Episode #63 Interview with Courtney Eidson with Trail Side Counseling

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 Courtney Eidson is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW-CP) with over 20 years of experience providing guidance to empower clients and families facing a variety of challenges. Her expertise is working with clients diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, Depression, and Behavioral and Learning difficulties. Courtney’s background includes experience in psychiatric residential treatment, outdoor therapeutic boarding schools, healthcare settings and private practice.

Courtney is recognized by the community and colleagues for her knowledge and experience, especially regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her goal is to increase awareness of the needs of persons diagnosed with Autism and other disorders while also providing support to those going through a difficult time.

Learn more at http://trailsidecounseling.org/

Automatic Transcription from Otter.ai

work, autism spectrum disorder, clients, population, courtney, diagnosed, families, school, routine, last semester, adhd, children, diagnoses, today, parents, opportunity, challenge, practice, psychiatrist, neuro diversity

Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the autism and action podcast today we have another very special guest, we've got Miss Courtney Eaton. She's with trailside counseling at a traveler's rest. Thank you so much for taking time to be here today, Courtney.

Thank you.

Good morning, Courtney. Just kind of to start us off, I'm curious if you could maybe tell us a little bit about how you got started and your practice right now. And also like how your, your, the population you serve as well.

Um, so I received my bachelor's in social work back in 1998. So basically doing social work, since that time working with children and families in a variety of settings. I've worked in residential settings, outdoor therapeutic settings, inpatient, as well as the healthcare field. Um, and, you know, it got to a point where I wanted to kind of do things how I wanted to do and I wanted to work in the community more, have the ability to advocate more, and just work in a collaborative effort. Um, and so I opened my practice back in the summer of last year. And since then, I've been able to work with the police department, various schools, those kind of psychiatrists, those kind of things. Because the population I work with is mainly neurodiverse. And I fell into the world of autism spectrum disorder when I was in grad school. And just, you know, that became my passion. So my age range is 11, into adulthood. And I will work with children younger than that. But I like to look at that more on a case by case status to make sure that, that mainly, I'll be a good fit for that child in that family.

That's awesome. Thank you.

Now working within their diverse population and counseling and whatnot, can you share with us what really kind of piqued your interest in working with the population.

So I went to grad school at Winthrop University where I also got my bachelor's degree, and they're set up in your last semester, you focus on one population. And so prior to doing my internship, in grad school, I didn't really know much about autism spectrum disorder, I had worked with children that were involved with different state agencies, so a lot of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, those kind of things. So I'm sure I was working with kids on the spectrum. They just weren't diagnosed at that time. So I'm, in grad school, when I was doing my internship, I had the opportunity to study under Dr. Matthew Fisher, who specializes in neuro diversity. And, and he just, it was amazing what I learned from him and just understanding how the autism spectrum disorder population, how those clients think and figuring it out, and those kind of things, putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. Um, so in my last semester, I studied school age, children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and had the opportunity to go to a school in clover, Clover school district up near Rock Hill and saw what they were doing in the classroom with ABA. also went to hope Academy and met with some of their folks as well. And so you know, from that point on, I just, it's just become a passion of mine, you know, and just wanting to make sure that there is an opportunity. For now, there's just the the children, but the parents to have support, have education for agencies out in the community to have more education. And those situations, so I kind of just, I go on a rant, because I'm just so passionate about this population and making sure that we're supporting them to the best of our ability. Well, I

know that your services are so needed right now, we need all the help that we can get. Absolutely, yes.

And I'm curious, like, you know, as they've sort of gone through this pandemic, and the social isolation and the virtual school and all that, all that fun stuff, what have maybe been some of the key strategies you've sort of passed along to your clients and families and dealing with that.

Well, it's been interesting because since I've had the practice, and you know, it's still new, obviously, seeing clients come in that are diagnosed with ADHD, and all of a sudden, this just popped up since virtual school came into play, and it's cool. I think we may be looking more at an autism spectrum disorder, you know, you've had a huge change in your routine and those kind of things. So helping the parents try as hard as it is to emulate some sort of school routine. And understanding that, you know, that huge importance, factor of having structure, having consistency, whatever that looks like, and the same time supporting them, because that's really tough with this population. And, you know, parents are exhausted, yes, are exhausted, you know, it's so also being a sounding board for parents and just allowing them to get out their frustrations, what they need. And so really making it a true family approach, as well, as you know, focusing on different interventions with the client.

Absolutely. Well, I know even for myself, and for my clients, like my routine, since it started last March, or February has been totally messed up. And I know, one of the main things, you know, in that is that, like, I'll have my specific space in my in my house where I work, but I have another specific space in my house where I don't work. And I, I have family time, well, a lot of places will I love the clients I work with their houses are so small, or their apartments are small, and maybe they don't have those concrete areas to go, you know, for those very defined areas to go rather on. So which makes executive function and like task switching is such such a challenge. Like how do you go from one thing to the next? So, yeah, I'm hearing you on the how the importance of routine? I'm sure it's a lot easier said than done for families, though, right?

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Courtney, where can families find you online,

um, my website is www dot trailside counseling.org. And I also have a profile on psychology today.

And for your specific niche, what it is that you are focused on in office, can you tell us what your ideal client is.

So my ideal client, um, I prefer a challenge. So, um, I really like clients who are struggling in various aspects of their lives. Because I really like working in a collaboration, whether that's with the school psychiatrist, again, medical doctor, whomever, I'm also like, physical therapists, speech therapists. So, um, you know, I kind of I also go from, I have a spectrum of clients that I like, I do, like, clients who have new diagnoses, and providing that education to the client, as well as the parent and starting off with implementation of different interventions. I also like working with the kids who are just, you know, have these, this just out of control symptoms, so we can work together and figure out a plan because I think those kids obviously slip through the cracks a lot of time. Um, I also enjoy working with the transgender youth and non binary youth who have that diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, I'm seeing a huge increase in that population in my practice. And so I think, you know, I don't just work with with folks on the spectrum. But that's, that's probably the population I see the most. I also work with clients who are diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and then some learning and behavioral challenges that more than likely are associated with those diagnosed.

That's what I was about to say what you know, whenever we are treating autism in the office, we're actually working with all the comorbidities. Right, exactly. All of that comes into play there. So Absolutely. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you so much, Courtney, for taking time to be on the show today. Thank

you. I

hope our listeners get to learn a lot about what it is that you do and If you guys ever want to reach out to Courtney, it's www dot trailside counseling.org.

Courtney Thank you

Let's Discuss!

Now, we would love to hear from you.

Do you have questions? Do you have ideas? Do you have an opinion? Do you think we missed something?

Let's have a discussion in the comments below or head over to the Autism in Action Facebook group. We would love to hear from you!

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