Skip to main content
This product may have additional discounts available which will be visible once you checkout.
Digital Recordings

Adults with High-Functioning Autism and Comorbid Mental Disorders: Motivational Interviewing Tools and Techniques to Enhance the Treatment of Anxiety and Depression

Average Rating:
Not yet rated
Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT
6 Hours 07 Minutes
Jun 21, 2021
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recordings - Also available: DVD


Rates of Autism disorder diagnoses have exploded in the last 2 decades. Along with others on the spectrum, high-functioning individuals are at a vastly elevated risk for experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.

But when these clients come to your office, the lack of intrinsic motivation, difficulty identifying emotions, and resistance to change found in so many individuals on the spectrum can leave you feeling frustrated, ineffective and perpetually stuck at square one in therapy.

How can you ensure you’re prepared to work with this growing population and overcome the treatment obstacles that can impede the therapy they desperately

Sean Inderbitzen, is an advanced practice social worker and MINT trainer who is also on the autism spectrum. Watch him for a critical one-day training on how you can use Motivational Interviewing to help clients with HFA more fully engage in treatment and find the drive they need to improve their lives!

Full of insights on how MI can be used most effectively from the perspective of both a clinician and a person with autism, Sean will show you:

  • How to identify symptoms of anxiety and depression that can differ in adults with ASD
  • Ways to overcome black and white thinking patterns that can stall therapy
  • Strategies to address ruminations and build emotional vocabulary
  • Techniques that help clients on the spectrum identify reasons for change and build motivation for treatment
  • Exercises to keep the momentum of the conversation toward change in depression and anxiety treatment

Whether you already work with HFA clients, or want to ensure you’re prepared to, this program will give you the tools you need to achieve more positive outcomes for HFA clients!

Purchase today!



This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD.



Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT's Profile

Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT Related seminars and products

Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT, has lived 32 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder and is an active clinical social worker within a community health center specializing in the treatment of autism and co-occurring trauma.

In addition to his work as a therapist, Sean is a doctoral student of Tulane University’s School of Social Work, and a collaborator on two studies on the treatment of PTSD in children with autism utilizing modified EMDR and utilizing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP). He works closely with Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute on the SP study under the research and clinical guidance of Dr. Bonnie Goldstein and is under the research direction of Dr. Bruce Thyer, BCBA-D, LCSW, a distinguished research professor from Florida State University, for the EMDR study.

Sean is an active member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and regularly lectures for state governments, foundations, and universities on motivational interviewing and the intersection of autism and mental health. His writings can be found regularly featured on, a non-profit group devoted to advancing the neurodiversity movement. Learn more at

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sean Inderbitzen is a consultant and has an employment relationship with Northlakes Community Clinic. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sean Inderbitzen is an adult who is on the autism spectrum.


  1. Investigate research on the impact of using person-centered strategies with ASD patients.
  2. Analyze how symptoms of anxiety and depression can present in adults with ASD.
  3. Apply strategies to help clients with difficulties recognizing emotions develop a more complete spectrum of emotions.
  4. Investigate the relationship between pragmatic language skills, motivation and depressive symptoms.
  5. Employ MI exercises to help clients recognize polarized thoughts and increase doubt in black and white thinking patterns that can impede treatment.
  6. Prepare treatment plans that include MI strategies to help clients identify reasons for change and build motivation for treatment.


Resistance to Change in Adults with High-Functioning Autism

  • How is High Functioning Autism defined?
  • Executive functioning deficits and ways to measure
  • Matching developmental freedom and personal autonomy
  • Research on person-centred strategies with ASD patients
  • Feedback informed treatment and the Spirit of Motivational Interviewing

The Core Skills of MI:
Person-Centred Strategies and Skills to Stimulate Change

  • Improve rapport by recognizing autonomy
  • Review of OARS
  • Evoke confidence in clients to try social experiments
  • How to decrease sustain talk in clients who don’t think they can change
  • Strategies to cultivate change talk for motivation

Black and White Thinking Patterns in Adults with HFA:
MI Solutions to Overcome One of the Biggest Treatment Roadblocks

  • HFA clients and difficultly recognizing emotion in themselves and others
  • Integrate somatic experience as a core organizer for emotional experience
  • Tools to develop a spectrum experience of emotions
  • How to address binary-based ruminations through building vocabulary
  • Exercises to help clients recognize polarized thoughts
  • CBT visualization adaptations to connect with concrete thinking patterns
  • Use discord to increase doubt in black and white thinking patterns

Depressive Symptoms in Adults with ASD:
Improve Treatment Response with MI Strategies

  • How symptoms in adults with ASD present
  • Features in adults with ASD that affect how they think
  • The relationship between pragmatic language skills, motivation and depressive symptoms
  • MI strategies to help clients identify reasons for change and build motivation for treatment
  • MI interventions for responding to change talk for depressive behaviours

Integrate MI into Anxiety Treatment:
Techniques for Enhanced Engagement in Adult Clients with HFA

  • Adult presentations of anxiety and HFA
  • Building rapport with anxious HFA clients
  • Sustain talk and ruminations in HFA clients – examples
  • MI interventions that help clients work with and overcome sustain talk
  • Out of the woods exercise to keep the momentum of the conversation toward change
  • MI research and treatment risks and limitations

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to or call 01235847393.

Please wait ...

Back to Top