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Is My ABA Supervisor the Right Fit? When to Reassess the Supervisory Relationship

Updated: Mar 21

As a graduate student in applied behavior analysis, your fieldwork supervisor plays a significant role in your growth as a behavior analyst. It's important to determine if your supervisor is the right fit for you and your goals. Providing ABA supervision is a skill and requires a great deal of time and effort. It's important to realize that not all BCBA supervisors will be the right fit for you.


Here are five tips to help you evaluate if your fieldwork supervisor is the right fit for you:


Assess the level of guidance and feedback provided

Your fieldwork supervisor should provide you with clear guidance and feedback to help you develop your skills. They should be available to answer questions, provide feedback on your work, and help you develop a plan to achieve your goals. They should also collaborate with you to determine how to provide feedback that works best for you. If your supervisor is not providing you with the level of guidance and feedback you need, it may be time to reassess if they are the right fit for you.


Evaluate their expertise and experience

Your supervisor should have the expertise and experience necessary to help you develop your skills and knowledge as a behavior analyst. They should have a deep understanding of the field and be up-to-date with the latest research and best practices. Evaluate their credentials and experience to determine if they are the right fit for you. Remember that not all BCBAs have the same scope of competence. If you want to practice in a certain specialty area, like schools, early intervention, or OBM, make sure that your supervisor has experience and training directly in that specific area of ABA.


Consider their communication style

Your supervisor's communication style can significantly impact your fieldwork experience. They should be open, approachable, and willing to listen to your concerns and ideas. If you find it difficult to communicate with your supervisor or feel that your concerns are not being addressed, it may be time to reassess if they are the right fit for you.


Determine if their expectations align with yours

Your supervisor's expectations should align with your goals and expectations for your fieldwork experience. Does your supervisor take time to ask you about your goals as an individual? Do they align your supervision with your interests, needs, and values as a student and behavior analyst? Does your supervisor help you to go above and beyond your basic job duties and to earn unrestricted hours? Your supervisor should provide you with opportunities to develop the skills and competencies you need to achieve your goals as a behavior analyst. If your supervisor's expectations do not align with yours, it may be time to reassess if they are the right fit for you.


Evaluate their commitment to your professional growth

Your supervisor should be committed to your professional growth and development as a behavior analyst. They should provide you with opportunities to learn and grow, offer constructive feedback, and support your goals. Do they use a structured supervision curriculum to ensure that they are covering all areas? Do they provide enough access to unrestricted hours? Do they provide opportunities to learn "soft skills" along with technical skills? If your supervisor is not committed to your professional growth, it may be time to reassess if they are the right fit for you.


You've got this!


At Sidekick, we're committed to increasing access to quality supervision experiences. If you have any questions about supervision, please reach out. We're here to help!




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