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- Good afternoon.

I'm back, you're back.

I've got your back, you have my back.

Have you heard of facilitated communication before?

We thought of an interesting use for it when we were at lunch, I thought that for the people that don't like me, if there are people like that, or whenever my wife gets mad at me, I thought we could just use facilitated communication because we could reach the person inside of me that's really a terrific guy and nobody has any problems with, and we could just use facilitated communication to have that guy come out and be appreciated by the rest of the world.

I think that'd be a fantastic use of that technology.

And I think it's been maligned unnecessarily.

People just haven't been creative with it, like I could be and have been.

So I'm gonna do a little preaching, this is a perfect podium for it.

And I'm gonna preach about an idea, I talked about it earlier today, which is the circumstantial view of behavior.

(coughing softly) As I said, it's in my opinion, most powerful idea ever invented by mankind for understanding, knowing, and approaching human behavior.

And it's in competition with some older ideas that you and I tend to use much more often than the circumstantial view, even though we do know it.

And I'm gonna derive some concepts from the circumstantial view, they're advanced concepts that lead to techniques that you can use to work on behavior problems of every strife.

(coughing) Excuse me.

So this is the idea we're working with, and I'm gonna make a case here that even the behavior analysts in the audience and the behavior analysts that I know, even though there were very well versed in the idea of the circumstantial view of behavior, 'cause the whole science of behavior analysis is derived from the circumstantial view of behavior.

Even though they are very well versed in it, we are very well versed in it, we tend not to use it very often.

We use it in our work, that you can count on us for.

So if a child we're working with has a tantrum, we'll likely use the circumstantial view to assess or understand or approach that tantrum, maybe assuming that some kind of an extinction burst is going on.

However, if one of the colleagues that we have, or a friend or somebody down the hall has a tantrum, we just assume that they're a big baby or a jerk.

That's how we understand their tantrum.

Or the person cuts you off in traffic, we don't use the circumstantial view to understand why they did that.

We tend to assume that the person that cut us off in traffic did so because they are like the aperture on the human body responsible for the elimination of fecal waste.

(audience laughing) That's old thinking, not new thinking.

But there is one person that we all use the circumstantial view to know and understand, especially when the person is a problem, and that's ourselves.

We use the circumstantial view of our own behavior.

So when our significant other is mad at us, they are attributing whatever we've done wrong to something wrong with us, and we are defending ourselves by arranging circumstances so they understand.

So we use the circumstantial view to understand our own behavior, we don't use the circumstantial view to understand their behavior.

That's what's called the fundamental attribution error.

So the reason I didn't return the phone call is because I was buried in work.

The reason you didn't return the phone call is because you're irresponsible.

The reason I was late to the meeting is 'cause I got caught up in traffic.

And the reason you were late to the meeting is because you're lazy and irresponsible.

The reason I threw a tantrum is because my computer broke down again, and it was a very crucial time for me.

The reason you throw a tantrum is just because you're a mean and angry person.

And the reason I got a bad grade on the test is 'cause my roommates kept me up all night, I didn't get a chance to study.

The reason you got a bad grade in the test is because you're stupid.

So the typical interpretation is that there's something wrong with them, that's why they're doing the stuff we don't like, that's why they're being a problem.

And that something wrong with them comes in three flavors, defective morality, defective character, defective psyche.

These are old ideas.

These ideas have been around for thousands of years.

One of them has been around since before the Old Testament.

The other two have been around since before the New Testament, so they've had a very good hearing.

They've been on the street for a long, long time.

This idea that I'm discussing is a relatively new idea, it really only got big play in the 20th century.

So here's the first and the oldest of these.

The reason the person is a problem is because they have a defect in the morality.

They're evil, bad, wrong, awful, unscrupulous, unconscionable, they lack a conscience.

They don't know right from wrong.

They're in league with the devil.

They're inhabited by the devil.

They are the devil.

The second one is that the reason they are a problem is 'cause they have a defect in their character.

They're lazy, stubborn, stupid, mean, irresponsible, selfish.

Self-centered, myopic, narrow-minded, narcissistic, avaricious, I could go on here, you get the idea.

And the third is that they have a defect in their psyche, otherwise known as psychopathology.

they're nuts, they're whack jobs, they're lunatics, they're psychotic.

They're schizophrenia, they're insane.

They got OCD, they got ADHD.

They got something, MOUSE.

They got something you can find in the DSM.

The problem with using these ways of understanding, knowing, and approaching behavior, when it's a problem, is many fold.

There are three here.

One is, Hey, guess what?

People don't like to be thought of as defective.

It doesn't promote remote relationship or amity or cooperation or partnership.

It instigates defensiveness and anger, vindictiveness, and sometimes retaliation.

Secondly, these are spurious explanations for behavior.

When you say that somebody didn't do something because they're lazy, you're not explaining why they didn't do it, you are labeling what they didn't do.

That's laziness, it isn't an explanation, it's a label and labels don't explain.

You can't use the label to do anything with it.

Once you've decided somebody did something 'cause they're a jerk, you've just decided that what they did is jerkiness, but you haven't explained anything.

We still need another set of facts.

So thirdly, once you've decided, once we've decided that the people are defective in these areas, well, we can treat them badly and get away with it.

We can do pretty much anything we want to them.

So for example, if they're defective in their psyche, well, what can we do?

We can stigmatize them with labels.

We can medicate them senseless, until they're senseless.

We can institutionalize them, all the way up to when you decide somebody's evil, what can you do then?

Oh, you can do anything you want then, you can deny them the right to vote.

You can deny them multiple privileges, well, you can imprison them.

You can put them to death.

You can wage war on the country where they reside.

See all of that violence that's happening in the middle East right now, all that is, is one group of people trying to stamp out evil on another group of people.

These ideas are dangerous ideas and they're behind most of the horrible things that humans do to humans, and they have been behind most of the horrible things that humans do to humans for a long, long time.

Needed is a new idea and we have one, it's the fourth idea.

Behavior is a function of its circumstances.

And the person that really presented this idea powerfully in the 20th century wasn't Watson John, wasn't B.F.

Skinner, not first.

They did, but they weren't first.

The first was Father Edward J.

Flanagan, who founded Boys Town where I work.

I don't know if you've heard of it before.

It's the best known residential care program for out-of-home youth in the world.

Seven movies have been made about it, one won an Academy award for Spencer Tracy who played Father Flanagan.

Anyway, when Father Flanagan first got to Omaha, that's where Boys Town is, in the very first part of the 20th century, the city was overrun by orphaned boys, and they ran in packs and they were thought to be dangerous.

