BCBA’s are busy people. We’re often driving between clients, spending hours updating treatment plans, or making sure documentation is up to scratch. If you’re like me and can’t seem to find enough time to learn everything you want to learn, you’re listening to podcasts on your commute, during exercise, or while doing chores. Podcasts are a great way to keep up-to-date with innovations in the field.
The medium of podcasting has exploded over the last 5-10 years, and the result is a slew of great content with more added all the time. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a list cultivated for us ABA enthusiasts? How would one single out what’s most in line with their interests, without listening to ALL of them?
We’re here for you! We have asked around for recommendations, and spent time doing the legwork to sample all of the reviewed podcasts below. Please add your favorites, if we left any out, in the comments at the bottom – we’ll keep adding to these as we hear about more great content available.
|ABA Inside Track (with BCBA’s Robert Parry- Cruwys, Diana Parry-Cruwys, Jacquelyn MacDonald)||Rob, Diana and Jacquelyn are a fun bunch to listen to. It’s really great that they incorporate different research articles in their conversations. They do a great job at naturally discussing the pros and cons of each study. When they are discussing the different articles; I love that they are making it fun by adding different jokes, puns and so much more! This podcast definitely seems directed towards anyone who is wanting to learn more about everything related to ABA. As I was going through the episodes, I was surprised at some of the topics they discussed, such as lying behavior and police academy. |
One favorite episode we’d suggest: 98 – Staff Supervision & Staff Burn Out
|Most/All count for CEU’s ($10 per credit, 1 credit per episode)|
|The Controversial Exchange (w/Ryan O and Dmitri)||Listening to The Controversial Exchange is kind of like arguing with your ABA friends about everything you don’t like about the field when it’s 2 AM after a night out. Ergo, it earns its explicit label. If you want to hear people speak freely about hot topics in the field, then this is the podcast for you! |
One favorite episode we’d suggest: It might be because I love most every podcast that features Merrill, but I would suggest starting with Episode 4: Unethical & Unprofessional Behavior Analysts w/Merrill Winston. Merrill, Ryan, and Dimitri rage against arbitrary definitions of ‘professional behavior’, what constitutes a gift, and ethical bullying. One of my favorite parts starts at 26:35 when Merrill answers questions from the podcast’s YouTube channel. He breaks down why he doesn’t give an F if you dye your hair purple and why your company needs to do a better job explaining why if they do.
|ABA On Call (w/Dr. Rick Kubina BCBA-D, Dr. Doug Kostewicz BCBA-D)||ABA On Call is a podcast that are short, simple, and straight to the point. They cover a wide range of topics from Myths about ABA, to Parenting, to Technology and how it effects ABA. The hosts stay on topic without sounding scripted. The topics that they cover are interesting and the different perspectives that they discuss are very thought provoking. The main downfall is that with it being so short; it seems like they barley scratch the surface on some of the topics.|
Recommended episode: ABA and Technology
|ABA Ultimate Showdown (w/Kandace Somers)||This podcast is so incredibly interesting! It debates some very important and controversial topics. The podcast is formatted like a typical debate with opening statements, crossfire and closing statements. The information that is provided in the podcast is very thorough, well researched and makes me say, “hmm, I didn’t think of it that way” often. The main downfall with this podcast is that with it being so well researched, it is very scripted. It sounds like every word they are saying is written in essay format. It can be a bit of a bore to listen to even though the topics are interesting.||No|
|Beautiful Humans: The Social ChangeCast (w/Denisha Gingles and Arin Donovan)||This podcast is directed towards those who have a passion and/or interest in social justice. This podcast discusses how social justice is represented in the world of ABA. They discuss all forms of oppression and some very hot/ controversial topics such as, sexism, race, and heterosexism. Throughout the podcast, they discuss how the topic is affected in ABA and what it looks like. It is a very different way to look at the topics through ABA lenses. The part that makes them the most unique is that it’s not just a venting session; they also discuss how they can solve the problem on a micro and macro level. It is a very powerful podcast.|
Recommended episode: Black Voices in ABA
|Behavioral Observations Podcast (with Matt Cicoria, BCBA)||This podcast discusses a very wide range of topics. It discusses JABA, to Precision Teaching to Tech Advances, and somehow gets back to addiction. It is very popular and has over 100 episodes! Each episode has a different format; but majority of the time it is an interesting conversation between Matt and whoever the guest is for that episode. The podcasts are a bit on the longer side; but they filled with lots of information throughout the entire thing.|
