Services Offered

Therapy is most effective when it is tailored to meet the needs of the client. As with carpentry tools in a toolbox, no single form of therapy is equally effective in all situations, especially with autism spectrum. Having several strong therapeutic options, however, increases the likelihood of a good outcome.

If you would like to know more about the treatment techniques I most commonly use, the following is a short summary:

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or CBT, is an established form of psychotherapy that has had proven success in the treatment of anxiety, depression, stress, phobias, and adjustment issues. CBT may be used alone or in combination with medication. CBT relies on helping the client develop self-awareness and a strong understanding of how his or her thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are linked and how they impact their ability to function appropriately. Children and teens with autism can benefit from CBT to help them learn how to manage anxiety and stress around disruptions to their environment and routines.  It is also an excellent model for teaching emotional resilience and building insight into thinking behaviors and how they can be adapted to serve a similar purpose without being so disruptive.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is an excellent, evidence-based treatment model used to help children and individuals of all ages with developmental conditions tackle a wide range of difficult issues using a child's most natural form of learning and exploration about themselves: play.  Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development.  Children with autism struggle with relating to others and moving outside of their own self-absorption and into more shared interaction.  Play therapy allows children to gradually build comfort with shared interaction through use of toys as intermediaries to facilitate communication and resolution of issues.

Floortime

Floortime is a developmental therapeutic intervention developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, which relies on joining a child with autism in active play around their interests to build social and communication skills.  This approach allows the child to take the lead in play with the idea being they will be more receptive to communication/interaction if their interests are being engaged.  Besides building self-esteem from the validation that what they care about is important and purposeful, the Floortime approach helps encourage developmental growth through shared problem solving and improving self-regulation and thought processing through their work with the therapist.  Floortime is an excellent tool for parents to use in home and is an effective component of multi-disciplinary team approach to working with children with autism.

Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray therapy is a form of therapy that allows an individual to utilize creative expression in crafting a miniature version of his or her life experiences, which is known as a sand scene. Using different miniatures, colored rocks, and sand as the vessel to hold the scene, participants are able to tackle problems and conflicts, process traumas, gain self-acceptance, and process grief and loss in a contained environment and at their own pace. Use of sand tray therapy, like play therapy, is highly symbolic and is considered to be a judgment free and safe experience; the person needs to be able to process their presenting issue, as they understand it, in order to be successful. Sand tray therapy has been shown to be effective with children, adolescents, and adults of all ages; it has also been demonstrated to be very effective in populations of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities who are nonverbal or with limited spoken language capacity, since it provides them with an outlet to process their inner thoughts and emotions.


Family Systems Therapy

Individual behavior is most impacted by the circumstances in which they live.  Family systems therapy examines unhealthy dynamics within families and other intimate relationships with the goal of nurturing change and development. A blended form of family systems therapeutic models appears to offer the most benefit. “Structural” family therapy, in which the therapist seeks to “join” the family, uses empathy to help family members see how the quality of their relationships is impacted by dysfunctional interactions. “Emotionally-focused” family therapy takes the emotional reality of individual family members into account during the healing process.  When family members begin to understand the feelings and thoughts that may motivate a family member’s behavior, it often creates stronger emotional competence, self-awareness, and empathy by encouraging acceptance of another person’s viewpoint.


Social Skills Groups for Children and Adolescents

For children and teens who are struggling with appropriate social behavior at school or at home, struggling to make friends or find a relationship, or just want to be able to survive social interactions on a daily basis, groups can provide an excellent opportunity to do so in a safe and comfortable environment with similar-age peers. Groups provide an excellent opportunity to learn new social skills and practice them in real-time with other group members; group members then take skills they have learned in group and, buoyed by support and success in the group, use them in their everyday lives.

Education for Parents on Complex Medical and Developmental Conditions and Interventions

Being a parent of a child or adolescent with autism is not easy; in fact it is quite difficult and often overwhelming. Many parents don’t know whether they are qualified to parent their child and many feel angry and guilty because they never willingly volunteered to parent a child with such a condition. Negative feelings, while natural and common, combined with parental isolation from former peer groups, often compound an already challenging situation. My goal is to help parents accept their feelings, find support, and to focus on learning more about how autism affects their child and possible treatment interventions so that they gain confidence as care-givers. There are excellent educational resources available for parents, family members, and other care providers, however they are not easy to find or readily available. In addition to counseling, I am developing links to helpful Resources. Please visit my “Resources List” on my “Resources” page of my website for further information


Consultations and Advocacy

Parents often struggle to get services for their child with autism and/or complex developmental diagnoses, especially in school, at work, and in their daily living environment. It can be extremely taxing to be required to prove the child’s need in the first place only to have to negotiate the type and extent of the services being sought. Parents also struggle with how to involve siblings in the care process, while ensuring that the sibling does not feel neglected or unloved. I provide consultations to parents to better help them address the emotional and mental health care needs of all family members. I also provide consultation and advocacy services.


Not sure you found what you were looking for? I offer a free 15 minute consultation to answer questions about my services to help you determine which one(s) may be most useful for you, your family, and your child’s needs.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this article here with us. Good to read this. Visit Aspire Counseling Services they provide a supportive environment and are one of the fastest growing addiction & behavioural health facilities in the Valley.

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  2. Aspire Counseling, LLC.February 6, 2019 at 6:48 PM


    Thanks for posting this article here with us. Good to read this.

    ReplyDelete