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7 Common Methods Used By Behavior Analysts in Patient Care

Posted by on February 8, 2021 in Psychology-Psychiatry with 0 Comments

Human behavior is complex, and it depends on several aspects. Psychological experts dig deep down and analyze several elements to determine why a person behaves in a certain way. They observe people keenly, look into their past experiences, relationships, physical well-being, and evaluate human reactions to stimuli. They pinpoint why humans act and react the way they do. As the term implies, behavioral science is the study of human behaviors, and it helps develop different approaches to improving people's behavior.  Professionals possessing skills in analyzing human behavior are referred to as Behavior Analysts, and they work in various settings, such as educational institutes, healthcare facilities, and non-profit organizations, to name a few.

Dealing with differently-abled people requires special training and qualifications, and patience on the therapist's end. Behavior analysts use practical techniques to assess behavioral issues and treat problematic human behavior patterns, identifying the underlying mental or neurological predicaments.  They work closely with patients and give attention to detail to figure out the issue and then devise treatments. Behavioral analysts help people improve their social behavior, and they work with people of all ages, but more often than not, they deal with children with ADHD and autism. They modify their techniques depending on the severity of patients' conditions. The following are some of the methods behavior analysts use inpatient care:

1. Communication

Behavioral analysts have impeccable communication skills, and they know when and where to change the tone of their voice to derive the desired reaction from people. Behavioral analysts handle adults who suffer from partial memory loss or who show signs of stubbornness. The latter can be a significant hindrance in delivering adequate patient care. They often have to repeat the same instructions multiple times to see an impact on their patients.

Behavior analysts use communication as a tool and encourage their clients to incorporate small changes in their lifestyles to improve their everyday conduct. People who react aggressively can see a remarkable difference when they visit a behavior analyst. Professionals can understand verbal messages and translate non-verbal cues, as patients often do not communicate but show their emotions through body language. They need to share with patients' families and have practical communication skills to precisely articulate the messages.

2. Chaining

Chaining is another method that behaviors analysts use to enhance people's everyday practices. They assign small tasks to patients, which they can master over a small amount of time. The tasks are generally simple but require consistency. Once patients show consistency, analysts ask patients to practice the same chain of tasks in their everyday lives. Chaining is an instructional technique where behavioral analysts keep on repeating instructions to teach smaller tasks to patients.

3. Behavioral Contracts

The behavioral contracts strategy does not generally apply to very young children but helps teenagers who can read and write. Behavioral contracts help inculcate good habits in people and make them realize that they need some modification in their behavior. They make a contract and admit that they need some alterations and agree to change their attitude. Experts suggest patients to pen down their objectives and goals, which help them adhere to them and keep track of their progress. Behavioral analysts retain the proof of the patient's resolutions and remind them if they start to divert from them.

4. Language Training

A common problem among people showing behavioral issues is that they find it challenging to express themselves. This leads to aggression and frustration. First, behavioral analysts look into the patent's history and analyze their behavior patterns. When they realize that the patient has yet to develop communication skills, they stop other treatments and teach them how to communicate using words.

Behavioral analysts teach them how to express negative emotions via non-violent channels. They also teach family members how to show love and affection without forcing people into a hug, and say it instead. Language training is a slow process, but behavioral therapists can easily measure their patient's progress and take steps to fast-track it.

5. Motivation

People with behavioral issues cannot change their conduct overnight. While they may be behaving as per their instructor's recommendations for a few days, one incident can make them go back to their previous routine.

Behavior analysts need to buck them up from time to time to keep them on track and motivate them to continue showing good behavior. Lack of motivation can make them revert to their problematic conditions. Positive reinforcement has a lasting impact, and it brings desired results with consistency.

6. Modeling

People with behavioral issues need to see a concrete example to adopt changes in themselves. Behavioral analysts cannot help people improve their practices when their conduct is questionable. If they want to teach a soft-tone and kindness to their patients, they need to model it for them. Similarly, suppose a behavioral analyst wants their patient to be a little tranquil. In that case, they cannot be hyperactive in front of them.  In this technologically driven world, therapists have multiple options, and they can show a video and demonstrate that this is the preferred way of behaving to give a proper reference.

7. Prompting With Cues

Behavioral analysts have an in-depth insight into psychology, and while dealing with clients, they know about their previous experiences. Behavioral analysts use non-verbal cues in bringing out the desired behavior from them. For instance, they can show a nod or an approval smile when they see that the client is attempting small changes. The approval nod will serve as a motivation factor, igniting a sense of pride in the client.

Conclusion

The field of psychology has expanded, and today it encompasses several subfields. Behavioral analysis is a significant aspect of psychology, and behavioral therapists help people enhance their social practices. Behavioral analysts go through training and learn techniques of dealing with patients and use different methods to improve their conduct. The modern ways are vastly different from previous years, but their motive is still the same, improved mental and social well-being for differently-abled individuals.

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