One favorite episode we’d suggest: Tech Trends in Applied Behavior Analysis
|Some episodes count for CEU’s, but not most of them|
|Behavior Bitches (w/Liat Sacks and Casey McDaniel)||It feels like your talking ABA with your girlfriends over a glass of wine! They are both so funny and relatable. The Behavior Bitches discuss ABA in real and relatable terms. After listening to a few of the podcasts; I feel like I need to use more terminology in my everyday life and apply ABA everywhere. There weren’t many articles referenced in the podcasts or new studies/ strategies. It seems like the podcast is geared toward the younger/ newer gen of BCBA’s to show that behavior is everywhere and to use ABA in your everyday life.|
Recommended episode: The science of Happily Ever After with Ty Tashiro
|Functional Relations (w/Zachary Bird and Caleb Davis)||Season 1 of Functional Relations is just six episodes long and all about everyone’s favorite topic…ethics. Who knew ethics discussions could be so interesting???|
This is a little bit of a longer podcast (close to 2 hours), but you can buy some sweet ethics CEUs if you visit their webpage with the keywords they mention afterwards. This is a great podcast for all behavior analysts who wrestle with ethical considerations in their ABA practice. If you think that describes you then you should give it a listen. If you don’t think that describes you, then you should definitely give it a listen.
Recommended episode: If I had to pick a favorite episode, I’d pick Episode 2 – Ethics of Using (Or Not Using) Functional Analysis. BCBAs trying to figure out how to run an FA in the school setting will get a good laugh listening to Dr. Sarah Bloom describing having to get creative while running her first functional analysis in her classroom (starting at minute 53:30).
|Finding Mastery (w/Michael Gervais, PhD)||Michael Gervais is an organizational and high-performance psychologist who works in high stakes environments to coach organizations on how they can adjust the mindset of individuals in the organization to increase productivity in the workplace. His podcast, Finding Mastery, includes conversations with individuals in their fields and delves into what qualities have led to their success over time. Although the individuals interviewed are different in many ways, there is a thread across episodes of how individuals think about boundaries in the way of success and how they persevere in the face of adversity. Dr. Gervais always brings these concepts back to applied practices we can apply in our everyday life. I am an avid listener to this podcast, but also admit these episodes are light on referencing evidence-based practices or specific academically supported techniques. Regardless, I’d recommend for a weekly dose of inspiration!|
Recommended episode: Pete Carroll: Competing to Be Your Best
|People Soup (w/Ross McIntosh )||Ross McIntosh is a UK based Organizational Psychologist who talks about a wide range of topics related to behavioral sciences. Sometimes the discussions are lengthy interviews with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) leaders in the field (1 hr episodes typically) and other times there are short 9-minute episodes where McIntosh reviews the past episode and quickly applies the ACT matrix to a topic close to the host. McIntosh has a very soothing voice that sometimes lends to zoning out midway through the podcast, but this may be an individual issue. The podcast is interesting in that it addresses a wide range of topics but is limited in its resources and typically doesn’t lend to furthering knowledge or gaining resources on a regular basis. If a listener is looking for more opportunities to utilize the ACT matrix or if you like hearing more from leaders in ACT, this may be a good podcast for you. However, I would not recommend this as the best podcast to utilize if looking for more evidence based practices around using ACT.|
Recommended Episode: Grief at Work
|Psychologists Off the Clock (w/Debbie Sorensen Ph.D; Diana Hill Ph.D; Yael Schonbrun Ph.D; Jill Stoddard Ph.D)||Psychologists off the Clock consists of four Clinical Psychologists discussing a weekly theme and relating it to their practice either in direct intervention or in case studies they’ve completed related to the topic. At least three of these Clinical Psychologists utilize practices associated with Acceptance and Commitment Therapies (ACT) and have a base of knowledge in working with trauma related to services they provide to Veterans. Sometimes the suggestions related to Yoga and breathing seem far from evidence-based therapies a behavior analyst is used to, but they reference studies related to all topics they cover and typically have a guest host if the topic is outside of their particular practice. I find this podcast thought provoking and enjoy that the hosts intermittently provide actionable items that could be applied in practice as a behavior analyst (specifically related to their use of ACT). I would recommend this podcast as a great source of information on Clinical Psychology practices and to gain ideas on creative evidence based interventions Clients in ABA would benefit from.|
