BAO and Behavior Analsis as a "Cult"
Michael Weinberg <MWEINBER <at> devereux.org>
2002-04-19 12:33:00 GMT
With regard to the issue of Behavior Analysis becoming its own separate profession -
I can say that here in Florida that is not even a question but a reality. The fact is
that the profession of Applied Behavior Analysis has been separated from psychology
in state law by the state legislature some years ago due to the lobbying efforts of
FABA, which need to continue for ABA to enjoy such autonomy as a profession. It has
resulted in independent training programs at universities and by private parties who
are CBAs to flourish. An excellent example is that since coming to Florida from
Pennsylvania, I have become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and now teach my own
class sponsored by my agency, and that is approved through our own behavior analyst
mechanisms (Mike Hemingway has such authority for state of Florida certification
programs in behavior analysis, and now the Board under Jerry Shook has such
authority). Florida has a well-organized peer review process for the approval and
review of restrictive behavior programs, and state laws governing best practices in
the field of behavior analysis. Only CBAs with extended priviliges or with board
certification have authority to author and monitor behavior plans that involve
restrictive interventions, and/or address particularly dangerous types of behavior
such as self-injury or aggression, and to vote on the peer review panels to approve
such plans for other agencies. FABA hosts a well-organized and well-attended
conference on behavior analysis each year with presentations by leaders in the field
nationally attending and presenting (e.g. Jack Michael, Murray Sidman, the late Glen
Latham, and so on).
I think this is an attestation to the role behavior analysts can have in society. It
could risk becoming cult-like, but we need to also monitor ourselves to prevent this
from happening. Behavior analysts are also diverse in their backgrounds as I believe
Joe is alluding to in his statements. This will allow for opportunities to learn from
one another through forums such as BAO.
> Subject: Re: VIP & BAO.ORG
> Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 00:37:37 -0400
> From: Joseph Cautilli <jcautill <at> ASTRO.OCIS.TEMPLE.EDU>
> Reply-To: "Behavior2000: Behavior and Digital Technology List"
> <BEHAVIOR2000 <at> LISTSERV.TEMPLE.EDU>
> To: BEHAVIOR2000 <at> LISTSERV.TEMPLE.EDU
> Bill Verplank asks two critical questions about BAO (1) Are we making
> Behavior analysis a cult? (2) Are we only talking to ourselves?
> The question of cult status is an important one. BAO is the publisher of
> the Behavior Analyst Today (BAT). BAT has always published thoughtful
> critiques of Behavior Analysis. For example Steven Hayes wrote an article
> some issue back warning behavior analyst's of the exact things that
> Verplank points out. In addition, the most recent issue of BAT publishes
> the strongest critique of behavior analyst of exaggerated claims for
> children with autism (check out hte article by James Herbert). Thus, I
> believe that we print both sides of the issues. We are committed to
> science, not and I repeat not religon. We will publish, even Bill critique
> if you can find the energy to write it up. ( I have been very concerned
> about you being on a venterator for the last year, so I mean energy
> sincerly- we may not always agree but my concern for you is real). Do I
> believe that Behavior analysis has reached hte point where it will become
> its own profession. To this I say yes. Will it replace all other
> professions, never nor would I want it too. BAO is just a recognition
> thatthe field of behavior analysis has moved into becoming an alternative
> to psychology for those seekign behavior change. Will we be superior,
> probably in many areas. Still in others we might not be and we should be
> humble about this and acknowledge this.
> Are we only speaking to ourselves? I teach in a teacher education masters
> program. I serve as an appleate due process officer in teh state of
> Pennsylvania. I am also Director of Clinical Team services in a local
> mental health clinic and run an extensive community based service program,
> many of the people who work in the program are not, nor probably will
> never be behaviorists. Thus, the vast majority of my day is spent talking
> to educators and clinicians not to convert them but to apply sklills to
> practical problmes which I help them solve. Is BAO only speaking to
> itself? BA is the offical website of the Behavior Analysis SIG at the
> Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy (a SIG I founded and
> continue to serve as president). AABT is a largely cogntive organization.
