Behavior Analysis

According to cognitive scientist and professor, Arthur B. Markman, PhD:  “Smart Thinking and intelligence are not the same.  Self-knowledge is the first step to smart thinking.  Evaluate your own behavior.


Thirty years and thousands of clients later, it has come to my attention… “The Problem” is rarely what you think it is!  It’s difficult to solve “The Problem” unless you actually know what it is.  I can usually identify “The Problem” in one phone session.

Q: What is Behavior Analysis?

A: The field of Behavior Analysis grew out of the scientific study of principles of learning and behavior. Experimental Analysis of Behavior (EAB) is the basic science of this field and has over many decades accumulated a substantial and well-respected body of research literature.  This research literature is the scientific foundation of Applied Behavior Analysis. 

Q: What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

A: ABA—which I practice—is both an applied science that develops methods of changing behavior, and a profession that provides services to meet diverse behavioral needs.  Professionals in Applied Behavior Analysis engage in the specific and comprehensive use of principles of learning applied to a wide range of clients in various settings. 

Q: Why is Behavior Analysis important?

A: Many people have difficulty accurately evaluating behavior.  Accurate evaluation is the bedrock of potential change. 

Q: Don’t most clinicians use Behavior Analysis?

No, ABA requires specialized training and experience.  In fact, many clinicians fail to scrutinize—behaviorally—what is actually going on now or recently in a person’s life.  Yes, they talk about these events but often fail to address what elicits and maintains current behaviors.  Analysis of these events is the laboratory for the behavior change needed to re-wire the brain. 

Q: How is Behavior Analysis different from Behavior Therapy?

A: Accurate Behavior Analysis identifies specific behaviors to change via coaching or Behavior Therapy, which also has a well-respected body of research literature with many clinical applications. 

Q: What about Unconscious Behavior?

A: My graduate training in ABA did not address unconscious behavior per se.  However, many people engage in (thinking and doing) behavior ‘automatically’ and do become very conscious of these reactions and patterns through Behavior Analysis.  They also learn why certain behaviors occur and can then consciously choose a different response.  Also, Clinical Hypnosis—which I practice—is a very useful adjunct to Behavior Analysis and Behavior Therapy. 

Q: What are other benefits of Behavior Analysis?

A: First and foremost is the ability to accurately identify “The Problem” then knowing what creates and maintains it.  Also, knowing when, why and how to apply behavior change strategies is the hallmark of effective intervention.  Many clients have tried other avenues without relief and want my opinion.  They seek a behavioral assessment and treatment recommendations. 

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