Recommended Episode: Moral Injury and Shame (12/21/19) or more recently COVID-19 Anxiety, Cultivating Safeness, and Polyvagal Theory with Dr. Stephen Porges (03/15/20)
|Research Matters (w/Jason Luoma, Ph.D)||Research Matters Podcast focuses on the barriers, successes, and processes related to psychological and social science research. Each week, Dr. Luoma has a successful researcher on to find out the tips, tricks, habits, and routines that listeners can apply when conducting their own research. The caliber of the guests on this podcast is extremely high and their expertise ranges from how to develop behavioral health clinics, how to maintain a work/life balance, and how to approach academia. My favorite part of this podcast is that typically episodes are one part looking at how an expert uses time and resources to succeed in research and one-part description of research methodologies. As someone typically looking to delve into academic research, it’s always interesting to hear the processes behind successful and sometimes unsuccessful research. I will note that many of the guests work within academia and some of their barriers in conducting research or the pressure to conduct research is foreign to me. However, they have some amazing guests who are active in Clinical Behavioral Health settings. I would recommend this podcast to those looking to get their start in research or for graduate students. Though this is not ABA based, having the knowledge provided in this podcast can help BCBAs disseminate research related to our field.|
Recommended episode: Kelly Wilson, PhD, on the importance of theory, chasing your interests, and giving away ideas
|Superhero Therapy (w/Dr. Janina Scarlet and Dustin McGinnis)||Each week, Superhero Therapy looks at a different science fiction or superhero themed concept from well-known stories and the hosts discuss themes such as the power of unity, the value of choice, or other applicable psychological applications. These podcast episodes are typically entertaining and thought provoking in their approach but seem geared towards an adolescent or young adult listener. Some of the discussion can be mentalistic in nature and the presenters usually explain more technical terminology in a format easy for dissemination. |
The episodes typically begin with a recap of the story or content being covered during the episode and review how the hosts felt about the content. This initial review can be about something important about the content of itself or can be related to how fans engage in negativity, the idea of authority and ownership of ideas by others, or a different tangent. This podcast is ambitious in its attempt to make topics related to Clinical Psychology easily digestible which is admirable. This is a lackluster podcast in terms of disseminating information usable by BCBAs or other clinicians but is thought provoking. I would recommend this podcast if you are familiar with science fiction story lines and like to reflect on deeper concepts portrayed in media. I would not recommend this as an educational podcast for professionals due to the informality of the content presentation.
Recommended Episode: Episode 36: A night at the Theater: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
|WorkLife (w/Adam Grant)||Adam Grant is a well-respected organizational psychologist and the youngest ever tenured professor. The podcast focuses on challenges we all face in a workplace including but not limited to how to deal with difficult coworkers, networking for people who hate networking, and how to become friends with rivals. Each week Grant talks about his own work experiences, information from experts in organizational psychology, and guests who excel working in a variety of work fields. Due to the generality of the content (most people work and want to be more successful in the workplace), most adult audiences would benefit from these podcast episodes. The podcast partners with TED talk network so the production value is great, and the story lines are easy to follow. |
The format includes a description of the topic and then incorporates guests intermittently to better reflect on the content. This makes the content easier to understand because the host breaks down a concept with research and data dissemination and then uses guest hosts experiences’ to better discuss the concept being highlighted. The guests are typically at the top of their respective fields and so hearing how those individuals managed difficult work environments, embarrassment, or networking opportunities can lead credence to Grant’s explanation of the research. Each episode is one-part discussion of organizational psychology content, one-part interviews with experts in their field. I cannot recommend this podcast enough; the content is digestible, fast paced, and addresses a wide array of content related to the workplace. My only reservation is that sometimes Grant does not directly cite research he’s referencing so it would be hard to follow up on the articles he typically references. Overall, this is one of my go to podcasts as I develop further skill in professionalism in workplace environments.
