What Is a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst and How to Become One
Board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) are mental health professionals who utilize data-driven techniques to treat behavioral problems. Their clients have social and emotional issues and include kids with autism, adults battling substance abuse or other addiction, and elderly patients with mental health difficulties. BCBAs meet with clients and observe their behavior, tracking numerous target points for improvement. They then implement a plan based on behavior psychology standards to treat these issues and monitor clients to help them achieve their goals. For example, a 10-year-old may have a history of kicking and biting others. A BCBA documents the number of times the child kicks and bites in a specified time period, then implements a plan to reduce this troublesome behavior. They visit the patient on a regular basis to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and work with other medical staff and caregivers to determine the client’s progress and setbacks.
To become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA), earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology, education, or a related field. Completing a graduate degree may help you move into management positions. While finishing your coursework, intern at a counseling office, health care facility, or school to gain experience in working with different kinds of patients and problems. Once you complete your degree, obtain certification through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Candidates applying for certification must have completed a set number of hours of behavior analysis coursework based on their choice of program and certification. Seek BCBA positions in behavioral analyst clinics and companies, schools, and some pediatric offices.