They were ragged and ruffians, they were pickpockets and thieves.

There were robbers.

And in addition to being thought of as dangerous, people thought of them as bad boys.

And Father Flanagan gathered a few of them and had them live with him.

And then he announced to the world that there's no such thing as a bad boy.

It's only bad modeling, bad teaching and bad education, in other words, bad circumstances.

And he introduced from his platform, which was a big one, the circumstantial view of behavior, of the behavior of these boys.

And he made good on his claim because he developed the community called Boys Town.

Today you go to Boys Town, it's a city inside of a city.

So Boys Town is a city with zip code, fire station, police station, post office, inside of Omaha, right in the center of Omaha, 'cause the city grew up around it over the years.

And when you're on the campus at Boys Town, it's the safest patch of ground in Nebraska.

And yet when you're on that campus, you're surrounded with more thugs, thieves, robbers, and rapers, and the occasional murderer, than you would be anywhere else unless you visited a prison system.

And yet there are no walls, there are no fences, there are no locked doors, and there are no security guards.

There's also no crime.

I have never seen a fistfight there.

We don't have any sexual aggression, we don't have any drug use, we don't have any of that.

How is that possible to take kids like that?

Because they come from inner city Chicago, inner city LA, inner city New York, inner city St.

Louis, to Boys Town.

How is it possible to transform their behavior that way without walls, fences, guards, locked doors, how's that possible?

Well, it's possible because of the circumstantial change.

When they lived, wherever they lived before us, they were in abnormalizing circumstances, and those abnormalizing circumstances, abnormalized their behavior.

Now they're living in hyper-normal circumstances and their behavior's become hyper-normal.

This is the power of the new idea.

I wanna go on with the power of the new idea, first I wanna talk about its advantages.

First of all, Hey, you know what?

People welcome the circumstantial view of behavior.

So if you get mad at your significant other, I keep picking on your significant other, but presumably most of us have one, and periodically we get mad at that person, they get mad at us, So that's makes a good example.

So you get mad at them and initially attribute the problem to something about them and then switch gears and say, "Well, I understand, I know what was going on." And then you would do some circumstances, I believe you me, everything will get better after that.

I do a lot of marriage counseling, it's a big part of my job.

And when the couple comes to me, they're both attributing defects to the other, and that explains the problems they're having with each other.

And if I can get that couple to adopt a circumstantial view of each other, I can save their marriage.

If I can't, I can't save their marriage.

If they're gonna continue contributing defect to their partner, it's just not gonna work out.

If they start seeing things in light of circumstances, it can work out Everything this idea touches improves, so people welcome it.

Also at yields, helpful explanations.

Once we've identified a set of circumstances that are functionally related to the problem, well, now we can do something about that problem.


Rearrange the circumstances to bring about a change in the problem.

That's pretty much what behavior analysis is all about.

And by the way, even if you're not a behavior analyst, that is pretty much what your work involves.

So you are rearranging circumstances on a daily basis for the kids with whom you work in order to bring about socially adaptive changes in their behavior.

That's the circumstantial view in operation.

And then it leads to helpful responses in the other.

It doesn't instigate like harmful treatment of the other.

It results in compassion, understanding and willingness to help.

Let me give you an example.

You got traffic problems in these cities in Halifax periodically, somebody was talking during the break said it took them like a long time just to go one kilometer because of a traffic issue.

So let's say you're late for work, and you're rushing to get there, and you come up to a very busy intersection and you're the second car at the light, if you're lucky, 'cause there's a bunch of cars behind you, but there's only one in front of you.

And so you wait the light out, it turns green and the car in front of you doesn't budge, just sits there.

You have no idea why, you know you're frustrated, you look up there and you see there's a woman in the driver's seat.

She's not even looking out the window, she's looking around in the back seat doing something who knows what.

And so you're sitting there watching this and then the light turns yellow and red again.

Now you're stuck for another cycle and people are honking at you in the back.

Pretty frustrating, the light turns green again, her car is still doesn't budge.

She's still messing around the backseat, she doesn't even know the light's green.

So you wait through that, you honk yourself, she takes no notice, then the light turns yellow and red again, and that's it.

And that, "that's it", is probably just about it.

And so maybe if you're like me, you decided to walk up there and see what's going on, and you look in the window of her car, and they're in the backseat as a baby and it's turning blue.

And now you understand exactly why that car is stationary.

You know the circumstances behind its stationary status and your anger will go right out the window.

And all you wanna do now is help that poor woman out any way that you can.

Now, here's the deal.

There's always a baby in the backseat.

They're not as dramatic as the one I just sketched, I did that for rhetorical effect.

But with every problem behavior, there's always a set of circumstances that are some way tied to that problem.

That is the nature of our work, and that is the essence of this idea.

Like I say, I was gonna preach for a while.

So let's talk about the power of the idea of wanting to empty the human warehouses in the United States.

I don't know if you have them here, do you have them here?

Warehouses where you warehouse persons with developmental disabilities, so they're kind of out of the way, and they live there and you get a little programming, but nobody has to really be bothered by them.

We had them all over the United States, now they're gone.

The last one is pictured there.

That's Boulder River School and Hospital, education and training building.

That's where I got my first professional job in Boulder, Montana.

And I have that picture because the last day of last month, it closed forever.

What closed these institutions, what closed these warehouses, was the circumstantial view of behavior.

See people used to come to the institutions and they see the people living there engaged in institutional behavior.

And they think to themselves or say out loud, "Well, that's where they belong." They belong in an institution because they're exhibiting all that institutional behavior.

But then people equipped with the circumstantial view of behavior came along, and they said, "Wait a minute, that isn't why they're exhibiting institutional behavior, behavior is a function of circumstances.

They're an institutional circumstances.

The reason they're exhibiting institutional behavior is because they're in an institution.

And if you put them in normal circumstances, they'll exhibit more normal behavior." And that spawned the philosophy called normalization.

And that ushered all the people out of those warehouses and into the community settings where they now reside.

Everything this idea touches improves.

So let's just go through this list.

I wanna just talk about its power, then I'm gonna talk about its breadth, and I'm gonna launch into some concepts.

So autism, Hey, genetically transmitted incurable, developmental disability.

Or so they thought.

So Bruno Bettelheim thought, so many others thought, but along comes Ivar Lovaas, and he develops a circumstantially derived program called EIBI, Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention.

What he shows, if you get to the kids early enough, and you apply the treatment intensely enough, you can eliminate all the symptoms.

Now I hesitate to use the word cure, but Hey, if you eliminate all the symptoms of a condition, it seems like the word cure would apply.

What about habit disorders?

Now everybody has habits, but a lot of people have habits that are so frequently practiced or malign that they become disorders.

And the granddaddy of them all, I talked about earlier today is Tourette syndrome, a lifelong incurable neurological condition.

So much so hallmark by the way, but vocal and motor tics, so much so, so much sought to be incurable that the neurologist and the psychologist, excuse me, the neurologist and the psychiatrist that work with it up until recently, shooed away all the psychologists because they thought there was nothing that could be done other than medication.

And they just thought psychologists would make the problem worse.

But along came a circumstantial expert named Nathan Azrin, who developed a circumstantially derived program called habit reversal.

And what he showed is that habit reversal could produce the same or even better changes than the medications that were used without the side effects.

And then along came Douglas Woods and John Piacentini, and what they did was augment habit reversal.

And what they've now shown is that, this will sound familiar, if you get to the kids that have Tourette syndrome early enough, and you apply augmented habit reversal intensely enough, you can eliminate all the symptoms.

Now I hesitate to use the word cure, but if you eliminate all the symptoms of a condition, it seems like that word would apply.

What about anxiety?

We talked about that this morning, the number one mental health condition affecting mankind and the most effective treatments for anxiety are circumstantially derived programs that involve the things we discussed this morning.

What about depression?

The number two mental health condition affecting mankind, and the most effective treatment for depression are all derived from a circumstantially derived set of programs generally categorized as behavioral activation.

What about, Oh, we missed incontinence.

The number two cause of child abuse in the United States.

I don't know if it is here, probably.

The reason it is because people don't understand it.

They attribute the incontinence, these parents attribute the incontinence to characterological defect thus they're justified in harsh treatment of their kids.

Anyway, there is a set of circumstantially derived programs for everything that's incontinent, including delayed toilet training, diurnal enuresis, nocturnal enuresis, functional encopresis.

And what we've shown is that in various forms, these programs produce a 60 to 100% cure rate, depending on the amount of compliance you get from the parents.

And addiction, number one behavior disorder affecting mankind, and the most effective treatments for the addictions are circumstantially derived programs, generally classified as contingency management, a lot of power in this idea.

But what about its breadth?

What about the breadth of the idea?

See, people outside the field, people that adopt those other views of behavior, they realize that there's something, but they think that something is only for very simple forms of behavior exhibited by very simple organisms, in other words, rats and pigeons and persons with developmental disabilities.

And that for more sophisticated problems, exhibited by more sophisticated individuals, you need more sophisticated ideas.

And what they mean by more sophisticated ideas are those old ideas I discussed earlier, which we realized now that aren't that sophisticated at all.

What's needed to convince them, what's needed to convince anybody about the breadth of this idea, is to show that it applies to problems that all humans have not just a select group.

So I picked one, I picked a problem that all humans have from time to time, and some humans have a lot of the time, which is called pain and suffering.

So if, the circumstantial view of behavior could apply to that problem, would be revealed to have enormous breadth.

And as my example, I pick kids with a condition called recurrent abdominal pain.

I don't know if you've heard that before.

It involves kids with chronic stomach aches, and the reason they come to the attention of clinicians is because they miss a lot of school.

And we worked with these kids When I was at Johns Hopkins, we found out two very interesting things about kids with recurrent abdominal pain.

Number one, there wasn't anything wrong with them.

And we did a full physical evaluation.

You wanna get a very thorough physical evaluation, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is a great place to do it.

So there wasn't a thing wrong with them.

No lesions, contusions, abrasions infections, nothing.

Number two, they were in pain, no doubt about it.

All the indices of pain were present.

Elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, elevated cortisol levels, elevated electrical activity on the skin.

Sometimes there was power, constricted pupils, ragged breathing.

They were definitely in pain.

Now, how is that possible to be in pain without a direct cause involving the body?

Well, it requires an understanding of what pain is all about.

'Cause it has two different types.

One is what here I called organic pain, and that's pain due to something that happened to the body.

A contusion, abrasion, a burn, an infection, an inflammation, a lesion, a tumor.

And that's fairly immediate, reflexive.

In fact, if you're a behavior analyst, that's what you thought.

What you think of is as respondent or Pavlovian pain.

Then there's functional pain, that's the extended experience of pain in time, and that's where there's a lot of variability.

So there's two types of pain there.

We're concerned with the functional pain, that's the pain we can do something about.

First, we need to talk about pain behavior.

Remember when I introduced myself this morning, I talked about some general ideas I was gonna re-introduce them.

One of those is that human beings are largely the architects of their own emotional and psychological suffering.

And that's what we have here.

We have kids that are engaging in pain behavior.

In other words, behavior whose function is to deepen, worsen or lengthened the experience of pain over time.

And one dimension of that experience involves focus.

They're focusing on the source of their pain and in so doing they're amplifying their experience of that pain or bringing it back to mind if they forgotten about it.

So as my example here, I'll just do a quick little intervention or experiment?

No, procedure?

No, some word for what I want to do right now.

Exercise, there, a little exercise.

I wanna create a little discomfort in you.

So we all, everybody in this room, this isn't California so I know this is true of all of us, did a couple of things this morning that caused a little bit of discomfort.

And then it disappeared from our experience and probably has stayed away from our experience, with a few exceptions possibly.

Now, what are those two things that we did?

We put on our underwear and we put on our shoes.

Both are constricting, and they generate a little bit of discomfort when they get put on.

And then you forget about it 'cause it isn't a lot of discomfort.

But I just brought it back to mind, so people are now checking perhaps.

And in so doing a lot of you are now actually experiencing a little discomfort because of focus.

I have focused you on that source.

I'm going to keep talking up here and pretty soon your attention is going to drift away from what I just turned it on, and when it does the experience that's discomforting will go away as well.

It's a functional focus.

Anybody in here ever run a marathon?

No runners.

(all laughing) Anybody in here ever walk a marathon?


Okay, so in a marathon, the greatest amount of suffering is in the middle.

The person has completed half the marathon, and that's where their greatest amount of suffering is because they realize everything they just went through, they have to go through again.

And their muscles are taxed and sore.

Their energy stores are taxed.

They're sweating, they're out of breath.

They're questioning their sanity and ever agreeing to do this in the first place.

They're looking around to see if they can get out of it with some kind of dignity.

And they're very focused on how they feel.

That's right in the middle when there's 12 and a half miles to go.

But when they're a hundred yards from the finish line, there is no suffering, what's present is exhilaration.

