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A Survey of the Treatment Termination Practices of Board Certified Behavior Analysts
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An important feature of behavior analytic services is the end of the client-provider relationship, commonly referred to as termination. Terminating services is a process in which nearly all applied behavior analysts will be involved and is included in the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Professional and Ethical Compliance Code. The manner in which services are terminated can affect stakeholder perceptions of the social validity of behavior analytic services, and it could in some cases have legal consequences. Despite this, outside of the aforementioned professional guidelines, there is little behavior analytic literature describing how services may be most effectively and ethically terminated. The literature in clinical psychology is more extensive, and psychologists certified by the American Psychological Association (APA) share many of the ethical responsibilities for termination with Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBAs). Given this, the clinical psychology literature may aid in identifying deficits and serve as a source for the development of best practices in the behavior analytic community. Due to the significance of terminating services in an appropriate manner and the relative lack of behavior analytic literature on this topic, the current research reviewed the professional guidelines and scholarly literature within behavior analysis and compared them to what is available for clinical psychologists. This served as the basis for creating and administering a survey that assessed current termination training, practices, and opinions among practicing BCBAs. Current gaps in research, practice, and education in terminating services were identified and are presented based on the responses of 523 respondents who completed the survey.