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AuSM hires two new therapists

AmyCarrisonwebJenCroppedwebIn order to meet demand for counseling services, AuSM is pleased to announce an expansion of its AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services (ACCS) team.

“Nearly every day we hear from families and individuals who are looking for a mental health professionals who understand autism,” AuSM executive director Jonah Weinberg said. “While there are quite a few providers who are experienced working with younger children, many are at a loss when it comes to working with adolescents and adults.”

The demand for diagnosis, testing, and counseling services has grown significantly in recent years. Weinberg said AuSM is responding to this need by hiring additional mental health providers.

“We’ve recently added two qualified, dedicated therapists who make it possible for us to serve more clients and offer new services, while maintaining the levels of care and compassion for which AuSM therapists have set the standard.”

Weinberg added that autism itself is not a mental illness, but that many individuals with the diagnosis struggle to navigate social and societal norms, and that this struggle can lead to depression, anxiety, or other co-occurring challenges. With the addition of these therapists, AuSM is not only able to offer additional mental health counseling, but also testing services to help individuals understand their diagnosis better.

The following therapists are joining AuSM’s ACCS team:

Amy Carrison, PsyD, LADC and Jennifer S. Reinke, PhD, LAMFT, CFLE, now are meeting with clients, offering flexible scheduling, and bringing new services to ACCS, including IQ, emotion recognition, and adaptive functioning testing for individuals with autism.

After completing her doctorate of psychology at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Dr. Carrison is completing a postdoctoral fellowship with AuSM. She has experience in psychological assessment and testing with the goal of providing individuals with targeted interventions to overcome areas of need. In addition to her work at AuSM, Dr. Carrison teaches courses at Saint Mary’s University – Rochester Campus. Dr. Carrison has been licensed in Minnesota as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor since 2002 and has worked in a variety of substance abuse treatment settings with both adults and adolescents.

Dr. Reinke has worked with individuals and families affected by autism for more than 10 years in community living, agency, school, and home settings throughout the Twin Cities, Houston, Denver, and, most recently, South Africa. Though a diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability, such as autism, tends to be given to an individual, Dr. Reinke strongly believes that such diagnoses affect the entire family – including the parent-child relationship, couple relationship, sibling relationship, as well as relationships with extended family. She strives to work with families to acknowledge the unique joys, rewards, and challenges that autism brings to their lives, and identify possible solutions that will serve to strengthen their family unit.

Drs. Carrison and Reinke join AuSM’s existing ACCS team: Barbara Luskin, PhD, MA; Sara Pahl, BS, BCaBA, NCC; and Beth Pitchford, MA. Collectively, AuSM’s therapists bring more than 80 years experience of serving individuals with autism. Click here to learn more about ACCS and AuSM’s therapists.