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Digital Seminar

Motivational Interviewing for High-Functioning Autism in Adulthood: An Insider’s Perspective

Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT
1 Hour 31 Minutes
Audio and Video
Apr 23, 2021
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Join autism expert Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT, as he teaches you—from an insider’s perspective— how to use Motivational Interviewing techniques (MI) with your adult clients on the autism spectrum.

In this rare opportunity, Sean will guide you through MI techniques that will help your clients improve: 

  • Anxiety and depression 
  • Social pragmatics 
  • Communication 
  • Self-esteem  
  • Emotion identification 
  • Intrinsic motivation 
  • “Black” and “white” thinking 
  • Navigating ambiguity 
  • Find what changes to pursue  
  • Resistance to change 

Learning effective techniques from a clinician on the spectrum will give you the essential skills and perspective you need to help your clients overcome the treatment obstacles that can impede the therapy they desperately need.

Stop feeling frustrated, ineffective and perpetually stuck at square one in therapy—PURCHASE TODAY! 



Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT's Profile

Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, MINT Related seminars and products

Sean Inderbitzen, APSW, 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.

In addition to his work as a therapist, Sean is a doctoral student of Tulane University’s School of Social Work, and a collaborator on two studies on the treatment of PTSD in children with autism utilizing modified EMDR and utilizing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP). He works closely with Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute on the SP study under the research and clinical guidance of Dr. Bonnie Goldstein and is under the research direction of Dr. Bruce Thyer, BCBA-D, LCSW, a distinguished research professor from Florida State University, for the EMDR study.

Sean is an active member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and regularly lectures for state governments, foundations, and universities on motivational interviewing and the intersection of autism and mental health. His writings can be found regularly featured on, a non-profit group devoted to advancing the neurodiversity movement. Learn more at

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.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Justify the importance of using person-centred strategies with ASD patients.
  2. Utilize MI to integrate understanding of pragmatic language skills, motivation and depressive symptoms.
  3. Employ MI strategies such as flipping the righting reflex, menu of options type questions and OARS to treat anxiety and depression in adults with HFA.


  • Motivational Interviewing (MI) and ASD: What the Research Says 
    • Matching developmental freedom and personal autonomy: Activity 
    • Recommendations for balancing safety and autonomy 
    • Person-centred strategies and their impact on patients with ASD 
    • Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) and MI  
  • MI Techniques for Improving Pragmatic Language 
    • Exercise on social pragmatics and depression (Thomas Gordon’s process) 
    • Case study: Social pragmatics and meaning-making 
    • Social pragmatics and its effect on self-esteem and motivation 
    • Help clients navigate ambiguity 
    • Decreasing “black” and “white” thinking patterns 
    • Increasing clients ability to identify reasons for change and build motivation 
    • Responding to change talk in HFA 
    • Hacks for social pragmatics 
  • MI Strategies for Treating Anxiety and Depression 
    • Recognize “black” and “white” thinking patterns 
    • Open-ended questions, Affirmations, Reflections and Summaries (OARS) 
    • Cultivate change talk for motivation: Case example 
    • OARS real play activity 
    • Flipping the righting reflex demonstration 
    • Evoking confidence for change in HFA: Exercise 
    • Menu of Options – using closed-ended questions 
    • MI risk and limitations in ASD population 

Target Audience

  • Addiction Professionals 
  • Case Managers 
  • Dieticians 
  • Licensed Clinical/Mental Health Counselors 
  • Marriage & Family Therapists 
  • Nurses 
  • Nursing Home/Assisted Living Administrators 
  • Occupational Therapists 
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants 
  • Physical Therapists 
  • Psychologists 
  • School Administrators 
  • Social Workers 
  • Speech-Language Pathologists 
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel 

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