All You Need to Know About Careers For ABA Therapists

If there is one vocation in which there are more opportunities than there are qualified personnel, that career is the ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapist. Among the reasons for such broad opportunities for ABA Therapists is that there are so many different areas in which ABA therapy is applied. Another consideration is the current economy around the globe. Many people having financial difficulties tend to suffer bouts of depression, episodes of anger or rage, alcoholism and drug abuse, and other psychological conditions that they might not have been prone to under better economic conditions. In addition, diagnoses of children with various forms of autism are on the rise. A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that an average of 1 in 110, or nearly 1%, of children has some form of autism. All of these people, and more, can benefit from the services of ABA therapists but there just don’t seem to be enough in the field.

What is ABA Therapy?

ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) Therapy is the process of helping someone to understand and ultimately control their behavior through psychological and therapeutic analysis, treatment and education. A patient can be anybody in need of help with social or developmental skills such as autistic adults and children or those suffering from post traumatic stress, people with various forms of behavioral issues like anger management problems or oppositional defiant disorders, or those in need of social services like addiction counseling.

What kind of education is required of ABA Therapists?

ABA Therapists are not doctors, in the M.D. sense, but some employers require a doctorate degree in order to be considered for any therapist careers. Not all employers have such stringent requirements however. A Bachelor’s in Psychology, Social Services or Early Childhood Education is a good foundation, and often all that is required to land jobs in the field. Many companies and private practices want to see a Master’s in Psychology, which is a requirement for one to be a Certified Behavior Analyst, though someone with an undergraduate degree can become certified as an Assistant Behavior Analyst. This certification is beneficial for someone looking for jobs in the field of ABA Therapy while working toward their Master’s and they can always be promoted later once they have the higher credential.

What types of careers are available for ABA Therapists?

Careers in ABA Therapy span a large number of industries. Many large firms employ ABA Therapists as a means to teach stress management skills and for in-house individual therapy for top executives. Most major law enforcement departments offer jobs for ABA Therapists. Veteran’s Administration hospitals and clinics often have openings for psychology and therapy careers. Jobs are available in virtually all major cities for social workers. Most psychiatrist and psychologist practices will have one or more ABA Therapists in their ranks. Hospitals and smaller clinics, and even many urgent care facilities will employ ABA Therapists. Schools too need ABA therapists to join their special needs staffs. Bottom line is if there are people involved, there is potentially a need for ABA Therapists.

What do ABA Therapist jobs pay?

According to glassdoor.com, a website that allows users to anonymously post their own salaries, the rate of pay in mental health therapy careers ranges from $28,000 to $48,000 annually. These jobs are from small mental health clinics to large corporations. CareerBuilder.com lists the average national salary for a mental health social worker at $44,810, and the salary of a director at a mental health agency ranging from $44,908 up to $80,417 per year. ABA Therapists in private practice can essentially determine their own rate of pay but will have to be competitive to stay in business, and can expect to earn around $56,000 according to the national average posted at CareerBuilders.com.

Who are the best candidates for ABA Therapist careers?

When employers are searching for ABA Therapists to fill their job openings they are looking for more than the candidates’ degrees and certifications. People seeking careers in ABA Therapy need to be compassionate and empathetic. They should be well versed in the arts of discretion, problem solving, and time management. They should have an optimistic disposition on life and have the ability to encourage the same mindset to others. Proper and complete records of each and every session and communication with and about each patient must be kept, so good organization skills are a must. Dedication to not only the job and the clients, but also to ongoing training and education, is essential.

Opportunities for careers in the field of ABA Therapy are endless for the right prospects. Regardless of the setting, be it a billion dollar corporation, a low income clinic, or a hospital serving an entire community there are people in need of the help only ABA Therapists can provide, and jobs are available.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and a Child’s Education

Imagine a family being stranded in a desert due to a war situation. What do you think will primarily be on their minds? Finding food and water and making an appropriate shelter, the basic survival needs, will be their main preoccupation as well as protecting themselves from hostile forces. Keeping this in mind, let us look at Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Abraham Maslow, was a great proponent of adding a human touch to the study of psychology. He also based most of his theories on motivation and education based on the study of healthy individuals who achieved world-wide admiration for their humanity and genius like Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs identified the various needs that a human being in a society needs to help him/her achieve his/her fullest potential. His theory needs to be carefully studied by all educators, social workers as well as human resource personnel and is of great significance. His theory is expressed in terms of a hierarchy; however, it can be studied in a parallel manner as all the needs can be equally important to lead a healthy quality of life for a human being.

