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Episode 016: BCBA Turned Life Coach with Sonya MacCrimmon

Sonya MacCrimmon is a life coach with a background in ABA. She made her way into ABA after her university program in psychology. Part of her curriculum included a learning disabilities course which piqued her interest and led her to a summer camp job, working with special needs children. Sonya worked as a BCBA at an agency for five and a half years and made her way into a supervisory position. Going through the pandemic made her think more about her own personal development and mindfulness, eventually leading her to become a certified life coach.

Sonya uses the ACT framework within her life coaching business and merges it with much of what she learned throughout her ABA experience. She helps her clients primarily with mindset and habit changes. Sonya often utilizes techniques from her behavioral analyst days but finds that coaching takes on a more open-minded approach and takes emotional processing into account. One principle of ACT that is helpful when moving through emotions is “notice, name, neutralize”. When you notice you’re having an emotional reaction, naming it for what it is and knowing that it’s only temporary neutralizes its effects.

When you are first starting out as a BCBA, Sonya recommends being an open communicator. Be open to communicating your needs as well as be open to receiving feedback on how to improve. Being ready to learn and understand as much as you can when you’re new can make a lasting impact on your career. Knowing the difference between impostor syndrome and needing to ask for help is key. Lastly, always be open to communicating when you are experiencing burnout and always take time for yourself.

You’ll Learn:

  • Sonya’s journey from BCBA to life coach.
  • How Sonya uses ACT with her coaching clients and merges it with behavioral techniques.
  • Why open communication is so important when first starting out as a BCBA.

Mentioned In This Episode:

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Sonya on Instagram

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