suggesting opportunities to approach trauma as a viable avenue for behavior analytic research and argue that omitting trauma-informed care from ABA could be detrimental not only to the public perception of ABA, but to the effectiveness of our assessment and treatment procedures.

Rajaraman et al. (2022)

During the discussion, we covered:

  • How this large group of authors became connected.
  • What motivated them to write this paper.
  • What literatures outside of Behavior Analysis informed their point of view.
  • How this paper is a "Big Idea Paper."
  • Why Behavior Analysts may shy away from discussing trauma.
  • The core commitments of Trauma-Informed ABA.
  • The parallels between Compassionate Care and Trauma-Informed ABA.
  • The role of Respondent Conditioning.
  • Whether a Trauma-specific certification for ABA providers would be helpful.

If you haven't done so already, I do recommend going back in the catalog and checking out Session 131 with Dr. Camille Kolu. As a matter of fact, I've been in contact with her recently, and we're planning on a follow up episode, so if you're interested in learning more about the implications of adverse experiences as they relate to the practice of Behavior Analysis, simply stay tuned.

As with the other shows in the Inside JABA Series, this episode is available for BACB Continuing Education. If you'd like to learn more about how to access these podcasts for your professional development needs, click here.

Also, if you enjoy the Inside JABA content, please consider subscribing to the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Compared to other journals, it's quite a bargain price-wise, and it helps to support the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

Resourced discussed in this episode:

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