Friday, April 5, 2019

Best Practices in Social Skills Training: A Behavior Analytic Perspective

Donna Thiele, Psy.D., LBA, BCBA-D and Michelle Pesca, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

Presentation followed by Question & Answer Period as Time Allows

Sign in will begin at 6:30 PM - Workshop - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The target audience for this presentation is mental health professionals who are in clinical practice. The workshop will be given on intermediate level.

Handouts and seating can be guaranteed only for those who pre-register and pay by 4/01/19.

Location: Adelphi University's Hauppauge Education and Conference Center
55 Kennedy Drive, Hauppauge (Facilities are handicapped accessible)


SCPA Members: No Fee - 2 CE credits are available for a $20.00 fee
$10.00 fee until 4/01/19, $15.00 fee from 4/02/19* on

2 CE credits are available for a $20.00 additional fee

Social Workers ~ $30.00 fee (includes 2 CE credits) until 4/01/19 - $35.00 fee from 4/02/19 on*

Certificate of Attendance available for $5.00 additional

*strictly subject to seating availability.

There is no known conflict of interest involved in this program nor commercial support provided for its presentation.

Practitioners recognize the need for increased social skills competency for their clients to be successful in achieving valued outcomes. This presentation will address teaching social skills within a behavioral analytic framework, including assessment, intervention, and progress monitoring. There will be a discussion of what evidence-based practice in social skills looks like in individual and group therapeutic environments, as well as exploring what barriers hinder generalization of skills and how to track client progress.

By the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will be able to:

  1. Articulate the focus of social skills training as it relates to the critical dimensions of applied behavior analysis;
  2. Describe at least 3 evidence based strategies for teaching social skills in the therapeutic environment;
  3. Identify at least 3 barriers to teaching social skills to clients in the therapeutic environment and strategies to promote generalization of skills;
  4. Describe and practice the 4 components of behavioral skills training;
  5. Identify and create data-driven systems to track the acquisition and practice of critical social skills with their clients.

Dr. Thiele is a clinical psychologist, board-certified behavior analyst, and licensed behavior analyst. Her training includes specialization in applied behavior analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. She specializes in treating those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. Dr. Thiele graduated with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Long Island University with a specialization in developmental disabilities. She trained at the May Institute in Massachusetts where she provided school and home consultation to children with autism, behavioral challenges, and their families. Dr. Thiele has presented on topics in applied behavior analysis at local, state, and national conferences. She has provided consultation to children, families, and school systems throughout Long Island for over 15 years. Dr. Thiele is an adjunct professor at St. Joseph's College and is active in professional organizations within the areas of behavior analysis, developmental disabilities, and psychology.

Dr. Pesca is a licensed psychologist and a licensed/board certified behavior analyst who specializes in the treatment of challenging behavior through Applied Behavior Analysis and of anxiety through Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Dr. Pesca received her B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University, and her Ph.D. in Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis from The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY. She has been working with individuals with autism and their families for over 17 years, and has provided school-based behavior consultation for numerous districts on Long Island for over 10 years. Dr. Pesca previously taught within the psychology department at Queens College, and is currently an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s College. She has experience conducting both basic and applied research, and has presented her findings at local, state, and national conferences. Dr. Pesca’s research experience includes the study of emergent relations in stimulus classes, stimulus control in conditional discrimination development, response variability, prompt fading and differential reinforcement, and classroom behavior management systems. She currently serves on NYSABA’s Student Activities Committee.

If you have any questions (including information about our cancellation policy), please email or call 631-423-2409 and be sure to leave a contact telephone number in your email or message. You may register and pay for this and all of our other workshops via our website using the form within this listing or by mailing in your payment by 4/01/19 (payable to SCPA) with your name and contact information to:

Suffolk County Psychological Association
P.O. Box 397
Commack, NY 11725

If you prepay and need to cancel, please do so via email to: or by leaving a message at 631-423-2409 up until 48 hours prior to the workshop and a credit will be issued towards a future SCPA workshop.

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Suffolk County Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Suffolk County Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Suffolk County Psychological Association is approved by NYSED State Board for Social Work to provide continuing education to LMSWs and LCSWs in New York State

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