Why choose behavior therapy instead of traditional therapy to help your child change?
3 reasons to choose a BCBA to work with your family
Reason #1: Behavior therapy is focused on fairly immediate behavior change that can happen after just one or two sessions, provided you are able to follow through with your therapist's recommendations. Behavior therapy does not wait for change that is the result of slowly gained insight or the result of positive interactions within the therapist-child relationship. Your time is valuable, and frankly, so is mine. I am looking for the fastest way to help you achieve a positive and lasting change with your child. Together, we will carefully track target behaviors and every time we meet we will review whether or not the desired change is occurring. If it isn't, we will try something different!
Reason #2: Behavior therapy works with those who are most likely to inspire change in the client. Parents usually bring children to therapy because they want the child to change some behavior that is causing trouble for others. Unfortunately, kids are not terribly motivated to change their own behavior, and so the individual or play therapy that many therapists provide is just not very effective in making things better. In many cases, children repeat negative behaviors because they are getting what they want as a result of those behaviors, even when what they are getting seems to be pretty negative (i.e. getting yelled at, etc.). Even children who are unhappy with their own behavior are often not very motivated to make an effort to change themselves - this takes a level of insight and self-awareness that most children just haven't developed yet. As a result, I often work with parents first to figure out how we will inspire children to make better choices, since adults are far more motivated and far more capable of intentionally making changes in what they do. When we have identified specific skills that a child needs in order to be able to make better choices, I often do that skills training with the parent in the room so that they can model, practice, and prompt their child to use those skills outside of the therapy session. Work with adolescents is also very skills-focused, and so individual work with adolescents is generally only done with teens who are motivated to learn some strategies and skills to apply in their daily lives. Even in those cases, I strongly believe in regular communication with parents about what skills are being taught in therapy, so that you can always be assured that we are working on concrete strategies that will make a difference in your child's life.
Reason #3: Behavior therapy is effective: Behavior analysts are trained in techniques that are proven by research to be effective in changing behavior. If what we are doing doesn't work, we will do something different - but always guided by the principles and research findings of the science of behavior.