301: Trauma Informed Care: A Behavioral Systems Approach

Hosted By: Paul Malanga

Instructional Level: Intermediate

Trauma informed care has been a topic in behavior analysis as far back as 2009 but has gain momentum in recent years. An exact definition of trauma, however, is absent. It is impossible to identify controlling variables based on topography, yet, it appears routinely when ‘trauma’ is used as an explanation of aberrant behavior. The same is true for ‘anxiety’; when hypothetical constructs are elevated to a controlling relationship to current behavior. Ultimately, the defining dimensions of trauma is defined by the person’s behavior and the contingencies of which it is a function. ‘Trauma’ is not the focus of intervention, but rather the conditions eliciting those respondent/operant patterns of behavior. This presentation discusses a behavioral systems approach focusing on respondent/operant relations vis a’ vis ‘traumatic’ events and their effect on proximal environmental arrangements to the aberrant behavior of which ‘trauma’ is the function. Meta contingencies and the effect of verbal behavior on emotional states will be addressed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe operant behavioral processes including interaction of setting/consequent relationships
  2. Describe respondent behavioral processes
  3. Describe the relationship of operant and respondent behavioral process
  4. Describe the role self-talk plays in sustaining respondent relations and one method for changing.