My approach in therapy and coaching is practical and client-centered. I believe in looking forward and creatively building on existing strengths. By breaking down goals into achievable steps, great things can happen.
I received my M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver, focusing in Marriage and Family Therapy. While raising a child diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, I further trained in social cognition and autism. I have since received a Special Education Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and have become a certified LifeMAP AsperCoach with the Autism and Asperger Network (AANE).
I have also trained in Social Thinking, an approach developed by international trainer and speech language pathologist, Michelle Garcia Winner. In this model, social skills are recognized as essential to our functioning in all contexts. Practical strategies support individuals in their efforts to interpret social-emotional information and to problem-solve real life situations. Fundamentally, the focus is on breaking down complicated and unspoken social rules into understandable parts, while at the same time developing skills to interpret the nuances inherent in each specific situation.
My approach is also strongly influenced by the work of Ellyn Arwood, Mabel Brown and Carole Kaulitz of the Apricot Clinic. Because individuals with social challenges are predominantly visual thinkers (Arwood, Brown & Kaulitz, 2009), the Arwood team uses a strategic, overlapping combination of visual-motor and auditory interventions they term Viconic Language Methods. They use drawing and writing techniques that match developmental levels, and address the unique situations confronting each client. This process increases a client's understanding of language, and promotes the acquisition of meaning. In turn, clients improve their ability to problem-solve in social (or academic) contexts. The end result is behavior that is more pro-social, i.e., more likely to be successful and to produce healthy relationships with others (Arwood, Brown, & Kaulitz, 2015).