Increasingly, leaders in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have called for a greater emphasis on compassion in our field (Taylor, LeBlanc, & Nosik, 2019). In addition, literature has suggested that a compassion-focused approach to ABA services may improve provider-client therapeutic relationships and has the potential to improve program acceptability and clinical outcomes experienced by our clients. In this workshop, radical compassion will be defined and explored as a foundational approach to the implementation of applied behavior analysis services, with special emphasis on practical applications in the area of service delivery for families living with autism. In this framework for care, compassion is offered as a measurable repertoire and as a philosophical guidepost for future developments in the profession. This workshop explores preliminary tenets of compassion-focused ABA and practical resources for how these tenets can be put into practice today. This workshop offers real-life strategies that we can implement with the families that we serve, with the hope of leading with our hearts, while upholding the integrity of our science.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will be able to articulate considerations for evaluating short-term versus long-term benefits of behavior analytic procedures that are most likely to alleviate suffering
  2. Attendees will be able to describe philosophical guideposts of compassion-focused practice
  3. Attendees will be able to describe self-reflection and self-monitoring procedures clinicians can use to enhance our own compassion repertoires
  4. Attendees will be able to describe how to use job aides that integrate tenets of compassion-focused care into client programming

About the Presenter

Jonathan Tarbox
Jonathan Tarbox is the Co-Founder and Program Director of the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program at the University of Southern California, as well as Director of Research at FirstSteps for Kids. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of the journal Behavior Analysis in Practice, a Board Member of the ABA Task Force to Eradicate Social Injustice, and was a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Women in Behavior Analysis (WIBA) conference. He has published five books on applied behavior analysis and autism treatment, is the Series Editor of the Elsevier book series Critical Specialties in Treating Autism and Other Behavioral Challenges, and an author of over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters in scientific texts. His research focuses on behavioral interventions for teaching complex skills, Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), and applications of applied behavior analysis to issues of diversity and social justice. He is proud to have multiple neurodivergent family members and is working hard to become a more effective ally to the Autistic community.
Courtney Tarbox
Courtney Tarbox serves as Chief Clinical Officer at FirstSteps for Kids. Courtney earned her Master of Science Degree in Counseling, with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from California State University, Los Angeles. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is passionate about contributing to research that is informed by real-life practice. She is actively engaged in treatment evaluation research on topics including complex skill acquisition, compassionate and kind ABA treatment, and the infusion of acceptance and commitment training (ACT) within ABA programs for children with autism and their caregivers. Courtney is committed to fostering ongoing community-wide discussion and collaboration with the Autistic community. Courtney enjoys regularly presenting at professional conferences, has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has co-authored a book for training Registered Behavior Technicians.
Kristine Rodriguez
Kristine leads the clinical development, training, research, and client outcomes initiatives at Autism Learning Partners, as Chief Clinical Officer. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with over 18 years of experience in autism services, holds a master’s degree in exceptional student education from the University of West Florida, and is currently a doctoral student and adjunct professor for the Institute of Appled Behavioral Science at Endicott College. She presents at regional and national conferences, focusing on such topics as cultural responsiveness, compassion-focused care, innovations in service delivery, and scaling clinical quality. She has authored peer reviewed articles and book chapters on the topics of compassion-focused care, cultural responsiveness, Acceptance and Commitment Training, and ABA-based services for adults. Kristine has served as an industry collaborator in the work to measure and evaluate quality outcomes in autism services, serving on working groups with Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), International Consortium of Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), Autism Commission on Quality (ACQ), and co-chairing the client outcomes SIG through Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP). She is passionate about improving access to compassionate, responsive ABA-based services for underserved populations.

Course information

  • Title: Radical Compassion in the Provision of ABA-based Autism Services
  • Presenter: Jonathan Tarbox Ph.D., BCBA-D, Courtney Tarbox M.S., BCBA, Kristine Rodriguez M.A., BCBA
  • Date: Thursday, August 1st
  • Time: 9:00 AM Pacific
  • Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes