Chattanooga, Tennessee

I first implemented Practical Functional Assessment (PFA) and Skill-Based Treatment (SBT) of severe problem behavior in 2016. My participation in a two-day workshop presented by Dr. Hanley at Central Michigan University (CMU) inspired me to implement the process. It was clear that PFA and SBT are more compassionate approaches to treating severe problem behavior, and I quickly yearned for more training and experience. With Dr. Hanley and Dr. Ruppel’s help, I learned how to implement and supervise PFA and SBT of severe problem behavior, from the open-ended interview to the maintenance and generalization of treatment. I am now more passionate about keeping our kids safe during therapy while ensuring that we never implement approaches that we would not want others to see. 

Furthermore, I’ve increased my understanding of what I ask my employees to implement and its effect on their job satisfaction. Now, I am equally passionate about assuming the trauma that many BCBAs and behavior technicians experience with ABA, and I aim to protect their safety and dignity, too. I am researching the risk assessment from an employee’s perspective by ensuring I am not putting them in a scenario where trauma is likely. The results thus far have been exciting. I am confident we can set our teams up for success.”

Kelti Owens serves as the Regional Director of Operations for Tennessee at Acorn Health, an accredited Behavioral Health Center of Excellence® offering both center-based and in-home services nationwide in more than 70 centers located throughout Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. She received her master’s degree at Southern Illinois University under Dr. Mark Dixon’s mentorship, her Dare to Lead certification from Dede Halfhill, and she holds Level 6 supervision credentials from FTF Behavioral Consulting. With her training and experience, she mentors Clinical Directors, BCBAs, and implementors in leadership and implementation of trauma-assumed care.

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