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Counselling People on the Autism Spectrum


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Table of Contents

Introduction.1. Autism: An Overview. 2. Autistic Thinking and Autistic Logic. 3. General Strategies and Modifications for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. 4. Depression and Treatment Approaches. 5. Anxiety, OCD, and Treatment Approaches. 6. Relationships and Social Skills. 7. Stress and Relaxation. 8. Emotional Expression, Identification, and Regulation. 9. Some Final Words and Suggestions. References. Index.

Promotional Information

Counselling techniques for professionals working with people on the spectrum to help people with an ASD cope with their emotions, anxieties and confusion about the world around them

About the Author

Katherine Paxton has supported people with cognitive and physical disabilities for over 25 years, with a focus on autism spectrum disorders for more than half of that. As a consultant and counsellor, Katherine has provided services to families, individuals, employers, and schools impacted by autism spectrum disorders. Katherine has been researching autism spectrum disorders for over ten years, leading to her master's project for the Campus Alberta Applied Psychology Program, which has resulted in the creation of this manual. Irene A. Estay has been a practicing Psychologist in the field of Counselling and Rehabilitation for the past thirty years. She is a university professor at the University of Calgary, Campus Alberta Graduate Program in Counselling and at Phoenix University. Dr. Estay is also Seminar Facilitator, Motivational Speaker and a Consultant for Agencies providing counselling and rehabilitative services in the Province of Alberta.


The authors of Counselling People on the Autistic Spectrum have accurately subtitled it as 'a practical manual'. For experienced counsellors, this book provides a detailed description of ways they can adapt their practice to fit the special needs and characteristics of people on the autistic spectrum. For newer practitioners, it also offers an overview of basic concepts about autism. The section of the text more accessible and lively... Paxton and Estay present numerous novel strategiews for use in counselling sessions or as part of individual support programmes, including employing simple graphics that make CBT principles more accessible to visual learners and non-verbal people. There are also some autism-specific ideas for working on emotional understanding... Several good suggestions about using special interests as a tool for enhancing emotional literacy are on offer, along with a creative section on coping strategies for adult relationship problems. The authors maintain a respectful attitude towards people with ASDs throughout, using what is known about their differences to explain why some typical therapeutic practices may not be helpful, and to suggest viable alternatives...The authors' emphasis on video modelling and scripting techniques, such as social stories, is especially welcome...counsellors will definitely welcome this book's enhancement of their arsenal of strategies, and some of these techniques could also be successfully employed in the home or classroom. -- Autism, The InternationalJournal of Research and Practice
I strongly recommend this book for EPs as it offers an excellent introduction to what is autism in addition to demonstrating the practical cognitive behavioural approach as a useful tool in couselling children with ASD and developing coping and life skills. -- Debate
This excellent, short (c.200 pages) volume lives up to its subtitle A Practical Manual... What also shines through is the author's obvious fascination with and enthusiasm for her work; the book will have more than done its job if it entices more practicioners beyond their hesitation to work with a most fascinating group where the challenges are more than matched by the rewards. -- Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
I highly recommend this text to any practitioner working with Autistic Spectrum Disorders especially in education; mental health teams offering support strategies; and other young people/adult settings. -- Counselling Children and Young People
As an introduction to the subject and a guide to work with certain aspects of autism, this is a superb book. -- Therapy Today
This book sets out to show how to develop the tools necessary to help people with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) cope with their emotions, anxieties and confusion about the often overwhelming world that surrounds them. Illustrated with case histories, it covers a range of situations where counseling may be helpful for children and adults with ASD, families where a member is on the spectrum and couples where a partner has ASD. -- Human Givens
Counselling People on the Autism Spectrum is full of useful tips, such as using special interests as a metaphor in therapy, arranging the room and seating to suit clients' needs, checking for meaning and understanding, avoiding or explaining figures of speech, and a short section on stress and relaxation. I will be recommending this book and lending my copy to counsellors and support workers. -- Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

Regardless of intellectual and linguistic ability, people on the autism spectrum often have significant impairments in emotional expression, regulation and recognition, and they are known to have higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population.Illustrated with useful case studies, it covers a range of situations where counseling may be helpful for both children and adults with ASD, or families where a member is on the spectrum or couples where a partner has ASD.

-- Autism Us
This manual provides counseling techniques that work not only for professionals, but also for individuals either coping with being on the spectrum themselves, or living with someone who has ASD. -- Special Families Guide Newsletter
A book which identifies where counseling may be helpful to people with autism, and which describes how to develop the necessary tools and strategies. -- Current Awareness Service

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