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redrobin62
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31 Jan 2014, 2:56 pm

<--- Sigh. Wanted to be a psychologist but became an LPN instead. Then it was 30 years of torture, misery and pain. I wouldn't wish the profession on my worst enemy.



JSBACHlover
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31 Jan 2014, 2:58 pm

StarTrekker, I think you are an amazing person. I am so happy you are going into psychotherapy to help people with autism and Asperger's. From reading all your posts I can tell that you are extremely smart. You'll be able to help people in ways that no NT can.

So, I guess just wait to hear from your professor. If he or she is worth their salt, then there will be an answer for you. I mean, come one -- Aspie's can be psychotherapists! We can read people, just not in the same ways that NTs can. And that is our gift. Who cares about eye contact? It's overrated. I just did a funeral today and hardly made any eye contact. But I spoke from my heart about the deceased and connected with everybody. (You may recall from other posts that I am a Catholic priest.)

My AS has helped me to understand Aspies and NTs in ways that NTs can't understand. For example, somehow I can read a person's spiritual status, even if I can't read their social status. Being an Aspie is hard, but it's a real gift. You can do a lot of good to help people. You have my 100% support! I am so happy for you and for your future patients.



Waterfalls
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31 Jan 2014, 6:25 pm

StarTrekker I suggest worrying less about the people you are testing and counseling as they will be primarily concerned about their own issues and whether you care and can help them. Professors and colleagues may have doubts. You need to persuade them of your abilities by believing in yourself and staying focused on the task. They will respect you if you do that.

I hope they may like you as well, though that may be more difficult.



StarTrekker
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31 Jan 2014, 6:45 pm

JSBACHlover wrote:
StarTrekker, I think you are an amazing person. I am so happy you are going into psychotherapy to help people with autism and Asperger's. From reading all your posts I can tell that you are extremely smart. You'll be able to help people in ways that no NT can.

So, I guess just wait to hear from your professor. If he or she is worth their salt, then there will be an answer for you. I mean, come one -- Aspie's can be psychotherapists! We can read people, just not in the same ways that NTs can. And that is our gift. Who cares about eye contact? It's overrated. I just did a funeral today and hardly made any eye contact. But I spoke from my heart about the deceased and connected with everybody. (You may recall from other posts that I am a Catholic priest.)

My AS has helped me to understand Aspies and NTs in ways that NTs can't understand. For example, somehow I can read a person's spiritual status, even if I can't read their social status. Being an Aspie is hard, but it's a real gift. You can do a lot of good to help people. You have my 100% support! I am so happy for you and for your future patients.


Thanks JSBACHlover, the encouragement is much appreciated :) it's very cool that you can read people's spiritual statuses, it must be interesting to know what's going on inside people when they sometimes don't even know themselves.


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wozeree
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31 Jan 2014, 7:26 pm

I have a BS in forensic psychology, the biggest thing it taught me was that most of psychology (the foundational studies and current studies are made up of made up stuff). A lot of psychologists are just plain full of it - but I know so many, especially some of my professors who were in the trenches (in my case they were in prisons), really making a difference in people's lives. I think it's great what you are doing, you will be able to help people understand what the road might be like ahead for them and to help them put things into perspective. Of course, Autism is such a wide spectrum, that some of it you might not be able to tell about from your life so far, but you will pick up on it from other clients in your job. Experience in the job will help you a lot.

I think you have a really level head on you and that's important - the worst thing a psychologist can do is make assumptions about people based on their own prejudices or take out their own feelings on someone who is vulnerable because those kinds of things tend to be personality flaws, not just one time mistakes. Because you are Aspie, you probably know that all too well. Other than that, you probably will make mistakes, we all do, but that doesn't mean you can't be great at what you are doing and really helping people. If you do mess up sometimes don't be too hard on yourself, just learn from your mistake.

And btw, I bet non-Aspie psychologists have some of the same problems that you are worried about - they can't all read people perfectly, especially people who are in extreme distress or people who are good at lying.



