Behavioral analysts help people learn valuable new life skills. These special
psychologists use positive reinforcement (things that people like or make
them feel good) to teach clients new, valuable behavior.
"I address each client just as I look at clothing. It might look good on
someone else, but that doesn't mean it will look good on me. We might all
carry 'excess baggage,' but it has become a heavy load for different reasons,"
says South Carolina behavioral analyst Bebe Butler.
"We are who we are because of the influences that have been around us up
Behavioral analysis encompasses a wide number of professions. These include
psychologists, social workers and clinicians. Because of this, it's hard to
estimate the total number of behavioral analysts in the U.S.
Behavioral analysts can work in a variety of interesting settings. Some
analysts choose to work in treatment facilities. Others have their own private
practices. Depending where you work, your hours could be a "normal" 9 to 5,
or flexible evening and weekend hours.
"I am very available, no matter the hour or how many times we may have
already talked this day. Families are unable to confine moments of crisis
to 9 to 4. I try to be very supportive and never engage in parent-bashing,"
says analyst Tannis Antonio.
Helping people make important life changes can be demanding and, at times,
frustrating. A healthy balance of work and fun will keep you sane during challenging
Behavioral analysts understand that changing behavior takes hard work.
Clients may project frustrations on you, verbally and possibly physically.
Individual job hazards depend on the client base and your working environment.
"You must have a love for humanity and an understanding that the workings
of the minds of people are complicated and intense. It is not for the weak-spirited...because
the client will be the loser," advises Butler.
Learn to love your computer. Case notes, statistical programs and client
databases are all computer-driven. And your confidential information will
rest in your hard drive, snuggled securely. If you brush up on the latest
popular software, your computer savvy will help you succeed.