What does a Behavior Therapist do?

Behavior therapists provide mental health treatment and support, with an emphasis on identifying and changing learned behaviors that may be negatively impacting the client’s life. They treat people with a wide range of conditions, including depression, anxiety, phobias, addictions, and panic disorders. These professionals provide counseling, develop a treatment plan, and recommend strategies to help minimize symptoms or episodes. Therapists often focus on certain specialty areas, such as providing marriage counseling or treating children in an educational setting.

Behavior therapists work at different levels that each have specific educational requirements – a bachelor’s degree is needed at a minimum, although many roles require advanced degrees which also involve clinical work in the field. Licensing requirements vary by state. These roles require extensive knowledge of behavior therapy techniques and practices, and experience working with a clientele with a diverse range of mental health needs.

What responsibilities are common for Behavior Therapist jobs?
  • Collect, record, and summarize data on observable client behavior.
  • May assist in the planning and implementation of individualized behavior support plans.
  • Assist in the provision of behavioral health services and safety support for patients.
  • Maintain a clean, safe, and organized work and therapy environment.
  • Ensure the development and implementation of an effective care delivery system.
  • Serve as a liaison with family members, therapists and other key treatment team members.
  • Collaborate with clinical and support teams to enhance client progress.
  • Prepare and analyze reports, make presentations and maintain records.
  • Conduct formal risk assessments and identify the need for crisis plans, if necessary.
  • Conduct case management to ensure clients have the proper support.
  • Provide coordination and oversight of the crisis counselors' plans of service.
  • Frequent ongoing mentorship and support while in the field.
  • Supervising staff and student interns, as appropriate to licensure.
  • Document individual goals and track client progress, noting any drastic changes. report findings to superiors.
  • Serve as the primary provider of social skills instruction and character development to students on the assigned campus.
  • Facilitate team meetings, case conferences, and other meetings as assigned.
  • Conduct discrete trials and implement behavior, support, and treatment plans.
What are the typical qualifications for Behavior Therapist jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in behavioral sciences, counseling, social sciences or psychology and equivalent experience.
  • Prior consulting experience.
  • BCBA or BCAT training and certification.
  • A critical thinker and problem solver.
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and collaborate with various teams and specialists.
  • Can advocate for clients using analysis services and professionalism.
  • Strong time management and problem solving skills.
  • Has a positive attitude and professionalism during interactions.
  • Conduct motivational interviews and keep a detailed logbook.
  • Adaptive to the client/patient and revolving needs that arise.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Behavior Therapist make?

Behavior Therapist Career Path

Learn how to become a Behavior Therapist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Behavior Therapist
$56,288/yr
L3
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
34%
2 - 4
23%
5 - 7
1%
8+
42%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Behavior Therapist Insights

Read what Behavior Therapist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Swank Early Skills DevelopmentSwank Early Skills Development
RBT - Registered Behavior Technician
Mar 9, 2021

“Really positive and caring people who work with me to do my best work and be my best self”

Intercare TherapyIntercare Therapy
Behavioral Interventionist
Mar 7, 2022

“Supervisors are amazing and really try to support you to the best of their abilities.”

Patterns Behavioral ServicesPatterns Behavioral Services
Behavior Technician
May 27, 2021

“This was a tough job because I didn’t get enough work and there were constant cancellation that were unpaid.”

Autism Learning PartnersAutism Learning Partners
Behavior Technician
Aug 3, 2020

“Travel is reimbursed but they make it so your first and last commute which is what is not reimbursed is the longest trip”

Chicago ABA TherapyChicago ABA Therapy
ABA Therapist
May 29, 2020

“The training process was very thorough so I felt very comfortable going into my first client session.”

KyoKyo
RBT - Registered Behavior Technician
Feb 21, 2021

“Everyone is very nice and I do not feel judged when I do not know something.”

BlueSprigBlueSprig
RBT - Registered Behavior Technician
Nov 22, 2021

“It was an amazing experience and I'm so happy to have had the time and training I received there.”

Maxim Healthcare ServicesMaxim Healthcare Services
RBT - Registered Behavior Technician
Aug 20, 2021

“If you get a great supervisor and family its good but there is no way to really control this.”

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Behavior Therapist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of behavior therapists

Behavior therapists spend their workday treating patients by helping them implement healthier thought processes and behavior patterns. Their most common daily tasks include meeting new patients and creating treatment plans, meeting current patients to discuss progress and new potential approaches, as well as documenting session notes and patient treatment plans.

Behavioral therapy is a fulfilling and rewarding career for many professionals. They make an impact by helping people create more success in their lives and improve their interpersonal relationships. Becoming a behavioral therapist can offer many opportunities for personal growth and development.

Like most positions, the working as a behavior therapist can be challenging at times. It can be emotionally draining to work with clients and watch them struggle to work through their issues, but it's also extremely rewarding to experience clients' breakthroughs and success.

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Behavior Therapist Jobs