The following is a short summary of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs keeping in mind the education of a child:

1. Physiological needs: The most basic need of every human being is to have adequate amounts of food and water to help their mind and body to function at optimum levels. A hungry or dehydrated child will not be able to concentrate or participate in school activities as well as he/she could with adequate levels of the required energy requirements. States like Tamil Nadu in India have midday-meal programs for poor school children which meets this basic requirement and to raise literacy levels. Physiological needs also include clean air and adequate rest/sleep.

2. Safety needs: Human beings need to feel safe and free from tension and anxiety. In a war scenario or in a crime-infested locality, safety needs are not met. A child in a war zone or exposed to crime of any kind will be disturbed and unable to properly concentrate on learning. Modern educational institutions go to great lengths to create a safe and conducive place for learning. A strong and responsible police presence as well as an effective justice system ensures that people feel safe and can lead a carefree life.

3. Need for love and affection: Interpersonal relationships including family, friends and peer group relationship which is filled with love, respect and caring and enable a student to learn and engage in activities with a deep sense of joy and involvement. Learning in schools needs to happen in an atmosphere of love and respect rather than fear which can be detrimental to a vulnerable and sensitive child.

4. Esteem needs: Another very important need that shapes a human being and ensures that a child is on his/her way to reach her fullest potential is the esteem need. Every child needs to feel loved and more importantly valued for their uniqueness. Esteem needs get enhanced with encouragement and motivation. Appreciation of the child, for her/his unique contributions in any endeavour go a long way in meeting esteem needs.

5. Self-actualization: Self-actualization is a need that can only be met when all the other needs are met. It is the attainment of a human being’s fullest potential at a particular point in time. Self-actualized individuals transcend their own being and think in terms of the whole of humanity. They engage in activities that will benefit humanity at large and are concerned with the betterment of society and maintenance of well-being, peace and justice in a creative and innovative manner. They are highly balanced individuals with a deep sense of integrity and are not swayed by manipulative forces. The primary aim of education needs to be to nurture children to grow into self-actualized individuals.

Albert Bandura – SMART Goal Setting and Social Learning Theory

Psychologists are responsible for studying human behavior. One of the most popular psychologists who had contributed so much in psychology is Albert Bandura.

Have you heard of the social learning theory? Are you familiar with the Bobo doll experiment? If yes, then you must have heard of Albert Bandura. He is famous for his contributions in the social learning theory and for his very own study on Bobo doll.

Below are just some of the most important things you should know about this brilliant man, Albert Bandura:

– The roots

Albert Bandura was born on December 4, 1925 in the simple town of Mundare. His parents were both immigrants. His father came from Poland while his mother originally lived in Ukraine. There are six of them in the family and luckily for him, he was the only son of his parents.

– Education

After graduating from their town’s high school, Bandura decided to take up a degree in psychology. He was greatly fascinated by the way human beings behave and react to different stimuli that he wanted to find out the answers to his many questions. He took his degree at the University of Iowa where he graduated in 1949. Then he proceeded to taking his Doctor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Iowa where he finished in 1952.

– Employment

Bandura began his career as a psychologist by teaching at Stanford University in 1953. He is highly acclaimed for his theories and studies in the field of psychology that in 1974 he became the president of the American Psychological Association.

– Accomplishments

Albert Bandura received many honors and awards for his contribution in psychology. He was awarded the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution in 1980 and the prestigious Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology by the American Psychological Association in 2004. Aside from these, he received twelve honorary degrees from respected universities like the University of Salamanca, Indiana University, University of New Brunswick, University of Rome, University of British Columbia and many others. Moreover, he also authored several psychology books like Adolescent Aggression, Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis, Social Learning Theory, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory, and Self- Efficacy: The Exercise of Self Control.

The works of Albert Bandura are indeed remarkable that even psychologists today often use his studies as a guide on how to understand and analyze their patients’ behaviors.