ASPartOfMe
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01 Feb 2014, 1:19 am

StarTrekker wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
I may be talking nonsense here but would not your training teach you the body language relevant to diagnosing people?. Interviews or sessions are structured. Diagnosis is based on a checklist the person does or does not do this, If the person the person does 4 out of 5 things on the list give them a positive diagnoses etc. Like with any job there are some things you won't like or are weak at, but as an outsider looking in there seems to be a lot of scrips, structure and research in psychology.

As has been said before we defiantly need people on the spectrum in the profession who won't automatically look at traits as odd, strange, wrong and in need of "fixing". We need people on the DSM. If the social parts don't work out there is always research to do.

Good luck.


I'm less concerned with diagnosis, as you are correct when you say that it is observing symptoms, giving tests and asking questions to obtain a history, however I am still going to have to deal appropriately with NTs in my work environment; the parents of children I'm evaluating for instance. I'll have to know how to read them, and how to respond when they're describing their child's history, then there's the follow-up; how to tell them what to do next, what to do if they're upset by the news, perhaps discussing what autism means to a parent or relative who refuses to accept the diagnosis, in a way that doesn't sound like I'm just lecturing them. There are going to be a lot of NTs in my path, and I'm going to have to know how to treat them all like clients.


Hopefully your courses will teach you the best way to handle these common scenarios. If not I would assume for your post graduation jobs will be working for someone who can teach you.


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mr_bigmouth_502
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01 Feb 2014, 2:37 am

At one time I wanted to get a copy of the DSM-IV diagnostic manual (this was before the DSM V was released) and use it to diagnose my friends and family so that I could get to know them better. In hindsight however, this seems like it would have been a bad idea, mainly because people would think I'm weird for trying to analyze/diagnose them, but also because I'm simply not a licensed mental health professional, and as such any diagnosis I would make of another person would be dubious at best.



StarTrekker
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04 Feb 2014, 4:35 pm

Well friends, the resident shrink in training is back on track. I spoke to my professor today about my concerns, and she seems to think that with some practise, there is no reason I can't become the specialist I want to be. She mentioned that picking up on the nonverbal emotional indicators may be hard, but learnable. She also made me aware of the fact that there are many different areas of psychology invested in helping people with autism, so if my first idea doesn't work out, I'm not doomed to have wasted my education. Thanks for all the support guys :)


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StatsNerd
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04 Feb 2014, 7:41 pm

Keep at it! I've got a Master's in Psychology; I'm in a PhD program now. I do research, not clinical/counseling.



em_tsuj
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04 Feb 2014, 9:23 pm

I know I saw some autism specialists who were on the spectrum on the internet somewhere. I will try to look it up. I think you can be a good psychotherapist with AS. Good luck!



massacrew
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05 Feb 2014, 1:06 pm

There is and his name is Dr. Mark Viner he is a psycopharmacologist in Nevada, he has YouTube chan as well doctorofmindmd. You will think he is nuts and not a real dr after you see some of his videos.. But I assure you he is real (I checked with the Nevada board), and is for sure an aspie.



Billw1628
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05 Feb 2014, 1:59 pm

The most famous one I know is Dr. Michael McManmon. He is the founder of College Internship Program in the US. I presented with him before and he said that he has a psychology background in my presentation.


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VeggieGirl
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11 Feb 2014, 12:38 am

I am a therapist and I have Asperger's (now ASD). I was definitely slower to learn things than my classmates, but I have gotten a lot better over time. It helped me to read a lot and to watch demonstration videos. Role plays in classes also helped. I wrote a thread about this about a year or two ago… I wanted to know if there are any therapists with Asperger's.

It is definitely possible for a person with Asperger's/ASD to be a therapist. It often does not very easily, but it can be done. Also, certain modalities can be easier for people on the spectrum. For instance, CBT approaches may be easier (in my opinion), while psychodynamic approaches may be harder (also in my opinion).