Lets Remember, Not Repeat 2020 Reflections

With the New Year upon us, I wanted to reflect on twenty-twenty and share some updates with you, our reader. This year was a year of firsts:

– A global f***ing pandemic
– Virtual school, being your kid’s teacher
– Working from home and somehow being more productive than at work.
– Not being able to go into the store without a mask
– Masks (for many of us at least)
– Seaninderbitzen.com became a thing
– A vaccine became available

With all these firsts, while many of us are wishing twenty-twenty good riddance, my hope is that there were some good things that came out of it for you. For me and my own, we got to spend more time together, to see our children grow, get engaged, and started the Autism and Confidence program for health and human service professionals. Worth 5 Continuing Education Credits through the National Association of Social Workers Wisconsin Chapter, the program has been piloted with a Wisconsin mental health provider agency, and collected some preliminary data. The program will be available through University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Continuing Education program in May of 2021. It will be offered virtually in the form of a 2 hour didactic and experiential learning experience, followed by 5 weeks of coaching sessions with one of our coaches. The coaching is designed to build practitioner confidence in working with people with autism and comorbid mental health problems. We discovered this past year that 100% of those who go through the full program are willing to treat people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Thus, we were able to increase the Chippewa Valley’s mental health systems ability to treat people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

While preliminary data was encouraging, we are looking at offering in places beyond Wisconsin in order to increase access to mental health services to people with autism. That stated, demand on the rise in for people who want to specialize in working with people with autism and comorbid psychiatric conditions. That stated, we are beginning to train new coaches to serve more professionals in our confidence building approach to working with autism and comorbid psychiatric conditions. With more coaches, new questions and new challenges will arise.

With the growth in demand for the autism spectrum disorder and comorbid psychiatric conditions specialty increasing, seaninderbitzen.com through the continuing education provider PESI, will offer: Motivational Interviewing for High Functioning Adults (HFA) with Autism and Comorbid Mental Health Conditions. This course is for the autism specific application of the intervention of motivational interviewing. It is intended to be geared towards professionals who have a working knowledge of Motivational Interviewing and want to work with their HFA adult clients to cultivate their own reasons for making the changes they want to achieve in their lives. The research we pull on this course really pulls much of what is at the heart of seaninderbitzen.com, which is research on being relational and person-centered in our approach to working with people who are traditionally have a hard time making relationships. This course focuses on tools that are based in motivationally interviewing but are geared to that HFA adult with depression or anxiety, who tends to get stuck on repeat. We work with tools to enter into the “stuckness” and move the needle forward in your treatment of anxiety and depression of HFA adults using things like confidence rulers, past success, and OARS to move the dial forward. It will be out in May of 2021, available through pesi.com for 6 Continuing Education Credits.

In addition to these clinical skill building courses, you can work directly with me on getting feedback on your Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills through our MITI 4.2.1 coding program. Clinicians who want to take their MI skills deeper now can, working one-on-one with Sean using the MITI coding system. The program requires clinicians to take a twenty minute audio sample of their MI skills, either with a fake or real client, about a real change they want to make. After completing this 20 minute audio recording clinicians submit it to Sean and get personalized feedback on their content. Using the MITI 4.2.1 coding system Sean will provide you with individualized recommendations on how to improve your motivational interviewing practice in written form, along with a 15-20 minute phone call to help you reflect on specific things you might do to take your Motivational Interviewing skills even deeper. If interested, this feedback can be tailored to an individual’s work with autistic patients or individuals who tend to ruminate.

In light of our upcoming clinical offerings additions to seaninderbitzen.com, we thought that it might be important to focus on the issue of race. Seaninderbitzen.com promotes the CATINA Method as our approach to assessing racial factors when it comes to the issues of race, mental health, and autism. The products affiliated with this approach can be found under the for “For Professionals” tab. We have a downloadable PDF paper version, a video explanation, and a podcast from Normal with Autism explaining what prompted the creation of the tool. If you are interested similar to our confidence booster series, we can work with you to address how the issue of race in autism is addressed in your assessment process.

Take a look. See what sticks out to you, and enjoy. We’ve got lots of new tools for you to try out and help you towards your continuing education needs in autism specific treatment for mental health disorders. Here’s to a new year of firsts!

Cheers from all of us at the seaninderbitzen.com family,
Sean Inderbitzen APSW, Member of MINT

Sean Inderbitzen
Sean is a Behavioral Health Therapist, and lives with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has a caseload with 25% of his patients that live with ASD and varying comorbid psychiatric conditions. Prior to being a mental health clinician, he was a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist for Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for 3 years. He was also appointed by Governor Walker to the Statewide Independent Living Council of Wisconsin. He is an incoming member to the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, and provides training on motivational interviewing, ASD and employment, and ASD and comorbid psychiatric conditions. If you are interested in a consultation or MI training, please click here

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