Spring Seminar

A Cognitive Approach to Managing Behaviors








Press Release March2018


Title:  A Cognitive Approach to Managing Behaviors and Increasing Meaningful Engagement


Speaker:  Melissa Tanner, Ph.D.


Dr. Tanner is a clinical psychologist specializing in the integration of assessment with clinical practice. She received her BA in psychology from Harvard University in 2003 and her PhD in clinical psychology from American University in 2011. Her doctoral research involved the exploration of the effects of meditation and other behavioral approaches on mood, cognition, and physical health variables.  As a BCAT faculty member, she is taking a leading role in the development of a verbal practical judgment instrument. Dr. Tanner balances her role as BCAT faculty member with that of Counterpoint Health Services clinician. In her role as clinician, she uses cognitive assessment to effectively cater psychological interventions to patients in rehabilitation and long-term care settings and to help facilities make treatment planning decisions.



Learning Objectives:


  1. Identify the statistical prevalence of dementia in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities
  2. Differentiate between the major subtypes of dementia and the defining features / behavioral correlates of each
  3. Describe what is meant by “The Cognitive Continuum”
  4. Summarize the three primary clusters of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD)
  5. Review the importance of cognitive assessment as a guiding force for behavior management
  6. Give examples of at least 3 different triggers for behavioral disturbances in people with dementia.
  7. Distinguish between meaningful, purposeful, and passive engagement.
  8. Explain the rationale behind cognitive-based activities as interventions for problematic behaviors.