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Counseling Services FAQs

What types of counseling services do you provide?

We specialize in offering individual and couple counseling for those with social skills impairments, social or general anxiety, and individuals with a diagnosis of ASD, their siblings, parents or care providers.  We have extensive experience with these concerns as they are expressed across the lifespan and we work with children, adolescents and adults.

We are passionate about providing quality support to parents to help them navigate treatment and services and improve their confidence in their parenting skills and decision making.  Our counselors are skilled at combining their knowledge of practical behavior management and interpersonal therapeutic support to address practical and emotional challenges facing parents.  Whether clients are interested in weekly sessions or wish to schedule once a month or “as needed” sessions, we are available.  Sessions may be scheduled for individuals or couples. 

Additionally, we offer relationship and sex education for teens and young adults with ASD.  We provide a safe and engaging environment to learn about and discuss important information related to relationships, anatomy, sexual behavior, abuse, self-advocacy, contraception, and appropriate boundaries.    

Who provides counseling services?

Counseling at Autism Partnership is provided by either a License Marriage and Family Therapist or a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate.  Our counselors have extensive experience working with those impacted by ASD and the unique issues and challenges faced by them and those that care for them.  We operate under the direct supervision of licensed psychologists. 

What is addressed in counseling?

Goals of counseling include:

  • Assisting parents in processing the diagnosis, expectations, treatment options, and the emotions  surrounding raising a child on the autism spectrum
  • Monitoring and addressing anxiety, depression and maladaptive behavior
  • Understanding the diagnosis and its impact
  • Improving emotional awareness, expression and identification
  • Understanding the impact of thoughts on emotions and behaviors
  • Exploring inter-personal relationships and providing information regarding maintaining healthy relationships
  • Addressing stress, distress tolerance and developing effective coping tools
  • Instruction regarding relationships and sexuality
Do you only work with clients that have Autism Spectrum Disorder?

No.  Our counselors are experienced in treating a wide range of issues, not just Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Of course we offer support to parents, siblings and family members of those affected by ASD.   However, we are also available to help those challenged by other issues such as social skills deficits, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, depression and social (pragmatic) communication disorder.

What should I expect from counseling services?

Our therapists will establish a safe and structured environment in which clients can feel comfortable discussing their thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Counselors help clarify options,  assist with setting goals, explore feelings, provide instruction/information and correct misconceptions.  We have found that Cognitive-Behavioral  techniques and principles are particularly well suited to address the unique needs of those on the autism spectrum.

How do I know if counseling is a good fit for my child or adolescent?

The therapists at Autism Partnership know that not everyone is ready to benefit from counseling services.  We provide an in-take and initial assessment period for all our minor clients to evaluate their ability to participate in and benefit from this type of support.   Typically, children with fair to good conversational skills and minimal behavioral difficulties are good candidates to participate meaningfully in counseling.  Of course, individual motivation and a desire to improve significantly impact progress.  
Typically a referral for counseling services occurs if a child has questions about the diagnosis or is learning about the diagnosis, has demonstrated issues with depression, anxiety, distressing thoughts or feelings, low self-concept, relationship problems, emotional dysregulation or stress.  Counseling may be particularly helpful to those children that are fading more intensive services and need to process their greater independence and responsibilities.

Do you offer sibling support?

Parents have frequently asked if we provided support to siblings of children with ASD.  All family members are impacted when one receives a diagnosis and subsequent services.   We have found sessions with siblings to be extremely beneficial in recognizing the challenges the sibling is confronting and providing a non-judgmental, understanding environment to discuss their feelings and needs.  Autism Partnership provides both group and individual sessions for siblings of those with ASD.  Group sessions are based upon availability of interested group members.  We encourage families to contact us to be placed on the wait list so we may schedule our next group opportunity.  Siblings report feeling tremendous relief in being able to talk to others that are in a similar family situation.

Where does the counseling take place?

Sessions occur at our Seal Beach office. 

Do you bill insurance?

We are currently in-network providers for Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and Cigna.  We will bill insurance directly for those insurance plans.  All other clients are considered private pay.  Private pay clients are responsible for payment to us the day services are provided.   If you wish to submit to your insurance plan for reimbursement we will provide you with an insurance ready invoice.  If you have a PPO plan you can submit our invoices for reimbursement as an out-of-network provider.  In most cases you will pay a co-payment unless you have a deductible which must be satisfied before your insurance coverage is effective.

To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier.  It would be helpful to find out the answer to the following questions:

                What are my mental health benefits?

                Is approval required from my primary care physician?

                How much does my insurance pay for an out-of -network provider?

                What is the coverage amount per therapy session?

                Do I have a deductable and what is my co-pay for sessions?

                How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?

Why do you offer counseling services for clients with high functioning Autism or Aspergers syndrome?

 

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