April Textbook Authors of the Month: Jon Bailey and Mary Burch

Jon Bailey and Mary Burch, authors of Ethics for Behavior Analysts, are our Routledge Mental Health Textbook Authors of the Month for April! Read our exclusive interview and learn more about their fantastic new edition!

If being ethical were easy, everyone would do it.

 

Behavior analysis students today have a great advantage over the last generation. Twenty years ago, there was no code of ethics to guide us; we had one foot in the animal lab and one in the world of academia and we were trying to figure out how to transform powerful operant conditioning principles into effective treatments.

Today, graduate students in behavior analysis have nearly fifty years of applied research to fall back on (and to learn from and be held accountable for knowing). In addition, they have a wealth of resources on ethics including case law and precedent-setting legal findings. Finally, students today have the peer-reviewed, evidence-based, and thoroughly vetted Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts produced by our Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Not long after the publication of the 1st edition of Ethics for Behavior Analysts, we began receiving requests to give workshops on ethics at state association meetings and for other groups around the country. It was enlightening and educational to learn firsthand from practitioners about the ethics situations they were confronting on a daily basis. To facilitate our ability to address the real-world ethical problems of the practitioners, we began asking them to complete “Scenario Forms” before the workshop began. These scenarios generated lively discussions and provided a sounding board for behavior analysts who were confronting ethical issues in the jobs.

These cases (which have been carefully disguised and include pseudonyms), along with many from our combined 60 years of experience in behavior analysis, are included in the text as a practical method for teaching the content of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. In addition, all elements of the new Code are explained in a comprehensive, detailed way in order to prepare students for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board™ comprehensive exam.

We hope that this expanded, 3rd edition will stimulate discussion, debate, and thoughtful consideration in situations where behavior analysts are learning about ethics.

In 2014, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board determined to replace a set of Guidelines with a comprehensive, enforceable Code of Ethics. The new Code is much improved, and we believe it is one of the strongest codes of ethics for any field. However, specific code items in such documents are often written in such stilted legalese that students don’t understand why the item is necessary or how it is relevant. This book is the culmination of an attempt to present a practical, student-centered approach to teaching the ethics code to behavior analysts.

If being ethical were easy, everyone would do it. Ethical problems encountered by practicing behavior analysts will range from simple issues such as telling someone you can’t accept a gift, to knowing that you will probably lose your job if you do the right thing and report the agency that is employing you, for fraud. This book opens the dialog about ethical situations in which behavior analysts find themselves.

The goal of behavior analysts is to provide the highest quality, evidence-based treatment to our clients. This means staying current with best practices and adhering steadfastly to our Code of Ethics. The latter is often difficult since there are pressures on all sides to cut corners, inflate hours served, or provide treatments that are out dated. Ethics are essential to the survival of any profession and behavior analysts, since they are working in a highly technical service delivery system, are required to monitor their ethical conduct daily and to be prepared to respond effectively to pressures to provide sub-standard treatments or to compromise their values.

A common misconception about professional ethics is that if you are a good, honest person, you already know everything you need to know about ethics. In fact, the ethics code is complicated, there are several levels of ethical dilemmas ranging from easier to handle to very complex, and systematic training in ethics is necessary to build solid professionals.

This fully-updated third edition of Jon Bailey and Mary Burch’s bestselling Ethics for Behavior Analysts is an invaluable guide to understanding and implementing the newly-revised Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) Professional and Ethical Compliance Code. Featured in this new edition are case studies drawn from the author’s real-world practice with hints to guide readers toward the ethical ‘solution’ and revised chapters, including how this new edition evolved alongside the revised Code and tips for succeeding in your first job as a certified behavior analyst. The complete, revised BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code is included as an appendix. This third edition improves upon what has become a go-to resource for behavior analysts in training and in practice.

Jon S. Bailey, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, teaches graduate courses for behavior analysts. Dr. Bailey is a founding director of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® and he is past president of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA).

Mary R. Burch, PhD, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst®. Dr. Burch has more than twenty-five years experience in developmental disabilities. She has been a behavior specialist, QMRP, unit director, and consulting behavior analyst in developmental disabilities, mental health, and preschool settings.

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Ethics for Behavior Analysts, 3rd Edition

  • Ethics for Behavior Analysts, 3rd Edition

    By Jon Bailey, Mary Burch

    This fully-updated third edition of Jon Bailey and Mary Burch’s bestselling Ethics for Behavior Analysts is an invaluable guide to understanding and implementing the newly-revised Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) Professional and Ethical Compliance Code. Featured in this new edition are…

    Paperback – 2016-04-06
    Routledge