January 08, 2019

Renowned psychologist to speak at SIU

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Psychologist Steven Hayes, a regular contributor to the “Huffington Post” and “Psychology Today” and the author of 44 books and hundreds of articles about human behavior, is speaking at Southern Illinois University Carbondale Friday and everyone is welcome to attend.

His presentation, “Contextual Behavioral Psychology and the Future of a Behavioral Approach,” is set for 10 a.m. Jan. 11 at the John C. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library.

Discussion focuses on changes in field

Hayes, Nevada Foundation Professor in the University of Nevada’s Department of Psychology Behavior Analysis Program, has a long career focusing largely on analyzing the nature of human language and understanding and applying the information to ease human suffering. He developed “Relational Frame Theory,” which holds that the ability to learn multi-directional links between many forms of visual, written and spoken stimuli forms the basis for human language and higher understanding.

He has further guided the extension of his theory to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a commonly used form of psychotherapy that incorporates acceptance, mindfulness and values-based techniques.

At SIU, Haynes will discuss changes in the field of applied behavior sciences and how contextual behavior science has in and of itself contributed to the changes with relation to acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory and prosocial behavior.

Credentialed, experienced

Hayes has earned national accolades for his work. The Institute for Scientific Information listed him as the 30th “highest impact” psychologist in the world in 1992 and Google Scholar data ranks him amount the top 1,500 most cited scholars, living or deceased, for all areas of study.  He has earned a number of national awards as well.

He was also the first secretary/treasurer of the Association for Psychological Science, of which he was a co-founder, served on the National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health and has served as president for several professional psychology organizations.

Hayes holds a doctorate and master’s degrees in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia along with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Professionals will be particularly interested

Hayes is a guest of SIU’s renowned Rehabilitation Institute and will be visiting the institute and the university’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders while on campus. The institute and center are coordinating the special presentation which is free and open to all.

Organizers say it will be particularly beneficial and interesting to professionals including psychologists, social workers, licensed counselors and psychiatrists.