Only their body is in now way well shaped than it was in the middle.

They're way more dehydrated.

Their energy stores are way more taxed.

Their muscles are way more sore.

They're more out of breath.

They're more sweaty and they are not suffering at all.


'Cause they're no longer focused on themselves, they're focused on what they've done and exhilaration takes the place of suffering.

Trigger warning, if anybody in here has ever been a patient on a burn unit, I'm gonna talk momentarily about a procedure on burn units, that could be very uncomfortable for you, I just want you to know.

So I used to work on a burn unit at the University of Kansas.

They asked me to consult because they were having trouble with a procedure called debridement, and it's worse than it sounds.

And it sounds bad.

And it was with children who had been badly burned.

And when children are badly burned, they have to be bandaged to prevent infection.

But the bandages have to come off every 24 hours because of infection.

But the bandages grow into the wounds because the wounds separate, not separate, separate.

So in order to get the bandages off, they have to be debrided off.

And they're debrided off in a debridement tank, which is full of saline solution.

And inside that tank, when the debridement procedure's going on, there was a lot of thrashing, screaming and resistance.

And it was creating problems for the burn unit staff.

And so they asked if I could do something about it, they saw it as potentially a behavioral problem.

And so we gave the kids video games to play while they were in the tank.

And when they got the video games, they were still suffering, but not nearly as much.

The thrashing, the screaming, the resistance went down, significantly, why?

Because they weren't focused so much on the horrible thing that was happening to their body.

This is my point, pain and suffering has a behavior that's related to it that increases the experience of pain and suffering, and that is focusing on the source of the pain and suffering, and magnifies it.

Second pain behavior is expression, that brings it into the world.

So the person experiencing pain and suffering expresses their pain and suffering in lots of ways directly and indirectly.

You know, you wince, you limp, you mourn, and you sigh, or you just say, "I'm in pain." And so that brings it into the world, that activates the circumstances of the person's world and the responses have several different flavors.

The first, is what we talked about earlier, people have a lot of pain and suffering in their repertoire tend to have caregivers around them that hover.

When a parent hovers around a uncomfortable child, they tend to take the child's attention and focus it on the discomfort, by asking, so for example, let's say the kiddo has a stomach ache.

And by the way, those kids that had recurrent abdominal pain, they paid an awful lot of attention to how their stomach felt, and their parents would hover around their stomach and ask them how it was on a regular basis, directing thus the child's attention to their stomach.

And they would never really find that there was a little bit of discomfort there somewhere.

So the hovering directs attention or directs focus.

Focus is a pain behavior, it can magnify the experience of pain and suffering.

Then they deliver.

'Cause they're good parents, they care.

They don't want the child to suffer.

They're not doing it on purpose, they're doing it out of ignorance of some of the circumstantial processes that are occurring.

And so one of the products that they will deliver, one of the commodities they'll deliver is sympathy.

Of course.

Now what is sympathy?

Well, sympathy is a rhetorical commodity that has two functions.

The two functions are pain relief and pleasure production, because it does both.

"Oh honey, come here.

Come here, that a girl, let mommy kiss it better.

There, Oh, Mommy loves you so much." Now in there, she's taking away pain, and she's delivering love, which is pleasurable.

So that's a commodity that has those two functions.

Any commodity that has those two functions, any commodity that delivers pleasure and also pain relief, is highly, highly habit forming for human beings.

Let me tell you some examples.

Dilaudid, Demerol, Percocet, Percodan, Vicodin, morphine, codeine, are these bad things.

No, but they do deliver pleasure and simultaneously relieve pain.

But physicians, when they need them, they really need them.

And when we need them, we really need them.

But physicians know that they can't give too much to their patients because they're so habit forming.

They realize that before long, a person will start to behave in ways in order to get more of the stuff.

And that would involve exhibiting symptoms, that might even involve experiencing symptoms because they can create their own cause.

So these kids with recurrent abdominal pain, and other kids that have functional pain, are they doing it on purpose just to get the sympathy?

Is that what they're doing?

I say, no.

I say, it's not planned for action on their part.

It's happening, it's volitional, no question, but are they like planning it out and doing it on purpose?

I say, no.

First of all, this is one of the things I have to contend with in my clinic so often, 'cause the parents often think the kids are doing it on purpose.

They know what they're doing, they're doing it on purpose.

They're doing it in order to make X happen.

And then they make the kids sound like this little evil genius.

So I meet the genius.

I'm thinking this could couldn't plan his way out of a wet paper bag, and now you're telling me that he's sophisticated enough to manipulate the both of you purposefully.

And he's only four, and both of you have PhDs, give me a break.

This is not an evil genius.

This is just a kid who's caught up in the throws of behavioral conditioning processes, that you yourselves are actually administrating.

You don't even know you're doing it.

So it's like a limited understanding of what an operant really is.

The power of an operant and how deficient language is in explaining some of this stuff.

So let me use an example of my own life that could amplify this and explain it.

So I have to go way back when I was in Montana growing up, I'm eight years old and it's a bitter cold day.

A cold, perhaps you could understand here in Halifax, 'cause I'm thinking Canada knows what cold is.

Nebraska doesn't really know what cold is.

So you know what they use, they use the windshield factor so they can make people think it's really, really cold.

We don't use the windshield factor in Montana, we just tell them the temperature.

That's scary enough right there.

So on this day I'm ice skating a couple blocks from my house.

It's below zero, it's getting dark.

So I skate up to the edge of the pond, to sit down and take off my skates.

And I cut my index finger on my skate.

And it hurts and my hands are cold.

That's where my focus is, but something totally cool begins to happen.

Really cool for an eight year old, the blood is freezing in the air and it's creating a blood sickle.

Now, I am completely captivated by this blood sickle, I'm just infatuated with it.

And so I forgot about my hands, I forgot about the pain in my finger.

And all I can think about is the blood sickle.

And I hatch a plan and the plan is, I'm gonna walk this all the way home, and grow it as big as I can.

And then I'm gonna walk in the house, I'm going to show it to my brother, who's seven.

And then when he looks at it, I'm gonna smear it on his face.

So just having fun with no money in Montana, it was like, this is exciting for me.

So all the way home I'm like that, until I get to the top step of the porch going into our house, I looked through the window there, there's a light on my mom is knitting under a lamp.

And as soon as I saw that, I turned my hand upside down.

(crying) Look what I did.

No, I did do that.

No question about it, that did happen, but I didn't do it purposefully.

I didn't do it planfully, I did it automatically.

And in the back of my mind was a voice, I can still hear to this day saying, what are you doing?

