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Philosphy/Behavior Analysis

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Philosophe, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Philosophe

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    I'm a philosophy major with a minor in social science (politics, psychology, sociology). I'm currently a junior about to start my 6th semester. Hopefully, I'll graduate in 2010 from the University of Central Florida. After graduating, I want to get my masters in something more practical and with my interest in social theory (Frankfurt school), I think psychology is very compatible as a career for me.

    As a major in philosophy, I've studied the philosophy of mind, ethics, existentialism, feminism, and post-structuralism. Before I graduate, I hope to study more subjects dealing with critical thinking such as these to further my skills in assessing and rectifying issues.

    As a career, I would like to work in hospitals or in rehabilitating people as a psychologist. Particularly, I'm interested in Behavior Analysis and was wondering how can I prepare for grad school? I ask this in term of being able to understand and be able to follow the pace of the program. Also, I want to prepare to better my chance of being accepted into Grad school.

    Up until now, I don't think I have done anything substantial to put in a resume and I'm afraid time is running out.

    I'm looking for schools in Florida. Particularly I was wondering about Florida International University, University of South Florida, Florida State University, and University of Florida.

    I aim at going to one of these schools because of the in-state tuition, but I plan to move out of state (pacific northwest or northeast). I don't know if that matter.

    Also, where can I get more information in book format about what I want in terms of Behavior Analysis, grad school, and applying these studies into real world and career.
     
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  3. Rapunzel

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    If you are interested in behavior analysis, especially in Florida, I would suggest studying as much of you can of Brian Iwata's research and materials. http://www.psych.ufl.edu/~iwata/BAI/Home.html Working in Utah as a behavior specialist, most of the assessment tools and a lot of the theory that I used was developed by him. You might consider working as a behavior specialist to get experience in that area. Where I live, it is possible to enter the field with a bachelor's degree in any of the social sciences. In other states there are pre-bachelor's level behavior specialists though. Most are master's level. It would be good in a resume, I think, for the interests that you want to pursue.

    There are a lot of books on behavioral analysis. I don't remember which ones were recommended. Here's an amazon search: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b_0_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=behavior+analysis&sprefix=behavior+analy

    Honestly, I got some of my best information from websites (searched "positive behavior supports"). There is a lot out there, for various populations.
     
  4. WannaBeDrMe

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    Well, I'm not sure which approach to behavior analysis you are considering for a career. There is applied behavior analysis work directly w/clients and there is behavioral research... and there might even be some other factions that I don't understand. The two I do know are two different careers with two different types of training.

    Direct work is based on behavior theory and focuses on observations, evaluations, and interventions... it's applied; obviously, ha.

    Research in behavior can vary widely across populations/species/concepts and is, obviously, experimental/research driven.

    I started out many, many years ago (late 90s) with undergrad research in Lovaas stuff (sort of ABA) and it really just didn't float my boat. I don't want to start any arguments but there's finally starting to be some research to back up my big mouthed opinions and showing that maybe the hype was bigger than the outcomes. I'm sure there are more evolved direvations now and I've been out of the research for 8 years or so... so I have no clue what's going on today. I could see its benefits with specific populations I suppose... I know that the state of NC got a new ABA master's program at a university campus just a few years ago... so obviously, it still has a fan club.

    The concepts I learned in all of that training have stuck with me through professional and academic experiences... and I think that framework for understanding has given me a leg up in everything I've attempted.

    So, long story short, I wasn't clear from your message whether you are seeking to work/study in applied behavior analysis or just research in a program with a behavioral orientation. Either way, I'd start with your professors... or, my undergrad has a psych student lounge w/psych books... those might help out. Behavior topics are far too varied to try and cover in this post... and trust me, normally I type mini-novels... but this one is just too big to cover.

    To me,that's like asking "how do I use sugar to make things delicious?" Ha. I lean toward behaviorism as my majority belief system... so, it's hard form me to tease that apart. Maybe someone else with more specific experience can help you better.

    Good luck with your studies.
     
