Posted by: gtcounseling | August 28, 2013

Asperger’s Work and “Religiosity” Concerns

Dear Grace Tree,

Do you use Skype for online sessions? And, how long are the sessions? I am diagnosed with Asperger’s too and wonder if you’ve worked with Asperger’s before? Are you also very pushy on the religious aspect during the counseling session if a person isn’t very religious?

Thank you,
Michelle

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for writing in, and what great questions! I’ll address the technical ones first. I do not offer Skype or other videoconferencing sessions. I currently offer e-mail sessions where I correspond back and forth with my clients, online direct chat sessions with common chat programs where we chat in real-time on the computer, and traditional telephone counseling sessions. While I ventured into using Skype in the past with a few clients, I did not find it to be reliable nor was there a market for it. Most all my clients prefer one of the three methods above and so I’ve stuck with what works and what people prefer. This may change in the future though as technology and the e-counseling market both improve.

In terms of working with Asperger’s clients, I have worked with a few people via e-counseling and though traditional face-to-face therapy, though face-to-face therapy is the preferred method of treatment because of the direct contact with the client. Many individuals with Asperger’s really need that one-on-one contact to work on relating with others directly, making eye contact, gaining comfort and confidence in direct relations and trying out new behaviors and way of relating with others. However, I believe that practitioners must also recognize that individuals with disabilities such as Asperger’s need to begin to work on some of their struggles in a manner and pace that is comfortable to them, so e-counseling may be a good fit when starting out in therapy. While it wouldn’t be a good idea to rely on e-counseling solely because it is a ‘distance therapy’ so to speak, it could certainly help someone get started in the therapy process of developing and improving on social skills and interacting with others.  From there, a client can always transition to face-to-face treatment and build on his/her developing strengths and skills.

Michelle, I really like the honesty of your question about “being very pushy on the religious aspect during counseling” if a person isn’t very religious. Very few people venture to ask this question which is a very important part of any helping relationship! I can say with all confidence that I am not pushy about religion at all or pushing anyone in any spiritual direction which he/she does not wish to be a part of the counseling process. All of my clients are welcome to discuss their spiritual beliefs as it relates to their lives and experiences, and to clarify if they’d like their religious life to be a part of our work together. But, any spiritual aspects that are woven into our work together is strictly decided by the client. I am trained, licensed therapist and take great care with all my clients to work together in a manner that is honoring to them as individuals and respectful of their personal spiritual beliefs. This includes people who don’t have any particular religious beliefs as well as those who may be exploring their spirituality. I hope this helps to clarify things for you Michelle and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact me through my website.  I wish you the best going forward in whatever avenue you choose.

Sincerely,

Carole Miller, LCSW-C

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