What about the plan?

(all laughing) It's like, I couldn't help myself.

I got in the presence of, if you're a behavior analyst, that powerful discriminative stimulus called my mom who was a source of sympathy for me, and it activated my behavior.

I felt like I was in a tractor beam from a spaceship making me do the thing.

That is more likely what's happening with these kids with recurrent abdominal pain.

They're not necessarily doing it on purpose, they're just caught up in the power of a very, very powerful operant.

So then the third thing that happens in their environment is they get the special treatment.

You know, they get special meals, they don't have to go to school.

They get to make up a little bed on the couch.

They don't have to read school books, they get to read comic books.

They get to watch cartoons on TV.

Their siblings are forbidden to torment them.

Parents talk to them in a special tone of voice, "Honey, honey, honey," like that.

So are they faking it to get the special treatment?


I say it doesn't matter.

It doesn't really matter.

Now, what does that mean?

Well, to explain that, let me introduce a concept that's fairly common in the United States.

I don't know how common it is in Canada.

It is called the mental health day.

You know what I'm saying by a mental health day?

It's where you take a day off work to safeguard your mental health.

But you got to call work and get the day, and when you call you can't complain about your mental health.

So you complain about your physical health in order to get the day off to take care of your mental health.

In other words, you gotta be sick.

And so you got this plan, but when you call you can't be enthusiastic about your plan.

You gotta be sick, so you call up six.

"Oh man, oh man.

Up all night, yeah.

I can't keep a thing down.

No, it's a gut thing.

No, no, man.

You don't need to come over.

No, I'm okay.

I'll be all right.

No, I'm just gonna sleep all day.

Yeah, I've been drinking fluids, I can't keep them down, oh man.





All right.

Thanks for calling.

I'll check with you tomorrow.

Oh man.

Oh geez.

I got to get to bed." Wait a minute, I'm not sick.

(all laughing) You gotta snap out of it.

You know, you get into the role, now you're kind of sick.

It's like method acting, you know about method acting, like Daniel Day-Lewis, is a method actor.

That means they're not acting, method actors, they are experiencing an emotion and exhibiting it, not acting.

It's a different kind of acting.

So they summon up a memory.

They got to do a sad scene, so they go off to them and say, summon up a sad scene.

Their dog died, they remember that they get into the thing, they get into the mood, and then they get in front of the camera, the director rolls and they nail it.

And everybody on the set is happy except for the actor, who's sitting there going, my dog died (laughs).

And sometimes it takes them days to get out of that mood that they brought on.

Like Daniel Day-Lewis has said, sometimes it takes him a month or two to get out of his character, because he's in the experience of being that character.

So we're talking about these little kids, let's say they're faking it.

So they get into the sick role, and then they get into the tractor beam of the special treatment.

And that special treatment is magnifying their experience of being sick.

And before you know it, even though they might've faked it to begin with, now it's real and they don't know how to get out of it.

This is something that people don't understand about hypochondriacs.

They're not faking suffering, they are suffering.

There just isn't the cause that they've specified, but they're definitely suffering.

They're in the sick role and the conditions that spring up around them reinforce that sick role and the sick experience.

So this is important for you to realize as we're working with kids on the spectrum, because kids on the spectrum have a lot of pain and suffering in their life, more so than the average kid.

And we wanna not have them have that pain and suffering and we wanna help them with it.

But we don't wanna create conditions that magnify it in our attempt to make it go away.

Am I making sense here?

It's tricky ground to skate over.

Anyway, that's like the breadth, the breadth of the circumstantial view.

It can even take care of or help us understand and approach pain and suffering.

So on the circumstantial learning, (coughing) excuse me, I need a day off, Just kidding (laughs).

So circumstantial learning, the basis for all successful treatment.

Learning occurs through repetition with contrast.

You've heard me talk about this throughout the morning.

What that means is, when we talk about kids.

Kids do stuff and what they've done is followed by a change or a contrast, in what?

Well and their circumstances, but then in their experience, because the circumstances lead to changes in experience, and there's only two possibilities, pleasant and unpleasant.

So they do stuff and it's followed by a pleasant change and experience, they're more likely to do it again.

And they do stuff and it's followed by an unpleasant change in experience, they're less likely to do it again.

So let's go with the unpleasant change in experience.

How many times do you think a young boy that'll pee on an electric fence will learn a very valuable lesson about electricity?

It's one trial learning, baby.

It doesn't matter if you've got an IQ of 25, 125, 'cause you're gonna do it one time, never do it again.

How many times would you and I have to stick our hand in the open flame in order to learn that was a really stupid thing to do, depending on how intoxicated we were at the time.

That's also one trial learning.

Even domesticated animals learn this way.

Like I used to have this cat, I'm not a cat guy.

I'm a dog guy, for the record.

But my wife is a cat person, which pretty much makes me a cat guy.

(audience laughing) So we had this cat, this fat stupid cat.

And I have no idea why he got so stupid, but I do know how he got so fat, 'cause I overfed the guy.

But he was so stupid, we had to be careful where we put things like candles, but he was so fat, we didn't have to be too careful.

If you put them on tables, he couldn't jump up on tables.

But then a big storm comes through Omaha, blows out the lights, they're out for nine days.

I am not a disaster ready guy, I don't have like a generator, I didn't even have a flashlight, I was not prepared for this.

And so it's getting dark in our house, and so we're scuttling around putting candles everywhere and we put some candles down in stupid's world.

And I turned my back just for one second, there on the fireplace hearth, he shoots over there, he examines the flame.

Stuck his nose right in it, burned his nose, burned off his whiskers.

Yelled, shoots down into the pitch black basement.

He's down there, murmuring.

I got to go check on the guy, I don't know how badly hurt he is.

I got no flashlight.

So I get a candle and go down there.

(audience laughing) It turns into a wild animal down there, I got no idea what's going on.

Until I realize he's learned something.

He learned that a candle attacked him on the main floor, came into the basement to finish the job.

(audience laughing) Aa aah.

Let's go over here to the pleasant domain.

There are experiences that human beings have that are so exquisitely pleasant when they happen, that a person seeks for the rest of their natural lives to recreate those steps and re-have that experience.

And I know you'd like me to talk about sex right now, but I'm not gonna talk about sex, I'm gonna talk about drugs instead.

So there are substances, the injection of which into the human body produces an experience that is so pleasant that the person will instantly and forever have a craving to have that experience again, like heroin, for example.

Doesn't mean they're addicted, but they will always have to fight the urge to go and get more heroin, because of the profound nature of the experience that they had.

