As a behavioral interventionist, I provide 1:1 therapy to children with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, down-syndrome and many other developmental delay disorders. I provide these services in the home, community, and/or school. A behavioral interventionist has a main job duty and that is to apply Applied Behavioral Analysis principles to developmentally delayed clients. The main goal of behavior therapy is to diminish specific behaviors by equipping clients with the social tools to make better choices.
For example, if a certain child has stereotypy or self-stimulatory behavior which means to have repetitive body movements or vocal sounds, you would use ABA tactics to help decrease those behaviors and instead redirect the child to vocalize what they need. Other duties I have as a behavioral interventionist is to maintain client confidentiality at all times, ensure that any aggressive behavior is handled with absolute tact, report any unusual findings, assist in creating instructional materials aimed at client progress and learning, as well as collect and analyze important data for each client. I intern for a company named Behavioral Concepts and our mission statement is all about being family-focused, working effectively and cooperatively using positive behavior intervention strategies and minimally intrusive interventions and it is key to encourage parents, sibling, and caregiver involvement. Behavioral Concepts also provide services in natural environments such as the client’s home or at the park to promote generalization of acquired skills. At my internship site there are many psychological principles at play that really defines and contributes to the success of our organization and job satisfaction of its employees.
The four that I noticed most frequently put into action were intrinsic motivation, goal setting, well-being, and feedback. People tend to work better when they are more intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated to succeed. This principle is directed at how supervisors in my field can and have increased intrinsic motivation through working alongside the behavioral interventionist and lending that support in session with clients that pushes the behavioral interventionist to work more independently. This principle means to be motivated by internal rewards and when my supervisor pushes me to think of better strategies for my clients to better them and I see it working that makes me feel extremely proud of myself and makes me want to feel that way again so I work harder and focus on more strategies I can implement independently.
Setting goals that are short term enhances motivation more than establishing goals that are long term, general and overly challenging. For a behavioral interventionist having long term goals are what we focus on because of the type of work we do we want lasting effects for our clients however, that may hinder the motivation of a behavioral interventionist. Emotional well-being influences work performance, learning, and development.
Various components of emotional well-being can be seen as part of a behavioral interventionist job life, such as self-concept, self-esteem, self-efficacy and locus of control, also happiness and coping skills for emotion and stress. Every week interventionists meet with their supervisors about improvements that need to be made or how well you have been doing and sometimes the way you view your progress report can change the concept of yourself or how great you feel you are doing your job depending on your review, you may feel great and like this career is perfect for you or sometimes you may feel like everything is going wrong whether it is your wrongdoings (internal locus of control) or because some outside reason not connected to you is causing your shortcomings at work (external locus of control). Whatever it may be if an employee’s well-being is low their performance will suffer causing additional stress and in turn your emotional well-being will also suffer. Clear, explanatory and timely feedback to employees is important for growth and job satisfaction.This principle highlights the importance of supervisor responses and indicates the best manner in which to deliver feedback to employees in order to maintain or increase motivation.
At Behavioral Concepts the supervisors give out weekly assessments going over what the therapists have and need improvement on. Some supervisors are clear and concise while others need to be more specific and detailed to help therapist learn and build their motivation. Intrinsic motivation, and well-being are the principles I felt contributed most positively to my internship site. Working with children that have special needs is already internally rewarding, but working together and independently with coworkers and supervisors to build behavior intervention plans and watch the growth of your client encourages that intrinsic motivation as well as fit in with the mission statement about working effectively and cooperatively. It’s all a teamwork mentality at this internship site. Well-being also goes along with the mission statement because if you do not have a great self-concept of yourself and the work that you do does not increase your self-esteem then you will not be able to work effectively and give those clients the best opportunities for growth.
Also, for a good emotional well-being it is important to take responsibilities for your job performance, if your locus control is focused on what is external an employee will not be able to look internally and improve their skills which can hinder the progress of our client and go against what we believe in our mission statement. Some concepts that need to be worked on at my job site is goal setting and feedback now there are many upsides to these principles and they fit the mission statement, however having long term goals can be a long wait for employees to see progress and when it is a long wait an employee can feel worried, defeated, or frustrated if they don’t see any progress for all the hard work they put in. For feedback it really is a hit or miss depending who gives you the assessment. For example, I have one supervisor that has been working for this company for a while and she gives fully detailed feedback and I take it all in and understand and improve my skills, however the other supervisor gives the same generic assessment that doesn’t really tell me what I should improve on. So, it is great and follows the mission statement when done well, but it can fall short if you have a less experienced supervisor.At my internship site there are many psychological principles at play that really defines and contributes to the success of our organization and job satisfaction of its employees.
The four that I noticed most frequently put into action were intrinsic motivation, goal setting, well-being, and feedback.