Self-awareness is important for service providers. Although we often consider the behaviors and traits of our clients and their caregivers, we sometimes forget to consider our own behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. Human behavior is complex. Our observable behaviors and private events interact and influence the behaviors and private events of others and vice versa. In addition to the influences of human behavior on other people, the environment and stimuli in our surroundings plays a role in our behaviors including how we provide clinical services.
When providing ABA parent training, we should remember the complexity of how our own observable behaviors and private events may influence the services that we provide as well as how we view our clients. For example, your own personal beliefs and views on parenting, cleanliness, discipline, and so much more can impact how you view your clients and ultimately how you treat your clients (the children you work with or their parents).
Being more aware of your own personal history, your own beliefs and views on various topics, and understanding how your life experience may be different than (or the same as) that of your clients can help you in making sure that you are providing quality services that are based upon your profession and research support rather than on your personal opinions and perspective.
For instance, if you are of middle or higher socioeconomic status and are not familiar with the life experiences of someone from a lower socioeconomic status level, you may have certain beliefs about how families should spend their money, what priorities they should have, how to manage stress, parenting skills, etc. However, parents from low socioeconomic backgrounds may experience life stressors differently than you do. They may also have additional challenges including both internal and external pressures to carry with them and handle from day to day.
As a service provider of ABA parent training, it is important to consider your own background and current situation and how this may impact your services. This is not to say that either yours or the client’s point of view is right or wrong or good or bad. It is just helpful to be mindful of the similarities and differences between you and your clients to be sure that you are making professional choices and recommendations as well as being considerate of your clients and their families. When we lose sight of our own beliefs and viewpoints, we are more likely to make judgmental and critical assumptions and actions toward clients rather than making professional and ethical service decisions and recommendations.
In addition to financial status, culture is another important factor to take into consideration when providing ABA parent training. Being aware of your own cultural history and experiences will help you to separate your personal views from your professional services.
For more tips on providing quality ABA parent training, you can view the resources at ABA Parent Training.
Another issue that may arise in the context of ABA parent training is the concept of gender roles. ABA parent training requires communication with the caregivers of the clients you work with. When working with parents, you may have personal views on the roles of a mother and a father based on your own history from your childhood, experiences as a parent yourself if you have children, and your own ideas about parenting and gender.
Being more mindful of your own history and experiences can help you to improve your professional services. Things like your personal views on parenting, finances, and your own culture can impact your services in ABA parent training negatively or positively. Being conscious of the things about you that may impact your services will help you to make those services more helpful to the people you work with in that you will be able to make more purposeful decisions and maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries that help to best serve your clients.
Counselling for Maternal and Newborn Health Care: A Handbook for Building Skills. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013. 4, FACTORS THAT CAN INFLUENCE THE COUNSELLING SESSION. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK304177/