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Digital Seminar

Trauma-Focused Therapy for Autistic Children

Using EMDR, TF-CBT and Sensorimotor Therapy with Kids and Teens on the Spectrum

Sean Inderbitzen, DSW, LCSW, MINT
6 Hours 09 Minutes
Jul 22, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
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So many kids today are on the autism spectrum…and up to 70% of them have trauma or other co-occurring disorders. It’s a rapidly growing population needing services.

And if you provide therapy for kids and adolescents, the current lack of those services will push them into your care… and push you beyond your traditional scope of practice.

How can you work with this growing wave of trauma clients in a way you feel comfortable?

Sean Inderbitzen, APSW has worked with hundreds of clients with autism and co-occurring disorders. And not only does Sean work with clients with autism he himself is on the autism spectrum.

In this one-day training Sean will show you simple solutions for adapting the skills and techniques you already know to successfully treat trauma in kids and adolescents with autism.

Full of insights from the perspective of both a clinician and a person on the spectrum, Sean will show you how you can:

  • Use strategies for overcoming therapy interfering behaviours and concrete thinking
  • Employ a Polyvagal lens to make trauma treatment clear and understandable
  • Create visual aids for enhanced psychoeducation on trauma symptoms
  • Bring specific simplified language into your work with ASD clients
  • Adapt proven techniques from EMDR, TF-CBT and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Whether or not you consider yourself an autism expert, these kids and teens need your help.

Don’t miss this one-of-kind chance to grow your clinical skills and expand your scope of practice, so you can comfortably and confidently treat trauma in kids with autism.

Purchase now!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 6.25 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Sean Inderbitzen, DSW, LCSW, MINT's Profile

Sean Inderbitzen, DSW, LCSW, MINT Related seminars and products

Sean Inderbitzen, LCSW, 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. He is a doctoral student at Tulane University’s School of Social Work and is a collaborator on two studies for the treatment of PTSD in children with autism, one on utilizing modified EMDR and the other on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP). He works closely with Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute on the SP study under the research and clinical guidance of Dr. Bonnie Goldstein, author of the new and upcoming book (co-authored with Dr. Pat Ogden) A Comprehensive Guide to Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents, and Families (Norton Interpersonal Neurobiology Series, In Press). With Respect to the EMDR study, Sean is under the research direction of Dr. Bruce Thyer, BCBA-D, LCSW, a distinguished research professor from Florida State University, a member of the Tulane Traumatology Institute, and chief editor of Journal of Research in Social Work Practice and co-editor of the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

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. Apply a Polyvagal Model of autism to the treatment of ASD and PTSD.
  2. Develop differential diagnostic practices to prevent diagnostic overshadowing between PTSD, OCD and ASD.
  3. Use social stories to help individuals with ASD process thoughts and feelings about their trauma and learn coping skills.
  4. Use simplified language to overcome deficits in expressive and receptive language differences and ensure comprehension when teaching breathing and relaxation techniques to neurodiverse clients.
  5. Investigate the research limitations of applying trauma treatment techniques to children and adolescents with trauma.
  6. Apply specific modifications to adapt EMDR, TF-CBT and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for use with children and adolescents with autism and PTSD.


Autism and Trauma: Overlap and Treatment Implications
  • What is the window of tolerance and its relevance to Polyvagal theory?
  • Rethinking autism: A Polyvagal Model of autism
  • Implications of trauma on executive dysfunction and memory
  • A case study of an autistic child with PTSD and dissociative amnesia
The Diagnostic Intersection of Autism, OCD and PTSD
  • Diagnostic criteria for ASD
  • Diagnostic overshadowing in ASD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and PTSD
  • Applying Polyvagal theory to the intersection of a state specific model of autism
  • Implications to diagnosis and treatment of autism and PTSD
EMDR for Kids with ASD and PTSD:
Adapting Social Stories and Tapping for Enhanced Treatment
  • EMDR protocol walkthrough
  • Visual aids for improved psychoeducation on trauma symptoms
  • Adapting social stories to the treatment of trauma in children with ASD
  • Using tapping for simple stress reduction
  • Case study
  • Research and limitations
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy:
Treat the Symptoms of Unresolved Trauma in the Body
  • Mindful awareness of the body – helping kids with autism identify triggers
  • Modified mindfulness exercises to activate calm in children with ASD and PTSD
  • Simplified language to teach deep breathing and relaxation techniques
  • Case study
  • Research and limitations
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
Adaptations to Address Developmental Level and Increase Comprehension
  • Modifications for using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy
    • Strategies to increase generalization
    • Tips for overcoming concrete thinking
    • Integrating visual learning to illustrate points
  • Deepening TF-CBT practices with motivational interviewing
  • Research and limitations
  • Applying EMDR, TF-CBT, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to a state specific model of ASD

Target Audience

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

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