Autism Evaluation / Diagnosis – Many adults wonder if they are on the autism spectrum but went undiagnosed as children. Using a diagnostic checklist created directly from the DSM-5 criteria, I provide a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis through an interview-style assessment. Areas of consideration include the presence, duration and severity of difficulties with social interaction, communication, sensory issues and restricted, repetitive behaviors. Please allow for an 80 minute session.
Autism Spectrum Challenges- Differences in social interaction, communication, sensory issues and rigid routines often results in depression, anxiety, frustration and isolation. Through active listening and individualized strategies, I aim to ease clients’ personal challenges while celebrating and building on their strengths and uniqueness. I collaborate with doctors and specialists to ensure wrap-around care. Advocacy is provided. Sensory needs are accommodated in session.
Depression – Depression strips our lives of meaning and leaves us seeing the world through a distorted lens. Working together we will touch on possible root causes, explore what depression looks like in the brain, identify concrete steps to be taken and in the process, learn to relate to depression in a new way.
Anxiety – Anxiety can cause us to feel nervous and jittery, or can put us into full-blown panic mode. While the mind is on guard against possible threat, we lose touch with any sense of peace or ease in our lives. We will explore what anxiety looks like in the brain and then, using the latest research on best practices for decreasing anxiety, implement both cognitive and physical approaches to help you regain a sense of peace in your life.
Autism Spectrum Challenges – Differences in social interaction, communication, sensory issues and rigid routines can cause stress in the life of a child on the spectrum. Sessions are dedicated to discussion, play and activities that address topics such as “What is Autism?” personal space, turn- taking, being different, “loosening rock brain,” and self-advocacy. Individual strengths are explored/highlighted and sensory needs are accommodated in session.
Relationship Challenges – Children often struggle in family and peer relationships. Interactions may result in anger or hurt feelings. After exploring the root cause of your child’s particular struggle, an individualized plan will be developed to increase healthy interaction and relationships. Techniques include anti-bullying strategies, role play, emotion charting, social skills discussions and family dynamics education.
Behavior issues – Children’s behavior issues can greatly affect school work and relationships with peers and family, resulting in stress for all involved. Story telling, role play, games and charts will be used to explore root causes, process emotions surrounding the behavior, and implement a plan to replace the ineffective behavior with a positive, more functional one.
Worry – All children worry but when it begins to affect their quality of life, it may be a sign of anxiety. Through play therapy, art therapy and guided conversation, I will help your child discover what is at the root of the worry. I will then develop an individualized plan of attack to challenge the worry, and focus the mind on more rational, neutral thoughts. Simple yet powerful tricks and tips will also be presented.
Sadness – All children experience feelings of sadness, but when it seems to come out of the blue and affects their daily lives, it can be a sign of depression. I will work with your child to process their feelings and then help them distinguish between depressed thoughts and normal thoughts. Together we will create a “plan of attack” and a “toolbox” of tips and tricks to put to use when depressed thoughts pop up or even try to take over.
Image/Self-Esteem – Our society and media are filled with expectations about how we should look. This often results in individuals tying their sense of worth to their appearance. Together we will investigate how the media affects us, explore the core of the self, and develop techniques to put to use when the mind returns to old thought patterns. I work with clients to regain a balanced sense of self and a reality in which healthy physical functioning comes before appearance.