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Therapy and Support

ACCScover2016The AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services team works in partnership with you to develop a plan based on your needs. For many, working with mental heath service providers is a new experience; we want you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable as we undertake this journey together, striving for positive, individual-focused goals.

AuSM therapists have more than 80 years of combined experience serving individuals with autism. They strive to help individuals with autism understand their diagnosis and address both the challenges and gifts that it can bring. Our depth of experience and dedicated support allows you to be confident that we will meet you wherever you are and start from there – no judgments, no preconceptions. From young children to adults, those on every part of the spectrum can grow at their own pace in a safe, compassionate environment, while pursuing their personal goals.

Consulting Services
AuSM’s Counseling and Consulting Services team is available to consult with therapists, group home staff, community organizations, employers, day training and habilitation groups, and other professionals who work with individuals with autism to help with general training or to offer strategies related to a specific issue or topic.

Click here to download the AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services brochure (pdf).

Meet Our Therapists

AmyCarrisonwebAmy Carrison, PsyD, LADC
Dr. Carrison is completing a postdoctoral fellowship with AuSM. She completed her doctorate of psychology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2016. Dr. Carrison 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 – 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.


bluskinheadshot9 11onlineDr. 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, training and consultation for caregivers; helping them to understand ASD, teaching them creative and effective interventions, helping them evaluate progress and providing guidance when adjustments are needed.


sarapahlwebSara Pahl, MS, BCBA, NCC
Pahl is a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's degree in mental health counseling from Walden University. Pahl has worked with people with ASD for nearly 20 years. Her professional experience includes working with people with ASD in multiple capacities, such as mental health counselor, behavior support professional, education specialist, lead therapist, program manager, primary grade teacher, consultant, and director of a teen program. She specializes in working with systems, such as families and schools struggling with behavioral issues, as well as working with adolescents and young adults with ASD. Pahl strives to help empower, children, adolescents and young adults with ASD through self-advocacy and self-determination no matter what ability using a non-judgemental, integrated, empathetic, evidenced-based approach.


BethPitchfordwebBeth Pitchford, MA
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 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 a feeling 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.


JenCroppedwebJennifer S. Reinke, PhD, LAMFT, CFLE
Dr. Jennifer Reinke is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Stout. She is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, a Certified Family Life Educator, and co-editor of Family Life Education: The Practice of Family Science. Prior to UW-Stout, Dr. Reinke was a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellow at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where she furthered her knowledge, skill, and abilities related to intellectual and developmental disabilities and interdisciplinary care.

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 grandparents and other 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.

Support Groups

Involved Hands

supgrplogowebAuSM provides a variety of support groups to meet the needs of parents, children, family members, individuals, couples and more. Support groups offer those affected by autism the opportunity to share problems, solutions, joy, and sorrows with one another. Most groups meet monthly, and advance registration is required.


Adult Family Member with Autism Spectrum Disorder Support Group

For: Adults with adult spouses, children, or siblings with Asperger's Syndrome

Time: This group meets the third Thursday of each month from 7-9 p.m.

2016 Schedule: Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15

2017 Schedule: Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16, Dec. 21

Cost: FREE

Location: AuSM Office. No cost to attend. Call 651.647.1083 to RSVP. If you do not RSVP, the meeting may be cancelled without notice.


Independent Adults with ASD Social Support Group

For: Adults with autism spectrum disorder

Time: This group meets the fourth Thursday of each month from 7-9 p.m.

2016 Schedule: Sept. 22 (Voting Workshop held at AuSM from 6-7 p.m. before this support group), Oct. 27, Nov. 24, Dec. 22

2017 Schedule: Jan. 26, Feb. 23, March 23, April 27, May 25, June 22, July 27, Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 16 (3rd Thursday due to Thanksgiving), Dec. 28

Cost: FREE

Location: AuSM Office. No cost to attend. Call 651.647.1083 to RSVP. If you do not RSVP, the meeting may be cancelled without notice. 


Women with ASD Support Group

For: Women with autism spectrum disorder

Time: This group meets the first Thursday of each month from 7-9 p.m.

