Behaviour Analysis in Ireland

Photo by Henrique Craveiro on Unsplash

By Conor Nolan & Helena Lydon

The following are a list of activities of the Chapter over the past 12 months, including information about upcoming events and membership details.

Conference Review: The 14th Annual DBA Conference
The Fourteenth Annual conference of the Division of Behavior Analysis (DBA), Psychological Society of Ireland for 2020 was held virtually this year. In spite of the changes, and the virtual environment the conference was a great success. It took place over two days, 21-22 August, 2020. The conference was very well attended, with both national and international delegates and speakers joining.

The first day of the conference involved three workshops, each two hours long. The workshops were: The Importance of Parental Training when Working with Children Diagnosed with ASD given by Dr. Stephen Gallagher (Ulster University, Northern Ireland), Ethical Considerations for Practitioners Working with Non-Behavioral Professionals given by Dr. Berglind Sveinbjörnsdóttir (Reykjavik University, Iceland) and Up-dating RFT and Implications for Applied Behavior Analysis given by Prof. Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Dr. Carol Murphy, Dr. Michelle Kelly and Dr. Colin Harte.

The second day consisted of two panel discussions and two keynote addresses. The panel discussions were on the following topics: The Human Rights Agenda: Understanding the Current Context and Responding to the Challenges and New Developments in Functional Assessment. Panels were hosted by experienced Irish clinicians and involved discussion points, questions and answers and engagement from attendees. The two keynote addresses were: “Problem Behavior in Transitions Between Activities: Implications from Basic, Translational and Applied Research” by Dr. Berglind Sveinbjörnsdóttir (Reykjavik University, Iceland) and “Six Metaphysical Sources of Reinforcement” by Professor Pat Friman (Boys Town & University of Nebraska School of Medicine, USA).

The conference also hosted a number of poster presentations, which were submitted by delegates in PDF format and made available to conference attendees through an online folder. Two prizes were awarded for best poster presentations.

General Meetings and Other Activities
In February 2020, the Division held an Extraordinary General Meeting for members and all those with a vested interest in behavior analysis in Ireland. The topic of the meeting was to discuss recent international developments regarding the certification of behavior analysts. The meeting was very well attended with high levels of interest and engagement. In November 2020 the Annual General Meeting of the Division took place to elect members of the committee and provide updates to members. The AGM was held online and was well attended.

The Division has been actively involved in a number of processes aimed at regulating behavior analysis in Ireland. This has included providing feedback to national regulatory bodies and supporting the development of an additional group to represent behavior analysts in Ireland.

Upcoming Events
The Division has decided to not host an annual conference in 2021, but instead held a number of workshops over the course of the year. The Division is aiming to host an in person conference in the first half of 2022.

DBA Membership
The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) is the body representing professional psychologists in Ireland. The DBA represents recognised qualified professionals in the science of behavior analysis. Those wishing to apply for membership must be members of PSI and hold a postgraduate qualification in behavior analysis recognised by the Division Committee. Relevant experience will also be considered. Membership application forms can be found on the PSI website:

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