So my question or my point for you is just for you to imagine for a moment, just how incredibly easy our work would be teaching children to do what they're told and what they're supposed to do, if we could use blow torches and heroin.

(audience laughing) Yeah, we could get them to do anything we wanted them to do.

Can we get them to line up, chew with their mouth closed, raise their hand when they'll be called upon, share, do their chores, ask for more, do their homework, ask for more, clean the board, whatever we wanted to do, anything they could to avoid detours, get the drugs.

We don't have anything like that.

Our tools aren't dead powerful, gangs have tools like that.

That's why they're able to recruit such allegiance in their membership.

We got nothing like that.

So we don't get to use blow torches.

What have we got instead?

You got time out.

(roaring loudly) Stuff like that, you take away privileges, scold kids, shush them, take away something.

What we do is unpleasant, I'm not saying it's not, I'm saying the kids love this stuff, I'm just saying it isn't very powerful.

So we don't, like the difference in the unpleasantness between a timeout and being burned by open flame is so huge that it is not even measurable.

So what we have to do is a lot of repetition.

That's the key to our work.

And that's what people don't understand.

We don't get to use heroin.

What do we have Instead?

We got stickers, stars and stuff are related.

And kids like that stuff, it's pleasant for them.

But the degree of pleasantness between sticker stars and stuff in heroin, not even measurable.

So we have to use lots and lots of repetition.

This is what people don't understand.

They tried a couple of times, say it twice as the kid to repeat it and think they've got it.

Well, try the violin a couple of times, say out loud what you're supposed to do and let me see where you're at.

'Cause that's not gonna do it for learning the violin.

And believe you me, learning to play the violin is vastly easier than learning civilized socialized conduct when you have a disability.

So repetition is the basic key to our work.

And the failure to use enough repetition is not a sufficient argument to argue away the circumstantial view of behavior.

It just points out how difficult it is to do our work.

So basically what I'm talking about here, is a relationship between carrot and stick.

Carrot is the pleasant experience, stick is the unpleasant experience, there's always a ratio.

When kids show up in my clinic what that means is, the stick versus carrot ratio in the child's life with their parents has become dominated by the stick for the parent.

In other words, the child's behavior has become more unpleasant than pleasant and they want that fixed.

When my clients show up, because I work with a lot of adults, typically developing highly, highly successful adults.

The reason they walk in fundamentally is that the carrot stick ratio of their life is now dominated by the stick.

I have a job to do, and in general terms my job is to fix that and have the carrot dominate the stick, instead of the stick dominating the carrot.

So they come in and they got the stick dominating the carrot.

When the carrot begins to dominate the stick, they don't come in anymore.

Why would they?

They got this life that's working.

That's fundamentally what a life working means.

In your life, if the carrot is dominating the stick, it's probably working pretty well.

If the stick is dominating the carrot, not working so well.

In your marriage, if you have one, again, your significant other, those relationships have a carrot stick ratio, with the carrot stick ratio favors the carrot, got a pretty good relationship.

If the carrot stick ratio favors the stick, it's not working for you.

And that's when people come to see me with their marriages, when the stick carrot ratio favors the stick, Anxiety and depression, same thing, the anxious person, the depressed person, they have lives where the stick is dominating the carrot.

My work involves getting the carrot to dominate the stick.

And here are some universal carrots, you don't have to go to the store to get carrots.

We can make them up in an instant, deliver them in an instant.

Don't have to break a sweat doing it.

We have these commodities out, at our disposal.

They are universal carrots.

So number one is acceptance, we talked a little bit about universal acceptance this morning.

I'll tell you something, they're gonna get it somewhere.

I mean, if they don't get it from us, that doesn't mean they stop looking for acceptance.

So a kid who doesn't get acceptance at home looks for it at school.

If they don't get it at school, they look for it at home.

If they don't get it at home and school, they look for it on the streets.

They're going to keep looking until they find it and they will ultimately find it.

I work with marriages a lot, inevitably, when, or frequently, when the people come to see me, one member of the marriage has found a very powerful form of acceptance outside the marriage.

I am always trying to sell the circumstantial view to my clients, it's a hard sell, but what I'm trying to get across is, if this person, man or woman, could find a rich source of acceptance inside the marriage, they probably wouldn't be looking outside the marriage.

But at the point where this trouble has been caused, the person inside the marriage that's not delivering acceptance is really reluctant to do it now because the person has been finding it.

You follow what I'm saying, but it doesn't make it not work.

Acceptance is something that's a universal carrot.

And approval.

It's tricky business because there's stuff people do, think, say, have, or have done, that we don't approve of.

And then we go ahead and not don't approve of them.

Like there's a lot of disapproval occurring because of one set of ideas right now, all across the United States, because we're in an election season.

And so people that believe in one person or disapproved of in general, by people that don't believe in that person.

And this is a mistake.

Take the person that you're closest to in your life, absolutely closest to.

This is your sibling by another mother.

They finish your sentences for you, they got your back.

You can count on them for anything.

Do you know what hits the fan, you can always call them up and they're there for you.

So we've got that person, let's lay out everything they think do say, have done and wanna do and believe, put that all out, so you can see it all.

There'll be a ton of stuff in there you don't approve of.

Now that you see that, are you gonna disapprove of them?

'Cause there's the same thing with you.

We take you and lay out everything you think, do, have done, wanna do, believe in, lay it all out.

There'll be a bunch of stuff in there you don't approve of, and that's you.

So my point is we wanna withhold approval just because somebody does something or think something or believes something or has something you don't approve of.

I mentioned, I'm from Montana, I do not approve of hunting and fishing for fun.

I approve of hunting and fishing for food.

I do not approve of hunting and fishing for simple recreation, but everybody I know does it, my sisters do it.

my dad did it until he died.

My mother doesn't do it anymore.

All my friends still do.

If I decided to shun people because they do this thing I don't approve of, I wouldn't have any friends.

I go with them hunting and fishing, I just don't do it.

I don't disapprove of them because they do it, I just disapprove hunting and fishing for fun, but I don't need to bend the world to my will.

If I try to do that, I won't have any friends.

Some of my friends still smoke cigarettes.

I guess they're waiting for that lung cancer scare to blow over.

Well, I don't approve of that either, but I don't disapprove of them and if they don't blow it to my face I'm fine with it.

So I can disapprove of what somebody thinks, does, believes in or wants to do and still approve of them.

That's the thing, we wanna deliver the approval as best we can.

And then appreciation, what the heck is this?


'Cause it's really scarce.

Scarce metal?

'Cause I tell you something, everybody's in short supply.

