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Frequently Asked Questions

How does behaviour therapy work?

We choose behaviour goals that would help everyone get along with less stress, more independence, and greater happiness.
Along the way, we look for opportunities to add connection, creativity and enjoyment to everyday life.
We measure progress regularly, so we can stay on track, and we celebrate the positive changes.
We learn new tools and strategies to make life easier and more fun.

How is a behaviour analyst different from a psychologist or psychotherapist?

Here are some important things to know:

  • Behaviour analysts do not perform diagnostic tests.
  • Behaviour analysts focus on outcomes first, such as reducing arguments, increasing cooperation, and solving other practical problems. Thoughts and feelings are important, and they are a part of behaviour. We can address thoughts and feelings as a way of creating a change in your everyday life.
  • Behaviour analysts often solve problems by finding positive alternatives, breaking difficult situations into simple parts, and practicing key skills in creative ways.
  • Behaviour analysts practice according to a set of strict ethical guidelines, and base their treatment on research from the field of applied behaviour analysis. They consult with other professionals, such as psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists, if they have not been specifically trained to address needs related to mental health, sensory or motor difficulties, or speech and articulation issues.

What kind of problems have you helped with?

I’ve helped families with problems including:
constantly battling siblings
meltdowns when turning off the iPad
rowdy bedtimes
grumpy mornings
lack of independence
refusal to shower and brush teeth
aggression toward peers
adjusting to a new baby

Are you going to turn my child into a robot or train my child like a dog?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: “Applied Behaviour Analysis” (ABA) is not the same as “behaviour modification”.

Behaviour analysts should honour the interests, dignity and well-being of the client. Behaviour therapy doesn’t have to include edible rewards, repetitive questions, punishment or power struggles. The most effective treatment is usually preventative, not reactive.  Behaviour therapy helps the learner to communicate his/her needs and have a positive, gentle experience.

Can I use my insurance?

In Canada, psychologist-supervised behaviour therapy is covered by most extended health insurance plans. If your child would benefit from supervision from a psychologist, Amelia can arrange for regular consultation.

In other parts of the world, regulations regarding licensing for behaviour therapists vary. Ask your insurance provider if behaviour therapy is covered under your plan.