ACT with Families: It is All About Relationships – Group

CEUs: 2.5 Learning BACB
Presenter(s): Tommy Parry, BCBA


As behavior analysts, our jobs are larger than just the client in front of us – they include shaping the behavior of caregivers, siblings, parents, and the whole environment that supports the client’s learning and behavior. Behavior analysts often fail to recognize the significance and power of a strong therapeutic relationship with the entire family. This presentation seeks to introduce Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to behavior analysts as a framework to not only improve behavioral flexibility within the context of their sessions with clients, but also to improve and enhance therapeutic outcomes with parents, families, and within the clinician’s own life. The importance of compassionate care, behavior analytic descriptions of ACT processes, and practical strategies for implementing ACT will be discussed.

  1. Attendees will be able to label the 6 core processes of ACT
  2. Attendees will be able to describe the goal of ACT
  3. Attendees will be able to identify two main culprits that contribute to human suffering
  4. Attendees will be able to describe ways that ACT can help improve relationships with families and improve client outcomes.
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Tommy Parry, BCBA

Tommy is a behavior analyst, counselor, research collaborator, and organizational consultant.

​His private practice is geared towards helping:

  • parents of children with autism and special needs
  • children, teens, and adults with autism/Asperger's
  • adults with anxiety and body-focused repetitive behavior
  • individuals with chronic health conditions (fatigue, stress, grief, cancer)

In the world of research, Tommy is supervising an interventionist delivering Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to Dementia caregivers as funded by Regenstrief Institute and IU School of Medicine. Tommy co-wrote the ACT manual for this intervention with Dr. Shelley Johns. He is also an ACT interventionist in a study being conducted at IUPUI working with individuals with advanced-stage GI cancer and their caregivers.

Tommy has extensive training in ACT and fACT (Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).

He enjoys delivering ACT training and usually conducts at least 6 or 7 presentations/workshops a year.