Meet Our Therapists
Amy Carrison, PsyD, LP, LADC
Dr. Carrison is a licensed psychologist who earned her doctorate of psychology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2016. She uses cognitive behavioral strategies in therapy to help clients change problematic behavior patterns. She has experience in psychological assessment and testing with the goal of providing individuals with targeted interventions to overcome areas of need. Dr. Carrison has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum in day training program and group home settings. In addition to her work at AuSM, Dr. Carrison teaches courses at Saint Mary’s University – Minneapolis Campus. She 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.
Sara Lahti, MA, CCTP
Sara Lahti, a Mental Health Practitioner and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, graduated with her Master of Arts degree in 2018 and previously earned a BA in psychology through the University of St. Thomas. Lahti has worked with children with ASD as well as with people with ASD and other disabilities in a day program facility.
Lahti has a passion for working with adults on the autism spectrum. She uses Adlerian and person-centered therapeutic techniques to help clients better understand themselves and their strengths. Lahti’s Master’s thesis focused on using Early Recollections with people on the spectrum, which she believes is central to understanding clients’ core beliefs. She works with clients on thought patterns and how they affect daily living and also helps clients develop social interest within themselves and their communities.
Barbara Luskin, PhD, LP
Dr. Luskin is a licensed psychologist who has worked closely with children and adults with ASD for more than 30 years in professional and home settings. She specializes in providing both assessments and counseling to individuals with ASD and those who support them.
Dr. Luskin’s services include diagnostic and functional assessments, individual therapy for adults and adolescents, and training and consultation for caregivers. She helps them understand ASD, teaches them creative and effective interventions, helps them evaluate progress, and provides guidance when adjustments are needed.
Dr. Luskin serves the local autism community in multiple capacities including professional consultation, autism trainings, certification instruction, and individual work with clients. As such, her schedule usually is at capacity. Please speak with the AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services appointment scheduler to identify the AuSM therapist who can best meet your needs.
Beth Pitchford, MA, LPCC
Beth Pitchford earned a master’s degree in Psychology from the Adler Graduate School (AGS), where she focused on learning about autism and how various aspects of Adlerian psychology could compliment the standard use of cognitive behavioral therapy with people on the autism spectrum. Pitchford became passionate about working with people on the “invisible” part of the spectrum (formerly known as Asperger’s syndrome) after she realized that many people close to her are on the spectrum and have spent most of their lives wondering why they felt so different.
Pitchford values working with adults who want to decode the neurotypical world in order to decrease barriers to community acceptance and to increase feelings of success. She works with adolescents as they navigate the super-social world of the teenage years. Using cognitive behavioral approaches and her Adlerian training, Pitchford’s goal is to help people better understand not only themselves but also the people in their lives.
James Rechs, LICSW
James Rechs, located in Rochester, Minn., provides individual therapy for adults and teens as well as psychoeducation and support for parents, families, and caregivers. Rechs believes that social and emotional struggles are not a sign of abnormality, but rather a reflection of the diversity and challenges of human experience. His top priority is helping clients achieve goals that are most important to them, and to help them live lives of meaning and satisfaction. Rechs specializes in working with those seeking to transition to greater independence, and especially enjoys helping clients pursue their areas of interest in ways that stimulate personal growth and connection. Rechs has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Iowa. To schedule an appointment with James in his Rochester location, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651.647.1083 ext. 29.
Bjorn Walter, MA
Bjorn Walter earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2013, and his master’s degree in Adlerian psychotherapy and counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Adler Graduate School (AGS) in 2017. During his master’s program, Walter interned at the Autism Society of Minnesota where he discovered his passion for working with individuals and families living with autism. Since graduating from AGS, Walter spent time working at a group home dedicated to adults with autism and schizophrenia near his hometown in Sweden.
Walter uses Adlerian and cognitive behavioral techniques to help individuals and their families understand the true nature of autism. He recognizes the importance of familial relationships and friendships and strives to help his clients realize how they affect us and our lives. Walter promotes encouragement, openness, and honesty.
Josette Wynne, ACCS Intern
Josette Wynne came to the field of clinical social work through her own interest in how systems and trauma affect individual development, behavior, and biopsychosocial life outcomes. Additional life experiences as a member of the LGBT community and parent of two children with autism led her on her path to offer support and encouragement to others.
Wynne has a special interest in helping neurodiverse adults and children with their emotional well-being, providing person-centered supports and guidance. She also is interested in providing empathetic help to parents navigating the adjustments that may come with their child’s diagnosis. She offers a collaborative, non-judgmental, safe therapeutic space to explore an individual’s unique needs, strengths and solutions. Wynne incorporates a blend of approaches, drawing from theoretical frameworks such as psychodynamic, attachment, and systems theories while using skills and techniques from mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. She draws from her education and personal experiences supporting neurodiverse individuals across the lifespan.
In addition to working on completing her Master of Social Work (MSW) from Widener University, Wynne also is completing additional certifications in Intellectual Developmental Disabilities and Trauma Informed Practice. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.