Burns Virtual Psychological Solutions

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Autism

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that focuses on changing negative patterns of thought and behavior. It is often used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

There is evidence to suggest that CBT can be particularly beneficial for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here are a few reasons why:

  1. CBT can help individuals with ASD to better understand and regulate their emotions: People with ASD may have difficulty understanding and interpreting their own emotions and the emotions of others. CBT can help them to identify and label their emotions, as well as develop strategies for managing them.

  2. CBT can improve social skills: Many individuals with ASD have challenges with social interactions and communication. CBT can help them to learn and practice social skills, such as taking turns in conversation and maintaining (or appearing to maintain) eye contact with others.

  3. CBT can reduce repetitive or problematic behaviors: Some individuals with ASD may engage in repetitive or problematic behaviors, such as self-injury or aggression. CBT can help them to identify the triggers for these behaviors and develop healthy coping strategies to reduce their frequency or intensity.

  4. CBT can improve daily functioning: By addressing the challenges mentioned above, CBT can help individuals with ASD to improve their overall functioning and quality of life. This may include improvements in their relationships, communication skills, and ability to manage daily tasks.

Overall, CBT can be a helpful treatment option for individuals with ASD who are struggling with emotional, social, or behavioral challenges. It is important to note that CBT should be customized to meet the specific needs and abilities of each individual. A cookie cutter approach is never a good idea and rarely helps a person. CBT is most effective when part of a collaborative approach between the patient and clinician.


Are you someone who identifies as neurodivergent? Dr. Burns and her team take a neuroaffirmative approach in their work to meet neurodivergent individuals where they are in a safe and validating environment.