ABA Bookshelf: Ethics for Behavior Analysts by Jon Bailey & Mary Burch

ABA Bookshelf: Ethics for Behavior Analysts by Jon Bailey & Mary Burch

What do you do when a client invites you to go on vacation with the family? How do you respond when you find that a parent has been taking all requested data for the week just moments before you arrive? How do you handle a team meeting in which another professional is recommending interventions that you know are not research-based? These are just three of dozens questions discusses in this excellent resource.

Ethics for Behavior Analysts is indispensable for professionals in our field. It clearly details our Code of Ethics and provides sample scenarios about how these ethics relate to real-world situations we often find ourselves in. That in itself makes it a valuable resource. But this resource has gone a step further, providing information that has drastically changed how I interact with my clients from initiation of services and throughout the planning of behavior interventions.



In the second edition, Bailey and Burch have included a comprehensive example of a risk-benefit analysis and details on how to implement it effectively. Use of the risk-benefit analysis directly addresses many of the ethical considerations we have and improves services for our clients as well as the ability for a group of individuals (such as the BCBA, parents, and other professionals) to make decisions efficiently. It’s simple to use and easy to understand for anyone involved with the individual.

Bailey and Burch also include a sample of a Declaration of Professional Practice and Procedure. This document explicitly explains the behavior analyst’s areas of expertise, professional relationship, limitations and risks, client responsibilities, code of conduct, and confidentiality. While I have tried to create my own documents with the same purpose, their sample provides an excellent, professional prototype for clearly stating all necessary information at the beginning of a work relationship. Moreover, I have found that using this document upfront changes the way the family views me when I am working in their home and prevents some of the issues that sometimes arise, especially relating to dual relationships.

Ethics is a key area of interest to me. As our field grows, it is becoming even more important to make sure that we are transparent in what our code of ethics is, that we communicate about it effectively both within our field and to the public, and that we keep abreast of changes. This book is an excellent resource for achieving those goals. Every behavior analyst needs to read this.




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