Working as a Behavioural Therapist

Therapists conduct therapy sessions at the family’s home. These sessions are usually two hours duration twice a week with any one family As a therapist you are required to follow the child’s individualised programme as set by the Case Manager. This will involve working one to one on any number of skills in which the child has deficits in such as language skills, maths skills, social skills, or play skills and decreasing behaviours that the child does to excess, for example tantruming, obsessions and self stimming. become a behavioural therapist for children with autism

Some pros of working as a therapist:

  • It is challenging work that always requires a variety of attributes and skills such as problem solving, being able to work autonomously, implementing a programme, working as part of a team, working with parents as partners, patience, energy and enthusiasm.
  • It is rewarding to see and help a client improve.
  • It is fun working with the clients.
  • Many therapists have differing employment and educational backgrounds. If you are a psychology student it provides an opportunity to develop you practical skills and determine your career path.
  • It’s a career that is achieved mostly through on the job training.
  • There is a career pathway available, allowing therapists to strive for accreditation at higher levels based on their performance, skills and attributes.
  • The hours are flexible allowing some sessions to be arranged around other commitments.
  • It gives therapists a good opportunity to improve and integrate previously acquired skills.

Some cons to working as a therapist:

  • The work can be physically and mentally demanding.
  • Therapists will be expected to deal with challenging behaviours such as tantrums, biting, kicking and scratching.
  • It can be isolating, as you conduct sessions with the client autonomously.
  • Travel between clients can be exhausting.
  • Due to varying family situations, you can be working in a highly stressed environment.

How to become an ISADD Accredited Therapist:

  • Request an application form from ISADD’s Training Manager (Western Australia only), or your region’s ISADD co-ordinator.
  • Suitable applicants will be asked to observe a 2-hour therapy session to determine if they are interested in this line of work.
  • Following the observation, potential therapists will be asked to book in to two one day workshop.
  • Therapists will need to attend an orientation meeting to discuss the policies and procedures of working as a therapist.
  • Sign a therapist contract. In Western Australia therapists must also obtain a Working with Children ID, a police clearance, a St John Ambulance Child Life Support (first aid) certificate.
  • Be allocated as a Trainee Therapist to a family. Training sessions take place in tandem with a Case Manager or Senior Therapist.
  • Once conducting one to one sessions with the client on your own, your considered to be an Accredited Therapist and can apply for more hours.
  • Due to the specific nature of the work, at any stage above, you may be deemed unsuitable to work as a behavioural therapist, in which case you will be notified and training and allocation to families will cease.

Who do I contact?

Western Australia:
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Katrina Hunter

Director of Behaviour Analytic Services
Ph: (08) 9227 6888

Other Regions:
See Contact Us for local co-ordinator details