Career Progression with Behavioral Progression: Behavior Therapist to BCBA
My journey with Behavioral Progression began back in 2018, when I was accepted into the Internship Program. I expected to be put on the back burner and just watch how the ABA-world functioned. Well, that was not my experience at all. Upon starting the Internship Program, I immediately felt like a part of the team by the warm welcomes and team greetings. #TeamBxProg provided a comfortable environment for me to ask questions (even if the answer may have been obvious) and never minimized me for not knowing something. Instead, the team members took those opportunities to help me grow. My supervisors eagerly shared their knowledge and wisdom with me and allowed me to take each presented learning opportunity to grow as a therapist and develop analytical skills. From the beginning, I was able to collaborate with my supervising behavior analyst who assisted me with strengthening my weaker skills and building upon my previous skills and strengths.
The experience of an interning Behavior Therapist (BT) with Behavioral Progression is remarkable due to the amount of support I had. This led me to the idea of deciding to pursue a career in ABA, beginning with the process of obtaining my Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and then Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certifications.
My supervisors were willing to challenge me when I brought them questions and led me down the right path until I found the information I was seeking and more. The analyst made sure I was walking away with an unforgettable experience. As a BT, I was receiving more than I could imagine. I was provided with supervision, implemented behavior plan procedures, worked with multiple clients across different settings (home, school, and community), and spoke with other analysts in the company to gain a better understanding of my specific ABA interests. I was able to share my thoughts on the cases without feeling ashamed of the little ABA knowledge/experience I had. They made sure I understood what I was doing and why I was doing something rather than just teaching me how to implement behavioral programming.
As time progressed, I obtained my RBT certification and was presented with the offer to become an RBT for Behavioral Progression. I had the opportunity to experience many different cases, ranging from clients who engaged in high intensity problem behaviors to those engaging in lower intensity behaviors with a focus more on teaching functional communication and social skills development. In the RBT position, I was able to provide services to clients while gaining additional experience through other responsibilities. I began receiving education, training, and support on analyst-level skills, including graphing and analyzing behavior data, the importance of data collection, caregiver training, the importance of consistent and proficient behavior program implementation and the effect that has for all of those who are involved.
All the while, my direct supervisors and other analysts with Behavioral Progression continued to provide mentorship by encouraging and supporting me as a student and creating a learning experience through situations that occurred around me. To guide my learning, my supervisors used strategies to increase my skills based on what they found would be effective for me. Just like we individualize our clients’ behavior plans, my supervisors individualized my opportunities for growth.
They would quiz me on the material, provide examples to me, had me walk them through the scenarios, allowed me to ask them 5023625862 questions per session (which were always answered with such compassion), and created an atmosphere in which I could succeed, learn, and develop without judgement…just support!!!
After deciding I wanted to pursue ABA as a career, I began collecting experience and supervision hours as an RBT to meet the eligibility requirements of sitting for the BCaBA exam. During that time, I was blessed with the opportunity to be promoted to a Lead RBT with Behavioral Progression. As a Lead RBT, I was able to gain even more behavior-analytic skills while taking on additional case responsibilities to provide me with the skills to be successful as a BCaBA. I was able to observe and practice BCaBA responsibilities under the supervision of the BCBA. I began to transition into the BCaBA position by shadowing supervision sessions and providing supervised oversight to other therapists to begin learning how to be an effective supervisor and case manager.
As a Lead RBT, I was able to learn how to successfully support other therapists and caregivers by sharing how we implement ABA principles, what behavior plan implementation looks like, why we utilize specific procedures, etc. rather than simply providing feedback on behavior plan implementation by therapists.
Based on all of the valuable experiences and opportunities I was exposed to as a BT and RBT, transitioning into the BCaBA position once I earned my certification was incredibly smooth. I was more than prepared moving into this position due to the amount of support and guidance from my supervisors and therapists that I worked closely with!! I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis to obtain my BCBA and have tremendous support from my supervisors. If I have a question regarding course material, I have felt more than comfortable going to my supervisors for further knowledge and explanation. Everyone in the company has contributed to my progress and success – that is why I love Behavioral Progression. It has not only been my team on cases but other analysts and therapists with #TeamBxProg that challenged me and helped me become the analyst I am today.
If you are someone you know is interested in the ABA world and does not know where to begin, I would recommend looking into Behavioral Progression’s Internship Program. This program provides you with a great first experience and opportunities to learn the basics of ABA and explore a career path through hands-on experience. You will receive support and guidance from some of the finest BCBAs whether it is in regard to furthering your education in the ABA field, questions about ABA principles, or other areas within ABA that you are interested in. Behavioral Progression is going to become home to you!!!
If you are interested in more information or you are ready to join our team, we encourage you to reach out!
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About the author
Robyn Wallman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) and has been with Behavioral Progression since 2018. She started as an interning Behavior Therapist and progressed to the BCaBA position. Robyn is currently completing her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of South Florida (USF). Robyn has been a tennis and agility coach since she was an undergraduate student at USF. During that time, she also discovered her passion for ABA while completing her minor in Behavioral Healthcare. Once Robyn found ABA, she has not turned away and has continued chasing different avenues within the field. Robyn not only manages her caseload and provides training and supervision to therapists on her cases, she is also the Staffing Coordinator Specialists for Behavioral Progression. Robyn has a passion for helping others achieve their goals and seeing them strive. Through ABA, Robyn has been a part of a process of changing lives in ways others did not think would be possible.