- Categories: BCBACongratulations on passing the big exam! You are officially a BCBA. Beginning work as a new BCBA can be very exciting and also very overwhelming. New supervisory roles, professional development requirements, and staff training are just a few of many new responsibilities that come with the BCBA title.
There’s a difference between preparing to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)® exam and preparing to be an effective practitioner. Clinical success often requires quick problem-solving, strong interdisciplinary communication skills, an understanding of insurance requirements, great organizational skills, and some flexible thinking. As clinicians, the questions that may surface in our practice will not be presented to us neatly in multiple choice format with clearly written answer choices that indicate the most appropriate way to support a child who begins engaging in Pica or how to have a difficult conversation with parents dissatisfied with their RBT®.
Behavior analysts hear a lot of interesting responses when they tell new acquaintances about their profession. Some common responses are, “Does that mean you work for the FBI?” or “I bet you’re analyzing me right now!” My personal favorite is “What am I thinking right now?” to which I typically respond, “You’re thinking a behavior analyst is another term for a psychic.” Though these examples are mostly harmless to the behavior-analytic field, sometimes these misconceptions can be damaging to the reputation of the field.
Graduate school can be a wonderful time; a cohort of like-minded students studying behavior analysis and preparing to change the world, one consumer at a time. In this academic environment, students and teachers love to discuss and philosophize the powers and technical prowess of functional analyses, behavior interventions, and socially meaningful behavior change procedures. Heated debates on hot-button issues are a thrill in the graduate school setting and can inspire tremendous learning and growth for students in the field; however, it can leave students empty handed when they enter into a collaborative setting as a newly certified clinician.