Creating meaningful change for families with autism requires not only scientific rigor, but also compassionate engagement in the therapeutic relationship. VIA’s May 8th Staff Development Day featured Dr. Bridget Taylor of Alpine Learning Group speaking about compassionate care.
Dr. Taylor spoke about her practice as a behavior analyst, and her journal article “Compassionate Care in Behavior Analytic Treatment: Can Outcomes be Enhanced by Attending to Relationships with Caregivers?”
Taylor’s presentation spurred staff to continue the discussion. Over the following month, at two separate follow-up “journal club” sessions, staff met after hours to discuss Dr. Taylor’s article, and to explore ways to balance compassionate interpersonal engagement with scientific and technical precision in the therapeutic relationship with clients and families.
“It was a great conversation,” said VIA Behavior Analyst Jake Frazier. “Someone suggested, and everyone agreed, that we should make discussion of compassionate care a regular part of our ongoing training.”
“The enthusiasm with which everyone embraced these ideas of compassionate care is a real testament to the spirit of collaboration across all of VIA,” said VIA President Dr. Ethan Long. “This is another great example of how we bridge science and service. We are excited to continue to explore how we can develop and regularly practice these important skills.”