Therapy / Psychotherapy / Counseling

Focused on ADHD, Asperger Syndrome

INTEGRATED BEHAVIORAL THERAPY & Cognitive Behavioral Therapies for ADHD, Asperger Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders

I am often asked, "What can you do for me (or my child)? I am (he is) diagnosed with ADHD (or Aspergers, or Autism)." There is a saying that goes, "If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism."

While it is critically important I to know your diagnosis, knowing your diagnosis does not determine what to work on or how we will work on it. It is a starting point. Every client -- children and adults, parents and families -- all have different needs, challenges, goals, values and strengths. I provide an integrative blend of behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and family-based psychotherapy to help you achieve your goals. I emphasize learning, self-awareness, and empowerment.

As an individual who has ADHD, you can trust that I am more than a clinican with a specialty practice. I focus on ADHD because I have ADHD. I focus on Autism and Asperger Syndrome because I see the many similarites between the Autism Spectrum and ADHD, and the differences facinate me. I am open to sharing my own ADHD related challenges and triumps with you to help you, to inspire you, and to relate to you.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a direct and educational approach to therapy that targets behavioral change and emotional difficulites by addressing the thought(s) that drive the behaviors and emotions. CBT is an evidence based psychotherapy. Homework is a cornerstone to effective CBT.

Eric specializes in using cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to help parents who are raising a child with ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

REBT is a form of cognitive behavior therapy developed by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955. REBT is an action-oriented approach to managing cognitive, emotional and behavioral disturbances. According to REBT, it is largely our thinking about events that leads to emotional and behavioral upset. With an emphasis on the present, individuals are taught how to examine and challenge their unhelpful thinking, which creates unhealthy emotions and self-defeating behaviors. (REBT Institute)
Eric uses REBT to help parents and his clients with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder to learn new ways of thinking about the things parents tell themselves they “should, must or ought” to be doing. Eric will help you feel more in control of your life, just by changing a few of these simple thinking errors.
Eric specializes in using cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to help parents who are raising a child with ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder.

Mindfulness / Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches are changing the landscape of psychology, mental health care, medicine, and society. They are based on a very old and radical idea, namely, that a good deal of human suffering is fed by efforts to struggle with and avoid our own psychological and emotional pain. New research from many sources now shows that this war tends to amplify our pain, takes enormous effort, doesn't work very well, and can keep us stuck and suffering. So, what's the alternative? The alternative is this: paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment, with a quality of kindness and compassion (self and other), and with both eyes on living out your values, right here, right now. These are skills that we all can learn, and many studies show that people who learn them report more vitality, less illness, better quality of life, and greater freedom too. Instead of more struggle, we learn to open up to our experience just as it is (not as our minds say it is), to hold our thoughts more lightly, to connect with our values (what we care about in this life), and to carry our minds, bodies, and personal history forward into a more vital and valued life. This set of very simple ideas goes against just about everything we've learned, at least in the West, since kindergarden. That's why they can be so powerful!   -  Dr. John P. Forsyth, Ph.D

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

This behavioral intervention is primarly used for treating anxiety in individuals with Obsessive Compusive Disorder or specific phobias.   The goal of ERP is to gradually and systematically expose an individual to the source of their anxiety until the anxiety diminishes to a more reasonable level. Instead of managing anxiety through escape, avoidance or distraction, ERP uses a paradoxical approach of intentionally increasing anxiety (exposure) and staying with it until the anxious feeling subsides.  Anxiety and OCD coexist fairly commonly with ADHD and Autism Specturm Disorders.  

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Verbal Behavior (VB)

Simply, ABA is based on the principal that learning takes place because our environment reinforces it.  ABA therapists use specialized teaching procedures and reinforcement techniques to improve social and cognitive development. There is substantial research supporting that ABA is the most effective tool therapists, educators and parents have to teach new skills and shape behaviors.

Verbal Behavior is the use of ABA to elicit, shape and improve communication for functional and social use. Verbal Behavior allows parents, teachers and therapists to use principles of ABA during daily interactions in the natural environment.

Social Thinking (TM)

Social Thinking is an exciting and innovative approach developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, SLP.  Social Thinking helps kids develop “social smarts” by becoming social thinkers.  Social Thinking uses a cognitive behavioral approach to teach the social cause and effect of “expected” and “unexpected” behaviors. Social Thinking creatively and effectively teaches kids perspective taking, social cognition and social communication.  

You are encouraged to explore the Social Thinking website to learn about the social thinking approach, Superflex and other social thinking programs. 

DIR/Floortime (Developmental Individual-Difference Relationship-Based)

Developmental Individual-Difference Relationship-Based therapy is a child lead therapy that aims to move your child up the developmental ladder. The goal of Floortime is to increase a child’s ability to relate, communicate and think. This approach to therapy does not use your child's interests and motivations as rewards, rather it is used to build relationships, develop empathy and promote critical thinking.  

From a behavioral perspective, in Floortime the relationship IS the reward.

Grief and Acceptance Counseling

Parents of children with special needs are grieving the loss of the "typical" child that they expected to have. In addition, parents are grieving the loss of lifestyle that they expected for themselves and their family. The feelings of grief that parents experience can be an additional source of stress due to their ongoing nature. Current theories of grief suggest that parents of children with developmental disabilities experience episodes of grief throughout the life cycle as different events (e.g., birthdays, holidays, unending caregiving) trigger grief reactions (Worthington, 1994). Experiencing "chronic sorrow" is a psychological stressor that can be frustrating, confusing and depressing. (From the Autism Society of America Website). 

Eric has experienced complicated grief first hand. In 1995, Eric's father had a traumatic brain injury leaving him with a a significant number of life altering disabilities.  

Sensory Integrated Behavioral Therapy

Note that the heading is Sensory Integrated Behavioral Therapy, verses Sensory Integration Therapy.  Part of Integrated Behavioral Therapy is understanding that behaviors are often driven by sensory needs.  However, it is very common for parents, teachers and therapists to inadvertently reinforce sensory driven behaviors, which may then result in attention-seeking or escape driven behaviors. That being said, sensory integration is real, and for many with sensory integration disorders it can be very scary and overwhelming. When the central nervous system integrates sensory information incorrectly, a person’s behavior can be driven by the need to seek or escape various types of sensory input. 

Eric has over 7 years of clinical experience helping children and adolescents decrease negative sensory-driven behaviors by helping implement behaviorally-integrated sensory-smart coping strategies.  Eric can work with you and your Occupational Therapist to help you integrate smart behavioral principles to maximize a sensory diet. 

Humanistic Theory, Psychology, Therapy

Humanistic theory promotes empowerment, self-actualization, self-awareness and self-determination.  It offers a strengths-based approach towards working with children with autism and ADHD. Instead of focusing on remedial deficits, it focuses on building and developing individuals’ strengths.  

It is also an effective approach to work with parents who are having difficulties with acceptance or following through on implementing behavioral strategies. By focusing on the here and now, Eric can help parents identify and work through their feelings of guilt, remorse, disappointment and fear of rejection often associated with tantrums and initial behavioral outbursts seen when parents begin to implement new strategies.  

It is sometimes essential to work through these feelings with parents before beginning parent coaching.

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