As promised last week today’s article comes from a recent interview I did with Valerie Gaus…
Valerie has been working as a clinical psychologist for about 20 years. She practices in New York and works mainly with adults who have Asperger’s syndrome.
The main focus of my interview was to understand more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)and how he can be used for people with Asperger’s.
So here’s what Valerie told me about CBT:
“CBT is an approach to helping people with problems they have in daily life.
It’s an approach that was developed more than 40 years ago. And it was really developed for helping neurotypical people, who are depressed.
It’s based on the assumption that your thoughts or your cognition, can affect your emotion and your behavior.
So, the thoughts you have about the situation you’re in, can influence how you feel about it and ultimately what you do about it, your behavioral response.
When we use something like cognitive behavioral therapy with people on the spectrum, we’re not using it to treat the autism or the Asperger’s.
What we’re doing is, we’re using it to treat the anxiety that can come along with living a life that is stressful because you have autism.
And so, its treating really the comorbid or co-existing anxiety.”
Here’s what Valerie told me about how long it takes:
“Well, when the CBT is being used to address a specific simple, not simple, but like specific problem, it can be short term.
It can be long term if the problem is complex, meaning, it’s being driven by many factors, not just one factor.
So, CBT tends to be goal-directed. So, the therapist and the client come up with a goal to work on.
So, for one of my adult clients, I might have someone come in and say, “I would like to improve my dating situation.”.
This is a common issue with adults. “I want a date. I don’t know the first thing about how to start dating. Can you help me with this?”.
So, our goal might be, in a broad sense, increase the frequency of dating, that might be our long term goal, and then short term we might break it down into further steps.
I’ll assess the person and I’ll try to figure out what the obstacles are for this person.”
I hope this has given you a good starting point to understanding CBT. It’s an excellent approach for people with Asperger’s.
And if you want to learn more about it you can visit Valerie’s website at: