What Is A Registered Behavior Technician

A Registered Behavior Technician is an individual who works under the close supervision of a BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA to implement behavior-analytic services to patients and clients. Often referred to as an RBT, they are in high demand through the ABA therapy spectrum.

What Does An RBT Do?

RBTs play a critical role in providing mental health services to patients who are struggling with various behavioral problems. This can include things like:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Substance abuse

It’s important to note that an RBT does not create plans or treatment strategies. They play a critical role, in implementing the treatment techniques created by a BCBA or BCaBA who supervises them and services a wide variety of patients.

In some cases, a registered RBT might help their supervisor in this process of creating a therapy play, or they may simply be given the plan once it has been made. This all depends on the training and leadership style of the BCBA or BCaBA. RBT’s job duties are determined by their supervisor and typically include things like:

  • Helping the patient develop healthy social skills
  • Helping families cope with the diagnosis
  • Helping the patient reduce negative behaviors
  • Data collection
  • Reporting data to BCBA or BCaBA Supervisor
  • Certain patients might need more focus in one area over another

RBTs Help A Patient Develop Healthy Social Skills

Many individuals who seek out or who are referred for ABA therapy often struggle with social skills on some level. Many of these individuals are on the autism spectrum and need the assistance of an RBT or BCBA.

At this level, the RBT helps the patient work on their social skills and interactions. This might be something as simple as ordering a meal at a restaurant or knowing how to interact appropriately in a group setting or a one-on-one conversation.

RBTs Help Families Cope With A Diagnosis

A lot of ABA therapy plans require a substantial amount of family participation. This is especially true for diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder or similar behavioral disorders that can be challenging at first for families to know how to deal with.

A parent might be worried about their child’s ability to adjust. They might feel emotions such as anger and sadness. Siblings might need help understanding the diagnosis and how they can participate or even feel concerned or perhaps jealous of all of the extra attention the affected child is receiving.

An RBT Helps Patients Reduce Negative Behaviors

One of the primary roles of any behavior analyst is to reduce negative behaviors. Though for a BCBA to do this they must first observe the patient, either in a classroom or another ordinary setting. They need to know exactly what happens immediately following the negative behavior. This information helps to determine whether the behavior is repeated, and how to relate to stimulus. An RBT can help with these observations, collecting the data and reporting it to the supervising BCBA to help them develop a treatment plan to reduce the patient’s negative behaviors throughout a wide range of environments.

Keeping Records & Reporting Data

RBTs also play a critical role in keeping records and reporting collected data to the BCBA or BCaBA who supervises them and is ultimately responsible for developing an effective treatment plan. These plans must be recorded so that the BCBA can see what has worked and what has not, and so they can change plans to reflect these observations.

Working With Patients

A lot of RBTs work closely with patients under the supervision of the attending BCBA or BCaBA. They help with interactions, building social skills, and working with families to facilitate positive outcomes through the strategies the BCBA creates in the overarching treatment plan. This can be a responsibility that is as challenging as it is rewarding.

What Disorders Do RBTs Help Treat?

While it is true that many applied behavior analysis therapies are designed to help indiv