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Myths and Realities of the Asperger's Experience

Normalizing and Mobilizing Clients and Their Families

Richard Howlin

By Richard Howlin - Adults with Asperger's syndrome often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. One of my initial goals in therapy is to help them realize the role their brain plays in their everyday practical and social understanding. Then, we embark on a step-by-step process of skill training, life planning, and helping clients integrate their unusual and obsessive talents into a productive life.

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How Neuroscience Can Change the Way You Practice

Knowing about the Brain Can Actually Change It

Bonnie Badenoch

By Bonnie Badenoch - Initially, it can seem like a huge leap to link abstruse and complicated brain science to the relational world of therapy. But, some day, it may seem absurd that we didn't study the processes we're expected to treat. Once my clients understand where their brain wiring is underdeveloped, they become eager to do whatever it takes to build better neural connections.

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Treating Asperger's Syndrome in the Therapy Room

Therapy Tools for Helping Clients with AS Improve Social Skills

Richard Howlin

Adults with Asperger's syndrome (AS) often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. Worse still, their ability to fake it---to just pick up the emotional tenor of others---is severely limited by their concrete, inflexible thinking style. People with AS aren't able to shift their attention easily or adapt to changing circumstances. Unexpected departures from routine can throw them into complete catatonia. Such was the case with one of my clients, Steven. He'd recently flunked out of college, didn't have a single friend, had no plans for the future, and seemed to have no sense of urgency or concern about his life.

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Rediscovering the Myth

For John O'Donohue, Therapy Is a Journey into the Unknown Self

Mary Sykes Wylie

Poet John O'Donohue's introduction to the therapy field came through his unlikely friendship with neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel, known for his book The Developing Mind and his pathbreaking efforts to help therapists develop an understanding of how the brain develops and changes in response to human relationships. Recalls Siegel, "It seemed to me that he described, in a beautifully poetic way, the human mind in a state of inner coherence or neural integration--which is my subject--and how both solitude and relationship can act in tandem to bring a sense of mental and emotional wholeness."

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The Precarious Present

Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?

Robert Scaer

When a client reports repetitive intrusions, we may wonder about a tendency toward obsessiveness or the possibility of depression and/or anxiety. While all of these interpretations may have some validity, I believe that much more is at stake. I propose that in many of these moments of body-mind intrusion, our brain is trying to protect us from mortal danger arising from memories of old, unresolved threats. In short, we're in survival mode.

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Adult Attachment Disorder: 3 Detours to the Right Hemisphere

For Clients with Adult Attachment Disorder, Use the Left Hemisphere to Guide You to the Right

Mary Sykes Wylie and Lynn Turner

"People with avoidant attachment histories are too closed down to have access to experience their right-hemisphere processes," says Daniel Siegel, who's probably done as much as anybody in the field to induce therapists to clasp both attachment theory and neuroscience to their collective bosom.

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