> Cogntivists have and will continue to write articles for BAT in areas
> where the editoral staff feels grounds for integration are possible. Check
> out the next four issues Spanning the next year and you will find that
> many of the front running clinicans in the field of anxiety disorders,
> post traumatic stress disorder, and depression will be writing articles
> for BAT. A second group that BAT serves are those in the Clnical Behavior
> Analysis SIG at ABA. This SIG is far from opposed to alternative
> traditions. We have published a series of articles from this group
> covering everything from pain to disociative identity disorder. we have
> another series of articles coming up from this group critiquing there own
> approach to therapy and looking at the growing pains for Clinical Behavior
> Analysis. Another area where BAT vertures to encourage discussion is in
> its soon to come Sunday lecture Series. The Sunday Lecture Series (SLS)
> will be provided by the Walker institute group and will provide ACT 48
> continuing education credits to teachers in Pennsylvania. SLS plans to
> provide 3 hour workshops every Sunday morning in the up coming year. These
> workshops will cover things like functional behavioral assessment, direct
> instruction, classroom mangament, curriculum based measurement, curriculum
> based assessment, etc.
> I offer the above as only a brief example of why I must respectfully
> reject your statements about BAO. I do understand your decision not to
> join Neitche and become a VIP to the BAO site.While your decision saddens
> me personally, I wish you the best ( I hope that we will be having this
> discussion ten years from now- at which time I will probably be saying
> "see I told you so!"). Remember the invitation is always an open one.
> P.S. As a side note, while not an easy decision for me, I support the
> Edison take over. Edison has supported Direct Instruction curriculums in
> the past. In addition, I support Temple's new role. While I am not at this
> point personally involved at this point, I believe that this will put alot
> of new ideas into the system and alot of old issues might be settled.
> P.P.S. BAO is all the behavior analysis, with none of the things that you
> hate like beggin' spam.
> On Thu, 18 Apr 2002, William S. Verplanck wrote:
> > (1) Sorry, Joe, under no circumstances would I participate in this
> > program. It's no more, and no less, one more step in the direction of the
> > development of behavior analysis, and especially 'applied' behavior
> > analysts, into a cult.
> > To quote myself:
> > "We're great at explaining ourselves to ourselves and at neglecting to note
> > that there are many others with whom we should converse, to whom we may
> > contribute, from whom we might learn, and with whom we may
> > accommodate. Behavior analysis must _not_ become a cult."
> > There is already far too much evidence that the process of cult-formation
> > is already too far advanced*
> > Today's NYT reports that 42 (1 out of every 6) of Philadelphia's schools
> > (most failing victims of educationalism?) are being privatized, most of
> > them contracted out to the "Edison" people, five to Temple University,
> > three to the Univ. of Pa, and the remaining fourteen to four other bodies,
> > with a variety of methodologies. Do any of these apply the methodologies
> > of applied behavior analysis? Will the able behavior analysts (both exptal
> > and applied) at Temple participate? If not, why not? How many such
> > schools and charter schools have behavior analysts set up, worked in _or_ with?
> > Are we talking only to ourselves, and not to parents, school boards, review
> > boards, and those politically responsible for education?
> > Shouldn't behavior analysts be out there running schools and teaching, by
> > example? (Whatever became of Don Cooke's very beh. an. endeavors?)
> > (2) I'd like to believe that I'm totally out of the loop, laboring
> > under a great misapprehension, and that the foregoing is altogether
> > wrong-headed. Then, there's another reason I can't participate in
> > Nietsche. I'm 86 and live on the end of a fifty or sixty foot oxygen
> > tube. Emphysema precludes long-term commitments--of which I already have
> > too many!
> > W.S.V.
> > P.S. I note that the record of Edison's schools is lousy. Should behavior
> > analysts try to teach _them_ something?
> > W.S.V.
> > _____________________________________________
> > William S. Verplanck wverplan <at> utk.edu
> > An award-winning site: http://web.utk.edu/~wverplan/
> > http://web.utk.edu/~wverplan/kantor/kantor.html
> > _____________________________________________