  5. WannaBeDrMe

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    ps, if it's direct contact work/training, try this link

    http://www.bacb.com/becom_frame.html

    that's the certification for ba stuff... i've looked @ it and considered it before b/c I do a lot of functional behavioral analysis stuff... well, did a lot of that in my last few jobs... and i figured i might as well get a credential for my efforts

    good luck
     
  6. Rapunzel

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    That is the same credential I would have worked on if I had stayed at my job as a behavior specialist. Many LPCs and MSWs, as well as psychologists, do that work, but here is a caution. I planned on counting hours from that job as part of my internship, and it all looked fine up until the last few weeks before I would have graduated. Our state licensing agency went on the warpath, and started denying certification to students based on internship experiences that they thought weren't strictly clinical. The required elements are assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Behavior specialists do assessment and treatment, but not diagnosis. I think it was good clinical experience, just watch if you actually need to accumulate hours and make sure that it will fulfill the requirements for whatever you need. This is why I am tempararily partially unemployued/underemployed/unemployable and had to delay graduation for probably 15-21 weeks. My state feels that behavior consulting is a seperate field from mental health therapy. I think that the real issue is that they don't want to pay behavior specialists what they would have to pay most licensed therapists. Reimbursement rates are rediculously low.
     
  7. WannaBeDrMe

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    It's been a while since I looked @ the credentialing process... but I remember it being the same sort of issue. I would have had to pay for separate supervision and take on separate caseloads than for my other licensure process. It wasn't worth it in the end b/c I had other interests. Now, if I ever start my non-profit doing solely mental health for the schools and contracting out... I will absolutely revisit the idea... I think the extra supervision I'd get through the process would help me with that population in many, many ways.

    Pay for licensed therapists sucks too! Ha. They just cut our rates. Well, I lie, they increased some rates but others went down the crapper. Like a diagnostic assessment went up from 169 to 260 I think... for Medicaid... but group/individual/family therapy went down.

    I don't like that b/c my bias is that a lot of people do crappy da's anyway...so this is only going to encourage them to pump more out. Bleh.
     
  8. Rapunzel

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    Well, rates for behavior specialists, in Utah anyway, are so low that the department that reimburses for that service is embarassed. The state reimbursement rates are from less than $25/hour to about $45 and $55 per hour (bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels). Usually the employer takes half of that, and the behavior consultant gets the other half. We were trying to find out what reimbursement rates are in other states, because everybody knows this is low, including the agency.
     
  9. WannaBeDrMe

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    WOW! Insane, hold on and I'll search and get you NC's... I'm not sure about them b/c I could only bill h-codes back when I was writing behavior plans... they were always billed under the psych's med id number.

    http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dma/fee/mhfee/MHFees_092408.pdf

    Ok, I have no idea what we would actually bill that under, I'll have to ask someone whod oes that right now. All of our developmental stuff has been cut TREMENDOUSLY over the last 6 months. A lot of our fba's are for kids without developmental issues though... more emotional disabilities... but maybe we were doing them wrong back at my last agency.

    Mental health here is in crisis and it sucks balls. I'm getting ready to accept a position until school starts and the interview process has been miserable. The agencies are like used car salesman. I tried to let 2 know today (via phone iv's) that I was just goign to take my time b/c relocation was involved and I didn't want anything complicated and they just kept talking and adding more incentives. That's sad b/c I'm not even all that experienced. I'm a baby in this field.

    Good luck getting things changed in your state... don't let them F it up like they've done here. Our's has been 7 years in the making and it's just a huge huge huge mess. If I get any more info that might help you about the behavior fee schedule, I'll send it your way. Also, I don't sit on any insurance panels (just licensed) so I don't have the slightest clue what they reimburse for that service.
     
  10. WannaBeDrMe

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    Ps, if you want to see evidence of NC's difficulties, compare that latest fee schedule to the previous ones. Some services decreased reimbursement by half and some doubled by half... do you know what that does to the agency structure???

    They have had to build, tear down, rebuild, tear down, and rebuild so many times... and most of them don't have time to catch on and learn one new service before it's on to the next "big ticket" item...

    It's crap. The hotness right now is intensive in home which is a poor man's MST. Can't wait to see what the next trend will be....
     
  11. toby jones

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    Are you able to pick up any psychology courses at all? In experimental psychology or in behaviorism more generally? That could help things along. Volunteer work might also help.
     

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