You're not gonna walk around this room and find somebody who goes, "Whoa, man, I got way too much appreciation in my life.

That's enough of that.

If one more person comes up and appreciate me, I'm gonna puke." No, that's not gonna happen.

Everybody's got a ton of stuff that they haven't been appreciated.

There's teachers in this room, right?

I'll tell you something, those teachers.

And there are mothers in this room who spent a lot of time at home with their kids, same deal.

These people, teachers and mothers who spend a lot of time at home with their children, they create miracles on a regular basis and nobody gives a damn.

The kids don't care, the other teachers don't wanna hear about it, they got their own thing going on.

And then you go home and you're telling your husband about it and it doesn't sound like a miracle.

'Cause all it means is the kid for the first time drew inside the lines.

You're like, (sighs deeply).

They're like, (yawning).

I mean, it's like you get nothing for it, you get no appreciation for these profound things that happen in the classroom or in the home, I'm done.

My point is, people have a ton of stuff they don't get appreciated for.

And there's things in our lives, central to our lives that we don't appreciate.

And they're central to our lives, electricity, running water, flush toilets, central to our lives.

And we don't appreciate any of that stuff unless it goes missing.

The thing about that stuff is, it doesn't care if you appreciate it.

Going to appreciate the toilet.

Like every time I come in here, you're on the job, I can't believe it.

You'd never complain, You never asked for a bigger office.

When I think of the things I've done to you and still, (audience laughing) you come to work every day.

Won't flush any better.

But there are people in our lives that are central.

You know what?

They care, it matters to them.

And I'm not talking about your boss or your very best colleague.

I'm talking about somebody that's the equivalent of the airport cleanup guy.

Remember him, you appreciate that guy.

I don't think, nobody does.

Nobody cares about that guy, nobody cares about that gal.

They're just in the way.

But if they didn't come to work for three or four days, the bathroom would begin to look like some part of a country that you never wanna visit, and you'd realize how valuable they are to us.

But does anybody ever even mention, they appreciate?


Like the secretary, the guy that cleans up the hall, the janitor where you work, and a lot of other people in our lives.

We just don't take the time to appreciate them.

These are universal carrots, that's what I'm saying, delivered.

I don't wanna go over this abundantly, 'cause we went over it this morning.

It's basically the point I was making, is we are part of the circumstances of the lives of the people in our lives.

And if we're trying to change their behavior and it's not changing, then we are part of the maintenance system.

Now here's the thing I didn't say this morning, we can't see that very well because humans lack the perceptual capacity to see how they show up in the world for other people.

Let me say that again.

Humans lack the perceptual capacity to see how they show up in the world for other people.

Now, they're doing some experiments at Johns Hopkins with psychedelic drugs, like psilocybin, mescaline and LSD.

And you know what happens when you take those drugs?

All of a sudden for the first time you can see.

That's why people go on bad trips, is that now they see how they show up in the world and they frequently don't like what they see.

It's like hearing your voice on a tape recorder for the first time or seeing yourself in an unguarded moment on the video tape for the first time.

"Wow, is that me?" Yeah, that is you.

That's how you look to everybody in everyday life.

And that isn't how we look to ourselves in our own minds eye.

We aren't seeing how we're showing up for people, and so we aren't seeing the effect we're having on people.

And it's just something to try and consider.

Try try to get like a, get a sense of other people's experience of you, so you know what to do with it and see that you're producing the results you wanna produce.

So advanced, behavioral treatment techniques can be simplified like I have here.

It all boils down to these things.

All treatment can be grouped under this slide.

We try to increase the presence of carrots.

We try to increase appropriate behavior carrot sequences.

We try to increase inappropriate behavior stick sequences.

We try to decrease the presence of sticks, decrease appropriate behaviors stick sequences, and inappropriate behavior carrot sequences.

In other words, we want more carrots and less sticks in the life of the person.

And we want them to get the good stuff for doing the good stuff, and what to get the bad stuff for doing the bad stuff.

That's it.

That does not sound like rocket science to me.

I'm sorry, you know, there's no test (laughs).

There's no test over the material.

I'm gonna send a copy of my PowerPoint.

I'm gonna strip out some photographs because some of them are proprietary, but the slides that have the points on them, there'll be intact.

So you guys can get a copy of that from Shelly.

And maybe you don't have to take some.

It's up to you if wanna take notes.

The first one, you guys had Gregory Hanley here at one time, some of you attend Gregory Hanley's talks?

No, yes, I mean, he's a fantastic speaker.

One of the things he's working on is a compound function.

They got this thing in behavior analysis called functional analysis.

And they've narrowed down the functions like tangible stuff or escape or attention or what they call automatic reinforcement, which is like, when you scratch an itch, it automatically gets reinforced if you relieve the itch, like those four are the functions.

They do a functional analysis, They end up with vague results frequently because they can't pinpoint one function.

They can't pinpoint one cause.

Historically they always thought, maybe they weren't doing the functional analysis properly.

Now because of Greg, they're starting to think, "Well, wait a minute, maybe there isn't one cause, maybe there are multiple causes, maybe they're compound causes.

Maybe people do things for more than one reason.

Like for example, there's an escape function that people engage in when they take a sick day.

Well, what are they escaping to?

That's part of the function.

So first there's escape, that's isn't a function, and then what do they escape to?

So if it's a mental health day, well you're escaping to a day of drinking beer and watching TV and doing nothing and "Wow, that'd be great." But what if you're sick?

Now you're escaping work to a sick bed.

So it escaping to a sick bed and escaping to a six pack are different things.

So, here's I got interested in this, with this little guy.

This guy has bronchial, pulmonary dysplasia.

That means he can't breathe on his own.

These kids spend a lot of time on the NICU, so this is him on the NICU.

Have you ever been on the NICU?

Like that's where the neonatal intensive care, let me put it this way.

Most of the children on the NICU, you could hold in the palm of your hand.

That's why they're there, they're preemies.

Obviously this is no preemie, he was there until he was three.

So he basically was the king of the NICU, and he had a staff, because everybody's at his beck and call.

And he's incredibly spoiled because he's been there for so long.

And these kids get spoiled.

So one of the things they have to teach these kids is how to suck.

They can't suck on their own, they need to be taught.

If they don't learn how to suck, they'll never learn how to speak and they'll never learn to feed themselves.

So the nurses taught him how to suck by taking a pacifier, coating it with honey.

And it became attached to his pacifier.

But then he'd take a nap or at bedtime, It would fall out of his mouth and then he'd wake up, and it wouldn't be there, and he wouldn't look for it.