Recommended Episode: Bouncing Back from Rejection or The Office without A**holes
|The Behavior Chef (w/Clint Evans)||The Behavior Chef focuses on how ABA practices and principles factor into the world of health and wellness. It’s pretty new-one season of six episodes-but each one of them is a gem. Check it out if you’re interested in learning how to use ABA to whip you and your friends into shape! I also like the corresponding Facebook page, Behavior Analysts Get Fed; it gives people an opportunity to share healthy living stories with people who actually want to hear about it.|
Recommended Episode: My favorite was Episode 1-ACT Your Weight With Dr. Jim Moore. Jim and Clint swap stories about their weight loss journeys and how they continue to make value-driven decisions to lead healthier lives. They talk about the merits of Crossfit, the importance of leaning into discomfort instead of away from it, and how they reward themselves for crushing it. This whole episode held my attention, but I really got hooked around minute 29:55 when Jim started sharing his daily practice of managing his private verbal behavior by working to keep his inner voices (‘The Coward’ and ‘The Beast’) at bay.
|Turn Autism Around (w/Dr. Mary Barbera)||Turn Autism Around is a great podcast for parents and professionals working with children on the autism spectrum. Dr. Mary Barbera talks about all things autism-including her own experiences with her son, Lucas. There is frequent discussion about the possibility of ‘recovery’ from autism with intensive ABA therapy, which for me sounds uncomfortably close to calling it a ‘cure’, but all in all it gave me the impression that she’s giving people hope to hold on to-not false promises. This podcast is a really great resource for new BCBAs who want to gain perspective about the experiences of autism families.|
Recommended Episode: I would suggest Episode 2: Early Detection and Treatment. This episode hones in on how the early phases of getting the autism diagnosis impacts the family, which I think is a good way to prep professionals for the podcast’s focus. Pay close attention at minute 17:40 when Dr. Barbera begins to suggests practical resources for parents to get themselves “out of denial and into action”.
|Why We Do What We Do (w/Dr. Abraham, Ryan O’Donnell, Dr. Shane Spiker)||Why We Do What We Do is an awesome podcast with a ton of episodes to pick from. They cover everything from fad autism treatments to why people like horror movies; that being said, this would be a good one for you if you’re interested in a podcast that unpacks a wide range of topics related to ABA (or ABA adjacent). The staff includes a team of researchers who really dig into each topic, so each episode is littered with solid reading recommendations and interesting nuggets of research.|
Recommended Episode: I really liked listening to Episode 140 on Sensory Integration Therapy. They give a preponderance of evidence as to why a lot of the discussed practices are not evidence based or recommendable. Around minute 14:10 they directly address the fact that that Sensory Processing Disorder is not recognized as a diagnosis or a disorder and discuss why. At minute 24:20 they tackle the concept of sensory diets.
|ACT: Root to Fruit (w/Dr. Marcel Tassara)||I’m ever on the lookout for just the right podcast to explore ACT form a Behavior-Analytic perspective. Here’s what I love about Root to Fruit: The host looks to trace the ‘roots’ of ACT to foundations in behaviorism and RFT that are directly relatable to behavior analysts. What’s more, Marcel engages his guests with a ‘real-play’ exercise that shows, organically, what this type of intervention looks like. the result is an entertaining and engaging listen that always leaves me excited for more. Don’t be worried that he’s not a BCBA – there’s a lot that’s digestible for Behavior Analysts in each episode.|
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