Multidisciplinary Teaming: Enhancing Collaboration through Increased Understanding

  • Danielle L. LaFranceEmail author
  • Mary Jane Weiss
  • Ellie Kazemi
  • Joanne Gerenser
  • Jacqueline Dobres
Discussion and Review Paper


In an effort to provide clarity about the unique contributions of several professions within the context of multidisciplinary treatment, we reviewed the definitions, philosophical underpinnings, and national requirements pertaining to both scopes of practice (i.e., model licensing acts, legislation, and regulatory boards) and training (i.e., task lists, accreditation standards and course requirements, and exam blueprints) of 4 behavioral health professions. The professions we selected (behavior analysis, psychology, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy) are likely to provide treatment alongside one another and often to the same clients. In a review of documents pertaining to scopes of practice and training for each profession, we found overlapping content. However, the similarities between professions diminished when we reviewed more specific guidelines such as learning objectives, educational requirements (i.e., coursework), supervised clinical experience (e.g., internships), and national examinations. This was especially true when considering each profession’s underlying approach to treatment (i.e., philosophical underpinnings) and, hence, service activities. We discuss our findings in light of service overlap and make a call for greater collaboration between professions, as related to the separate content knowledge and expertise of professionals in each field and the impact on client outcomes.


Scope of practice Scope of training Practice documents Treatment Multidisciplinary teams Collaboration 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Linda LeBlanc for the generosity of her time, her excellent suggestions, and her expert guidance throughout the revisions process.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This manuscript has not been previously published nor has it been or will be submitted for publication elsewhere during the review process.

Conflict of Interest

Danielle LaFrance declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ellie Kazemi declares that she has no conflict of interest. Mary Jane Weiss declares that she has no conflict of interest. Joanne Gerenser declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jacqueline Dobres declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.H.O.P.E. ConsultingFair OaksUSA
  2. 2.ABA/Autism Studies ProgramEndicott CollegeBeverlyUSA
  3. 3.California State UniversityNorthridgeUSA
  4. 4.Eden II ProgramStaten IslandUSA
  5. 5.Douglass Developmental Disabilities CenterRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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