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Episode #173: The Importance of Compassion As a Provider with Dr. Jessica Rohrer

As I continue to bridge the gap in research to the therapy room, I also see deficits in pre-service training that can make therapy a better experience for both providers and families.

Jessica Rohrer, BCBA-D, joins me to discuss her work with soft skills, using tools to measure and build compassion skills in the therapy room. Her research uses the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy, a tool primarily used to check compassion in the medical field, as a pre- and post-measurement on the impact of compassionate skills training. 

Dr. Rohrer developed the Compassionate Collaboration Tool as a checklist for provider self-reflection and a helpful next step to incorporating compassion skills in their therapy. The tool focuses on three skill sets in providers. 

Basic interview skills: introductions, note taking, nodding, and back channeling.
Interest skills: asking and reflecting positivity on client interests and asking and reflecting caregiver priorities.
Joining with the family: empathy statements, normalizing skills, and partnering skills.

It can be easy to forget the emotional time our clients and their families may be experiencing when entering therapy, which is why it is crucial to focus on empathy and compassion in our basic skills for a positive experience. New clinicians may particularly experience more difficulty. If you’re looking for next steps to include compassion in your therapy, Dr. Rohrer reminds you to self-monitor and reflect, consider group behavior skills training, and remember that every client and every family will have varying needs for compassion.

#autism #speechtherapy

Today’s Guest:

Jessica Rohrer is a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Connecticut. She is the Director of Consultation at CCSN, where she provides leadership and program development support to the consultative team at CCSN. Dr. Rohrer received her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through Northeastern University and her doctorate in ABA through Endicott College. Dr. Rohrer has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Saint Joseph and Endicott College, and is a professional member of various professional local and national behavior analytic organizations. Dr. Rohrer has presented nationally and internationally on topics such as staff training, preference assessments, and increasing independence, and her work has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, the Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

What’s Inside:

  • Bridging the gap in research in the therapy room. 
  • Why are compassion skills important in ABA?
  • Tools for measuring and reflecting on soft skills.
  • Next steps for incorporating compassion skills into your everyday therapy.

Mentioned In This Episode

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