2016 Schedule: Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1

2017 Schedule: Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, Sept. 7, Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Dec. 7

Cost: FREE

Location: AuSM Office. No cost to attend. Call 651.647.1083 to RSVP. If you do not RSVP, the meeting may be cancelled without notice.


Other Support Groups in Minnesota

AuSM realizes that it’s not possible for all of our members and those touched by autism to venture to our office for a support group. Click here for a list of support groups offered by other organizations throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. The first page is a listing of AuSM Support Groups and directions to the St. Paul office; the second page lists support groups offered by other organizations. For information about these support groups, please contact the listed organizations or individuals.

 

Ask the Therapist

AuSM's highly trained, certified therapists have committed their careers to helping individuals with autism understand their diagnosis and address both the challenges and gifts that it can bring. The AuSM Mental Health Services team sends out a monthly e-mail to answer questions submitted by the autism community. If you would like to sign up to receive these e-mails, click here.

If you would like to submit a question for AuSM's Mental Health Services team, please e-mail Dr. Barb Luskin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us at 651.647.1083.

November 2016 Ask the Therapist (Fearful of Family Festivities)

October 2016 Ask the Therapist (Eager for the Election)

September 2016 Ask the Therapist (Preparing for Parenthood)

August 2016 Ask the Therapist (Scared of School)

July 2016 Ask the Therapist (Lost in Labels)

June 2016 Ask the Therapist (Difficulty with Diagnosis)

May 2016 Ask the Therapist (Adult Meltdowns)

February 2016 Ask the Therapist (Caregiver Stress Management)

January 2016 Ask the Therapist

December 2015 Ask the Therapist

November 2015 Ask the Therapist

October 2015 Ask the Therapist

September 2015 Ask the Therapist

August 2015 Ask the Therapist

July 2015 Ask the Therapist

July 2013 Ask the Therapist

May 2013 Ask the Therapist

April 2013 Ask the Therapist

March 2013 Ask the Therapist

February 2013 Ask the Therapist

Networking for ASD Professionals

Professionals Who Work with Individuals with ASD

Join the AuSM Mental Health Services team for networking and pizza at the AuSM office in St. Paul. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. If you are able to join us, please RSVP to 651.647.1083 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 1, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday July 11, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday Oct. 10,  at 6:30 p.m.

Counseling and Consulting Services

ACCScover2016The AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services team works in partnership with you to develop a plan based on your needs. For many, working with mental heath service providers is a new experience; we want you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable as we undertake this journey together, striving for positive, individual-focused goals.

AuSM therapists have more than 80 years of combined experience serving individuals with autism. They strive to help individuals with autism understand their diagnosis and address both the challenges and gifts that it can bring. Our depth of experience and dedicated support allows you to be confident that we will meet you wherever you are and start from there – no judgments, no preconceptions. From young children to adults, those on every part of the spectrum can grow at their own pace in a safe, compassionate environment, while pursuing their personal goals.

  • Counseling services include:
  • Diagnostic assessments for adults
  • Functional or behavioral assessments for all ages
    Individual therapy
    Family therapy
    Behavior consultation
    Marriage and couples therapy
    Training for organizations and service providers

Consulting Services
AuSM’s Counseling and Consulting Services team is available to consult with therapists, group home staff, community organizations, employers, day training and habilitation groups, and other professionals who work with individuals with autism to help with general training or to offer strategies related to a specific issue or topic.

Schedule an Appointment
To inquire about our services, make an appointment or verify insurance, please contact us at 651.647.1083 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Account or billing questions?
If you have questions about your account or billing statement, please contact Monica Toledo at 651.647.1083 ext. 21 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

AuSM Counseling and Consulting Quick Links

Meet Our Therapists
Free AuSM Support Groups
Ask the Therapist
Professional Networking

Online Security Notice
AuSM has security measures in place for our website to protect any loss, misuse, or change of the information that is under our control. Such security measures include firewalls, access restrictions, and password protection. We treat all information we receive from you through forms on our website and e-mail as confidential. However, e-mail links on our website do not provide a means for completely secure and private communications between us. Your e-mails may be accessed and viewed without your knowledge or premission while in transit to us. If you wish to keep private the information you send to us, please do not use e-mail links. Instead, please contact us by phone at 651.647.1083.