Building and Sustaining Meaningful and Effective Relationships as a Supervisor and Mentor

About the book


In this text, Linda LeBlanc, Tyra Sellers, and Shahla Ala’i explore both entry-level and advanced topics in supervision. The book focuses on the importance of strong relationships and teaching higher-order skills throughout any supervisory endeavor. The authors provide a conceptually sound set of supervision practices that will guide the actions of those who aspire to become better supervisors or mentors at any point in their careers.

The book focuses on including and celebrating people from diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity). Throughout the text, the strategy of self-reflection is used to guide readers in developing plans for their professional growth and for fostering the growth of others. Those who are being supervised during their graduate training and thus preparing to supervise others may develop a greater understanding of their ongoing supervision experience to help them decide which aspects of these experiences they want to integrate into their future professional selves and which parts they want to discard. Those who are already supervising and mentoring others may benefit from reflection on the strategies that they have been using and how those actions were shaped by their prior experiences. Seasoned supervisors may gain additional perspective or new ideas for supervision and re-anchor their supervisory practices to their ultimate goals of professional growth and contribution to the field.

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Supervisor and mentor book cover







Supervisor and mentor book back cover

About the Authors

Linda LeBlanc Headshot

Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Licensed Psychologist, is the President of LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting. Her 25-year career has included academic positions at Claremont McKenna College, Western Michigan University, and Auburn University, as well as leadership positions in human services organizations. She established LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting in 2017 and consults with technology companies, universities, and behavior analytic human service organizations. Her research interests include behavioral treatment of autism, technology-based behavioral interventions, supervision and mentorship, leadership, and systems development in human services.


Tyra Sellers HeadshotTyra P. Sellers, J.D., Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the Director of Ethics at the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. During her career, she has held leadership positions in clinical service agencies, owned her own consulting company, and worked as an Assistant Professor at Utah State University. Her professional and research interests focus on professional ethics, training, supervision and mentoring, assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, and variability.


Shahla Alai Headshot

Shahla Ala'i, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. Her teaching and research activities focus on community and interdisciplinary collaborations to support the needs of under-resourced children and families. Shahla teaches courses in technology transfer, ethics, autism intervention, parent training, behavioral systems, applied research methods, behavior change techniques, and assessment. She serves on several community and disciplinary boards and committees, all dedicated to improving inclusive and culturally responsive practice and supervision in behavior analysis.

Book Reviews

Having worked as a professional in the fields of education and behavior analysis for over 20 years, I’ve learned the value of effective supervision and mentorship. The methods for achieving competency in these areas are all in this book—bi-directionality, centrality of relationships, self-reflection, and more. The information presented in this work is relevant and necessary and a must-read for anyone seeking to improve upon their repertoire of mentorship and supervisory capabilities in the field of behavior analysis and related disciplines.

Nasiah Cirincione-Ulezi, Ed.D., BCBA

In their book, Drs. LeBlanc, Sellers, and Ala’i masterfully combine personal stories, best practices informed by existing research, and practical tools for supervisors. They provide a model for compassionate supervision every behavior analyst should strive to incorporate in their practice. The activities and resources offered at the end of each chapter are aimed at developing a thoughtful and effective supervisory practice. These can be especially useful for behavior analysts beginning their journey as supervisors and mentors. This book provides many ready-to-use tools that can be easily incorporated into supervisory practice and in graduate training to ensure future behavior analysts are well equipped to embark on this important role. Although there are many gems throughout the book, I particularly enjoyed the chapter exploring the impact of culture, which includes activities for identifying the supervisor’s place of privilege and perspective—an area often overlooked in our field. This is an aspirational read that allows the reader to set clear, attainable goals as they strive to become the supervisors these authors model in their own work. May we all embody a bit of Linda, Tyra, and Shahla in our own role as supervisors!

Corina Jimenez-Gomez, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

This book is a must-have purchase for any professional engaged in behavior-analytic supervision. It summarizes relevant content for a competency-based approach to supervision, which is necessary for a book on this topic. What impressed me most was the emphasis on cultural awareness and responsiveness supplemented by immediately actionable steps readers can adopt to build their cultural repertoires. In addition, the book tackles critical areas, such as interpersonal and problem-solving skills, which are not discussed enough in the behavior-analytic literature. This book should be required reading for supervisors and mentors, supervisors in training, BCBA aspirants, and graduate students.

Florence D. DiGennaro Reed, Ph.D., BCBA-D

As someone who provides remote clinical supervision as my full-time job, I’m always searching for resources to better support my supervisees. Providing quality supervision is crucial for the future of the field of behavior analysis, and is an area of focus in which I’m most passionate. Tyra and Linda have teamed up to utilize their extensive knowledge and experience in order to create a user-friendly textbook which guides and supports supervisors striving to do better. This gem should belong in every behavior analyst’s library!

Jenilee Stepp Triebert M.Ed, BCBA, LBA

The Lift with Dr. Linda LeBlanc & Dr. Tyra Sellers


Supervision. Mentorship. Sponsorship. Rising tides lift all boats. High-quality supervision serves as the rising tide that lifts the boats of trainees, the people we serve, and the entire field. Given that we need to be lifted, it's important to think about the load that we're lifting and providing excellent supervision. Mentorship is that fruitful. It's not an easy thing. It takes time and effort. 

The Lift embodies this idea that when there's a heavy load to bear, you must be prepared for it. You must do it mindfully. The more you do it, the stronger you will become, right? But it's probably going to be a little painful. If we're lifting together, we're sharing the burden, we’re lessening the effort for folks who maybe haven't lifted as much in the past. 

The Lift is here to lift the profession, to lift supervisors, supervisees/trainees, as well as the idea that this lift is hard and it's heavy, but together we can bear that burden a little bit more effectively.


Episodes of this podcast can be worth CEU credit.


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