Functional Analysis

"The only journey is the journey within."
Rainer Maria Rilke

What is a Functional Analysis?
It is a scientific method used to determine the existing behaviors and functioning level of the consumer, prior to creating a plan to modify behaviors or teach new ones.
The functional analysis is designed to aid the clinician in getting to the function of the behavior. The function equates to the motivation for the behavior. Typically, the motivation of the behavior is to get a need met. Once the need is assessed, a different behavior can be taught that better meets the need.
Often, undesirable behaviors are exhibited. Proper assessment allows for a more appropriate behavior to be taught as a replacement to the undesirable behavior. For example, a child needing to "get out" his anger might currently exhibit self mutilation when upset. Following the completion of a functional analysis, a treatment plan could be designed with a more appropriate means of expressing the anger, such as punching a pillow or talking to an adult.
The basics of a functional analysis includes using the "ABC Method"
A-Identifying the Antecedent of the behavior, using observation of the environmental stimuli present, and which stimuli the consumer responds to within the environment.
B-Identifying the Behavior (s) of the consumer, exhibited in response to the stimuli.
C-Identifying the Consequence, or the response, that the consumer receives as a result of his behavior.