He would summon his staff to find it for him, his pacifier search team, which is composed of high dollar physicians and nurses.

And how would he summon them?

He would summon them by pulling some of that stuff out.

All that stuff is paged.

Like gang-paged is the technical term, what you hear on TV is code blue.

You heard of that before?

Code blue, everybody goes.

I'm up on the floor, I'm not seeing him, I didn't even know he exists.

I'm seeing another little preemie doing a developmental assessment.

But code blue means medical faculty have to go, I'm on the medical faculty, so I had to go.

So I had to go and I had a clipboard and a data sheet and I was ready to take life-saving data if called upon.

(audience laughing) I'm not kidding, every time I had to go on one of those things, you guys need a reliability estimate, I can do that, if you had to like save a life.

Oh, you want it?

You wanna rate, I'm your man, well, I got nothing.

You know, I feel like a fool standing there.

But the chief of neonatology has been fed up with this.

And so he comes, he bursts in, he looks at everybody, he goes, "Come on guys, this is a behavior problem." And I'm like, "That's right." (audience laughing) Step aside, I got this.

And, by the away, I see, this is a mother-of-12 problem.

A mother at 12 would not have a problem solving this, a mother of 12, like I said earlier today, she knows everything.

She has a PhD in what to do with kids.

And so what you would think is, well, tie a cloth onto the pacifier, make it incredibly easy for him to find it, he won't summon his pacifier search team.

So we did that, he became attached to the cloth and the pacifier, and then the nurses decide that's it on that pacifier.

And so they took it away from him.

He screamed for a couple of days and he was over it, but he found his thumb.

You know what I mean?

And so now he got him attached to the cloth and his thumb.

And whenever the cloth shows up, we use gauge cloth and surgical instrument cloth, he's popped his thumb in his mouth.

And there's a little data showing every time the cloth is present, he started sucking his thumb.

And so I got interested, you know, the relationship between thumb sucking and object attachment.

Have you ever heard of the like peanuts, the cartoon peanuts?

I don't know if they have that, they used to have that and Linus, and Linus sucks his thumb and holds a blanket.

So I got curious and what that was all about.

So I rounded up a bunch of kids that had that co-occurring set of problems, sucking their thumbs and holding around a treasured object.

And I got eight of them together, and I know how to treat thumb sucking, I had a good program for that.

So I treated their thumb sucking.

I did not treat their object attachment, just measured it.

And what we found is that their thumb sucking went to zero levels and their object attachment.

They lost interest in their object without it being even treated, they got rid of it.

Then we went to kids that pull their hair and suck their thumbs, 'cause kids do that.

This little girl was a thumb sucker, and she was pulling out half of her hair.

There's data, I'll just describe it.

Basically, when we got around to treating her thumb sucking, her hair pulling stopped entirely.

And here she is at one year, so clearly everything came back together.

Then I rounded up a couple more kids, this time I got measures of both thumb sucking and hair pulling, little two and a half year olds.

He's pulling from the back of his head.

She's pulling from the crown of her head.

There's the data, we treat their thumb sucking, get it to zero levels.

Don't treat, just measure the hair pulling, it goes to zero levels.

And there's one year followup for the boy, and one year follow up for the girl.

And then here's data from another kid where we went the other way, kid's attached to a little ratty toy dog, it's stuffings coming out, the eyes are coming out and smells, unhygienic, and she sucks her thumb.

Her parents call us, they ask if it's okay to take the thing away.

They don't want to traumatize her, you know, everything leads to trauma these days.

You know what I'm saying?

And it's all roads lead to trauma.

There's like a trauma conference going on just down the hallway.

So they're afraid they're gonna, I'm not kidding yet.

In like 1950, do you think parents would be thinking, if I take this ratty stinking, stuffed animal, with stuffing coming out of it and the eyes coming out of it, away from my thumb sucking five-year-old daughter, she'll be so traumatized that she'll be debilitated for the rest of her life.

And they wouldn't even have that thought.

Anyway, these parents did.

And the guess what profession put that thought in their heads?


Yeah, hello, my crowd.

(coughs) Anyway, so they called, they didn't want to traumatize the daughter.

I said, "Well, look, why don't we work together.

That way, if trauma does indeed show up, you'll have an expert on the scene to manage it." So we put them into these, the program merely involved this.

During the baseline phase, I just had the girl keep her little toy dog and measure thumb sucking.

During the first treatment phase, I had the parents go up to her bedroom, take the dog off of her bed after she'd fallen asleep and not give it back to her.

She stopped sucking her thumb.

She complained a little bit and stop complaining.

Then I had the parents go back up to her room and put it back in her bed.

No questions asked, she starts sucking her thumb again for three nights, and then on the third night, she comes downstairs in a little night dress at nine o'clock at night when the parents are watching TV and she throws the dog on the couch, she says, "Don't put this on my bed, it makes me suck my thumb." (all laughing) Like, I got to make her like author on my paper.

So now what's going on there.

And this is useful information.

I'm leading up to useful information, I hope it's useful.

Compound function.

Like the combination of the sucking and the attachment is enough to maintain the habit.

But you pull out one of the pieces and all of a sudden, it's not worth it anymore, you see what I'm saying?

Like, let me give you a couple more examples, kissing and hugging.


It's a pretty powerful combination.

In fact, without kissing and hugging, we wouldn't be here.

Is that safe to say?

(laughing) Kissing and hugging is a function related to our arrival on the planet, but what if you took away the hugging?

No more hugging, just kissing.

I'm not saying it would be a bad thing.

I'm just saying it probably wouldn't lead to as many of us because it's just this (kissing).

And I tell you something nobody's gonna violate their marriage vows with just (kissing) that.

You throw in the hug though, now you got something, you follow what I'm saying.

Or let's say dancing where you move your hips and your shoulders as is, do you know like, you're dancing.

(audience laughing).

Take away the hips, now it's just the shoulders.

You know, it just isn't quite there.

You know, it's not bad, I'm not saying I'm suffering up here, but I look stupid and I feel stupid and I'm not doing this anymore.

So for you now, you've got these behaviors that you wanna see go away, and we tend to go after the whole behavior.

But there are pieces to the behavior and you might be able to just pull out one piece and have the whole thing fall apart.

That's my point, and that's kind of what Greg is saying.

We wanna start looking at compound function.

We can't always get our hands on all of the functions, but if we get our hands on one good one, the remaining functions might not be sufficient to maintain the problem, am I making sense here?

Serving Children & Youth Who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing/Blind or Visually Impaired