What Types of Behavioral Therapists are in New York?
New York is a large state with all kinds of career opportunities for those who possess the right combination of training and experience in behavioral therapy. Qualified individuals can work in all kinds of different capacities. It should be noted, however, that the competition for behavioral therapy jobs throughout the state is quite intense, so the more qualified a person is, the better his or her chances of success in the field. Ideally, prospective behavioral therapy professionals will have at least a master’s degree; it’s better yet if they possess a PhD.
Those who have these degrees can pretty much have their pick of behavioral therapy jobs. The vast amount of qualified professionals will work in private practices, either their own or someone else’s, in a clinical capacity. This means that they will meet one on one with patients to diagnose their behavioral problems and to come up with behavior modification and treatment plans. They will then work with their patients through a series of therapy sessions. Some behavioral therapists are paid for each appointment they have, while others are paid by the hour they spend at work or are salaried.
Though most behavioral therapists work in this capacity, not all of them do. A large amount of behavioral therapists choose to work in substance abuse or addiction related treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities, and halfway houses. These can be private institutions, or they may be run by the state. Generally, private institutions offer their behavioral therapists higher pay, and state run institutions offer better benefits packages, so there are pros and cons to either position. These professionals work to help people overcome their addictions and to live better, dependence free lives and to replace their addictions with positive behaviors. Common addictions that therapists will work to help their patients overcome include alcohol and drug addictions, as well as eating disorders and other self-destructive addictions not necessarily related to substances.
It is also becoming increasingly popular for behavioral therapists to branch out on their own and start “freelancing.” An independent behavioral therapist, for example, might advertise services to help others stop compulsive overeating and lose weight or to help individuals to quit smoking. Such a therapist might also teach seminars or visit people in home to help them with their behavioral problems. While many professionals in the field do frown on practicing this type of therapy, there are many individuals who find it quite rewarding and who couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Some behavioral therapists choose to work for state or federal programs. Many, for example, will work in the public school system in a number of different capacities. They might help to design special curriculum or instruction for students with behavioral problems or they might help teachers to learn to deal with behavior issues in the classroom. Other behavioral therapists choose to work in the prison system, helping inmates to overcome behavioral problems or addictions and to prepare for a life on the outside. Some work in the judicial system, testifying in court when necessary and assessing individuals involved in court cases.
A small amount of behavioral therapists, usually those who have worked in another capacity in the past, will work as researchers, conducting studies and writing books or articles that deal with important topics in their field. There are also behavioral therapists who manage other therapists or who run special facilities for those with behavioral problems. Obviously, there is no shortage of choice when it comes to finding work in the behavioral therapy field, and those who are willing to put in the work can have any job they like.