Albert Bandura – What is Social Learning Theory

They are many people who contributed greatly to the study of human behavior and one of them is a psychologist named Albert Bandura. He is the main proponent of the social learning theory which even today is widely recognized as one of the best theories that explain the behaviors of human beings. Together with his Bobo Doll experiment, Bandura came up with the social learning theory.

So what is the social learning theory about? Why is it considered as an effective theory? What made it different from other theories in the field of psychology?

Here are some important things you should know about the social learning theory:

o The Proponent

Albert Bandura is a well known psychologist even today. He conducted several studies, authored many psychological books like Adolescent Aggression and Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis, and many other articles. He also received major awards such as receiving twelve honorary degrees from different universities including University of British Columbia, University of Rome, University of Salamanca, Indiana University, and University of New Brunswick among others. He was president of the American Psychological Association and the Western Psychological Association as well. Further, he garnered the most coveted Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology Award by the APA in August 2004.

o The Bobo Doll Experiment

Do you ever wonder how the social learning theory came about? Well, thanks to Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiment. This one of a kind experiment proved the value of observation and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of other people. The experiment showed that children mimics what others were doing to the Bobo Dolls. If they saw someone punch and kick at the doll, they will also do the same.

o Modeling and How it is Done

The social learning theory of Bandura put emphasis on modeling and how it is done. He pointed out that there are three steps involved and these are attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation. According to Bandura, if you want to model someone or something, you have to pay attention to every single detail. Retention is just as important since it is the manner by which you were able to synthesize and learned by heart what you have just observed. In order for modeling to be effective, you have to put into practice whatever you have learned. Lastly, you must be able to motivate yourself to do the act. You can provide intrinsic or extrinsic motivations and other forms of reinforcements to keep you going.

The social learning theory of Bandura may just be another theory on human behavior but we cannot deny the fact that it proved to be very helpful. Once you apply the information provided by this theory, you will definitely help yourself become a better performer and be the person you want to be.

How Does Music Influence the Individual?

It is not clear how music influences the individual. Some experts insist that music and musicians influence young people. Other sources insist that certain individuals respond to particular types of music and musical expression. Either way, today’s youth can see how their favorite musicians dress and behave, both in public and in private, via the multiple media sources which are constantly monitoring the world’s celebrities. Young people can then elect to change their own appearance and behavior to reflect the musician and musical style that they most identify with.

Two separate, but related, theories explain how individuals relate to and express themselves through music. Social identity theory indicates that people “borrow” their identity from the society in which they live. The individual’s adopting of a group identity through music is a way for that person to conform to the ideals, goals, and norms of the society as a whole. The opposite of social identity theory says that some individuals elect to behave in a manner that is contrary to societal norms. These people prefer to adopt their own style and stand apart from everyone else. This is called personal identity theory. These theories are interrelated because, even though personal identity theory identifies the individual aspects of expression, the person is still identifying as a part of a sub-group.

Young people are more likely to subscribe to varying forms of identification through music; especially those forms that my not conform to the larger society. As young people move through the adolescent years and into young adulthood, they are more likely to explore and experiment with their own identity through music than older adults, who have likely settled into one genre that they identify with. Looking at music in this way makes it easier to see how it has always been, and remains, a socializing agent; a way for young people to explore their independence as they move away from the authority of their parents.

This perspective on music can hide the influence that music has on children. The music of the past century has played an important role in the lives of young adults, yet music may be having an expanding effect on individuals who are even younger. Remember that music has always been an important part of every society. Children are socialized through songs that are shared with them at many ages. Children’s songs can be as simple as songs that teach basic information, such as ABC’s and 123’s, and they can teach social skills and acceptable behavior (think Sesame Street and Barney). Still, children have access to the same music that young adults have access to; and sometimes this music is not age-appropriate. This phenomenon has ushered in the debates about whether or not exposure to certain musical influences is having a harmful effect on the nation’s youth.

Interestingly, one study has found that females are more likely to be influenced by music than males, although both genders find expression through music satisfying. This may be because females are typically socialized as members of a societal group and males are typically encouraged to be self-sufficient. The study’s authors believe that the socialization process makes females more susceptible to musical influences than males.