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   AUTISM PSYCHOLOGY & ASPERGER'S COUNSELLING IN EDINBURGH

My work in the field of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) is mainly focused on High Functioning Autism (HFA), otherwise known as Asperger's syndrome. My degree in psychology had a specialisation in ASC, while I have also undertaken further postgraduate studies in autism and Asperger's syndrome. Alongside my academic knowledge, I have also acquired valuable practical experience in the field of ASC working as an autism practitioner for the past six years. I see individuals with ASC as being different and often charismatic people. I consider ASC and Asperger's syndrome not as a disability but as a “difability”, in the sense that those affected are often quite unique and talented individuals. However, some autistic people require special support to help them live more independent lives and realise their potential. More specifically the services that I offer are: 

  • Consultancy and advocacy on all aspects of pre-diagnosis procedures
  • Post-diagnostic support
  •  Employment & Academic Support.
  • Asperger's syndrome counselling (as individuals or with families/partners) 
  • Autism specific psychological interventions
  • Training and consultancy for organisations that employ autistic individuals

COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

Asperger's syndrome can affect many aspects of your everyday life, but the most important effect is usually in your relationships with others. I have worked with hundreds of otherwise charismatic and professionally successful individuals (e.g., scientists, engineers, academics) on the autistic spectrum who, however, struggle with relationships, be that with partners, family members, friends and/or colleagues. People with Asperger's syndrome often, find relationships confusing and challenging. They might behave in ways that others consider “odd”, “non-empathic” or “self-centred”, which often results in relational conflict, making them feel isolated and unfulfilled. 
Throughout the years I have developed an Asperger's specific counselling and psychotherapeutic approach that draws on cognitive-behavioural and humanistic psychotherapy, as well as on philosophical coaching. I will listen to you with care, attention and respect and together we will work to help you address and overcome difficulties in your relationships and any others areas where you may struggle. 
A particular area where I can help is that of romantic and sexual relationships, as many men with Asperger’s have difficulties in forming and sustaining intimate relationships. I also work with partners of men and women with Asperger’s, helping them to understand the difficulties that Asperger's syndrome can cause, and enabling them to create more fulfilling relationships both for themselves and their autistic partners. 
I also provide support and psycho-education and counselling to families/parents that face difficulties in parenting teenagers with Asperger's syndrome and HFA. 

ASSESSMENT

An assessment is conducted using a combination of (“Gold Standard”) ASC specific instruments and tools such as ADIR, ADOS, and the Asperger's Syndrome Diagnostic Scale (ASDS), along with a series of informal conversation and observation sessions (normally four to five). Following the assessment, a detailed report is produced which contains an analysis of findings and the areas where you are mainly affected. People affected by ASC and Asperger’s syndrome tend to have co-existing difficulties such as anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. The assessment procedure will also identify difficulties related to these problems. 

INTERVENTIONS

After a comprehensive and holistic assessment has taken place, I will formulate and provide you with a support plan. A support plan will provide recommendations for interventions and methods that can be used to manage the ASC and Asperger’s symptoms and any co-existing difficulties (e.g., anxiety, depression, relationship issues). The support plan will be tailored to your needs and will assist you in improving the quality of your life, enabling you to achieve your aims and live a happier and more contented life. ASC and Asperger’s specific interventions and support can include: 

  • Pre and post-diagnosis support and consultation
  •  Employment  and  Educational support 
  • Family and workplace education regarding your difficulties and strengths
  • HFA and Asperger's syndrome counselling and psychotherapy

Assessment and counselling sessions can be conducted locally (Edinburgh, UK) or on-line through Skype video meetings. The fees for the assessment (that includes five one-to-one sessions) is £600. (Please refer to the fees section for more information.) If you would like to explore whether my Asperger’s counselling method can be the right approach for you to work through your difficulties and to grow, please get in touch so we can arrange our initial meeting either via Skype or locally in Edinburgh. 

I look forward to helping you.