I am an eclectic therapist who primarily uses cognitive behavioral techniques to help clients examine current beliefs, choices and needs. I work collaboratively with clients and their natural support systems to identify and remove barriers to personal goals, try new approaches, break old habits, cope with fears, and create alternatives to avoidance. For many of my clients, this also involves explicit instruction in skills that may not have been developed yet due to a number of reasons such as developmental immaturity or neurological differences. When working with those on the Spectrum, there is often a focus on using interest areas to create social bridges, developing motivation to increase independence, identifying the function of rituals and routines, and working to develop replacement behaviors to meet needs currently being served by disruptive or socially awkward behaviors. When working with adolescents and young adults, this also involves taking into consideration the perspectives of parents and other key adults and assessing family roles and routines.
With all clients, strengths, interests, and existing resources are attended to as much as areas of deficits and needs. Clients who seek school and community-based consultation sign a release that allows me to speak with school and other community personnel and observe them or their children in a natural setting in order to help determine how to best meet their needs. School personnel are helped to understand clients’ core needs and develop more successful approaches to teaching and/or behavior management. Motivation for change and individual preferences for reinforcement are also assessed. In-office sessions involve careful listening, skill building, practice and rehearsal. To help build generalization, clients are often encouraged to complete “home assignments” in order to help them try new behaviors, see things from a different perspective, and increase flexibility and independent functioning. Cultural beliefs, religious background, sexual orientation, and areas of difference are assessed and taken into consideration in designing interventions that respect my clients’ identities and core values.