I am thrilled by the direction my practice has taken in recent years. With some of my clients currently on summer vacation, I've had ample time for reflection. Initially, my career primarily involved working with preschoolers, providing intensive behavioral early intervention or ABA therapy. However, as my clients grew older and I continued my work with them, my role and approach underwent a significant transformation.
It became evident to me that psychology and applied behavior analysis (ABA) are closely intertwined. When working with elementary-age children, my focus shifted toward targeting behaviors that promote mental well-being. I realized that I could no longer separate a child's private experiences or emotional challenges from their behaviors. Instead, I started concentrating on facilitating behavior change within real-life contexts. While behavioral analysis interprets mental health in behavioral terms, both disciplines essentially tackle the same issues, albeit employing distinct terminology and techniques.
Now, a bit of the tools that I am using in my practice. Behavioral Analysis, yes! I have a strong background in this field which is very valuable for increasing adaptive behaviors. However, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic approach that I have found extremely useful to help children develop psychological flexibility. This approach draws heavily from the principles of behavioral analysis and focuses on understanding the function and context of behavior. Ultimately but not least, play and art are the foundations of my work with children since both are naturally enjoyable and incredibly useful for targeting behavior change.