Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #112
CE Offered: BACB/NASP — 

Providing Effective Supervision to Clinical Practitioners Pre- and Post-Certification

Saturday, May 25, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom EF
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Tyra Sellers, Ph.D.
Chair: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
TYRA SELLERS (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
Dr. Tyra Sellers received her Ph.D. in Disabilities Discipline –Applied Behavior Analysis from Utah State University in 2011 and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned a B.A. in Philosophy and M.A. in Special Education from San Francisco State University, and J.D. from the University of San Francisco. Dr. Sellers has over 20 years of clinical experience working with individuals with disabilities, spanning from EIBI through adult services in a wide variety of settings (public and non-public schools, vocational settings, in-home, clinics). Her research interests include behavior variability, choice, functional analyses, and behavioral interventions.

By the end of 1999, the first year in which the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® certification was available, there were 4,707 Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBA®), and by the 10th year, in 2009 there were 5, 731 BCBAs. Fast forward to August of 2018, and there were 29,104 BCBAs; a 400% increase in the past nine years. This means that not only are there increasing numbers of individuals actively pursuing certification, but a flood of novice certificants in the workforce. Whereas our field places a particular emphasis on providing high quality supervision during an individual’s accrual of practical experience hours, it is equally critical to ensure that individuals, post-certification, continue to provide excellent clinical services. It is especially true when one considers that 76% of individuals who responded to a 2016 job task survey from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® reported their primary-practice areas were providing clinical services to individuals with Autism and Developmental Disorders. Merriam-Webster defines supervision as: “the action, process, or occupation of supervising; especially: a critical watching and directing (as of activities or a course of action).” This is a functional definition, not topographical. In other words, supervision is not defined by the level or title of the parties involved (e.g., pre or post-certification), but by the purposeful activities that take place. This talk focuses on a tiered conceptualization of, and approach to, providing effective supervision that ensures the initial and continued development of robust clinical repertoires.

Target Audience:

This talk is targeted to individuals who are responsible for providing supervision of fieldwork experience, on-going supervision of clinical services, and designing or managing supervision practices, as well as for individual who will become supervisors in the near future.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss strategies for providing effective supervision to individuals accruing their practical experience hours; (2) discuss strategies for providing effective supervision to individual post-certification; (3) be familiar with available resources related to effective supervisory practices.



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