講者：向興婷 心理師（Aspiration Education & Development Clinic）
講題： Using Family Therapy in the context of Autism: A Scoping Review
時間：2023年11月2日（星期四）14:10 – 16:00
Background: There is substantial research that confirms the impacts of having a family member diagnosed with Autism on family relationships. Parents and siblings experience heightened levels of stress, and increased likelihood of pressure related to finance, employment, and other time-related burden. Despite the evidence of impacts of Autism on the family, most intervention models focus on the individual level, addressing individual deficits in social interaction and communication, and building parents’ capacity in implementing intervention strategies. Family Therapy is a systemic therapy approach, which perceives various problems (e.g., behaviour, mental health) or symptoms within the context of family systems. Although Family Therapy has been applied to address the needs of families with Autism, such as caregiver stress, marital and sibling relationships, and developmental influences on an Autism diagnosis, little research investigates the use of Family Therapy to support families to cope with the impacts of Autism.
Method: The present presentation entails a scoping literature review, carried out to investigate the use of Family Therapy for families having children with ASD to improve family functioning and/or reduce challenging behaviours.
Conclusion: The use of Family Therapy attaining the overarching goal of family restructure to refine family boundaries addresses many concerns noted in the literature of the impacts of Autism on the family. However, several adaptations should be considered for effective intervention. Family enmeshment ought to be conceptualised differently in families having autistic children to reflect the natural byproduct of parenting an autistic child. Therefore, the focus is recommended on role clarification among caregivers, as opposed to strengthening boundaries between parents and the child.
Cindy Hsiang is the clinical supervisor at Aspiration Education and Development Clinic and the lead trainer at Academy of Systemic Behaviour Approach. She is a fully registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia, and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS). Cindy is also an ESDM-certified therapist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
After graduating from National Taiwan University, Cindy has obtained two Master degrees in Educational Psychology and Education (ABA) from New Zealand and Australia. She is a PhD candidate at University of Newcastle, and her research area is “Use of Family Therapy to support Neurodiverse Families”.
Cindy has extensive professional experience working with children, adolescents and their families. Her professional experience includes assessment and interventions of a wide range of difficulties; such as, autism and related developmental delays, learning and behavioral difficulties, anxiety and depression. She has worked in public and private sectors in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Cindy is passionate about advocating for children and believes systemic attitude change about autism and developmental delays. She has presented in multiple conferences, such as AAFT 5th Conference in Taiwan, AAFT (Australia) Conference 2021, and Australia ABA Conference in Sydney 2022.
Aspiration Education and Development Clinic – www.aspirationchildpsychology.com.au
Academy of Systemic Behaviour Approach – www.asbapro.com