Russian Psychological Issues
JournalsTopicsAuthorsEditor's Choice Manuscript SubmissionAbout PsyJournals.ruContact Us

  Previous issue (2021. Vol. 19, no. 4)

Autism and Developmental Disorders

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1994-1617

ISSN (online): 2413-4317


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2003

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Therapeutic Strategies for Adults with ASD. Building Romantic and Intimate Relationships; Starting Family. 103


Itskovich G.
LCSW-R, Master’s in Social Work, is a Psychotherapist in Private Practice, and the DIR-Expert, The Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL), New York, USA

This paper further examines unique aspects of emotional life of adults with ASD and challenges and rewards of building long-term romantic and family relationships. Psychotherapeutic methods of choice, DIRFloortime and mentalization, are aimed at forming, maintenance and flexible repair of the interpersonal relationship: DIRFloortime offers play- and affect-based strategies and helps to build interpersonal relationship, while mentalization techniques provide metacognitive intervention and serve as scaffolding for emotional thinking and higher-level cognition. Techniques of Floortime play, Socratic questions and collateral work proved to be effective. Clinical vignettes illustrate moving the entire family up towards more effective and harmonious co-regulated interaction with corrections to sensory triggers, elements of psychoeducation about self-regulation, and direct self-regulation individual coaching. Coregulating affect, raising self-awareness, demonstrating relationship building and repair, as well as interest in the other in the course of playful interaction; waiting and gently prodding into the emotionally meaningful subjects helps the therapist to help adult autists to erect the societal support system.

Keywords: autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), emotional development, DIRFloortime, adult psychotherapy, mentalization, affect-based therapy, theory of mind, playful interaction


For Reference

  1. Greenspan S.I., Wieder S. Na ty s autizmom: ispol’zovanie metodiki Floortime dlya razvitiya otnoshenii, obshcheniya i myshleniya [Engaging autism: using the Floortime approach to help children relate, communicate and think]. Moscow: Publ. Terevinf, 2013. 512 p. ISBN 978-5-4212-0148-9.
  2. Itskovich G. On Affective States and the Use of Affect in DIRFloortime Clinical Practice. Autizm i narusheniya razvitiya = Autism & Developmental Disorders, 2019. Vol. 17. No 2 (63). Pp. 5—17. doi: 10.17759/autdd.2019170201 (In Russ.).
  3. Itskovich G. Therapeutic Strategies for Adults with ASD. Professional and Social Adaptation. Autizm i narusheniya razvitiya = Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2020. Vol. 18, no. 2 (67), pp. 63—69. DOI: autdd.2020180209 (In Russ.).
  4. Baron-Cohen S., Bowen D.C., Holt R. J., Allison C., Auyeung B., Lombardo M.V., et. al. The “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” Test: Complete Absence of Typical Sex Difference in ~400 Men and Women with Autism. PLoS ONE, 2015. 10(8): e0136521. doi: 10.1016/0010-0277(85)90022-8
  5. Bateman A.W., Fonagy P. Handbook of Mentalizing in Mental Health Practice. 2nd ed. Washington: American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2019. 446 p. ISBN 978-1-61537-140-2.
  6. Benvenuto S. Autism: A battle lost by psychoanalysis. Division Review, 2019, no. 19, pp. 26—32.
  7. Clynes M. Sentics: The Touch of Emotions. Garden City: Anchor Press, 1978. 281 p. ISBN 0-38508622-9.
  8. Dana D. Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client-Centered Practices. W.W. Norton: 1st Ed., 2020. 331 p., ISBN9780393713855.
  9. Delahooke M. Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges. Gateway: 1st Ed., 2019.
  10. Grandin T., Barron S. The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism. Arlington: Future Horizons, 2005. 383 p. ISBN 1-932565-06-X.
  11. Grandin T. Thinking in pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism. — London: Bloomsbury, 2014, 304 p. ISBN 978-1-40880730-9.
  12. Greenspan J., Greenspan S.I. Functional Emotional Developmental Questionnaire for Childhood: A Preliminary Report on The Questions and Their Clinical Meaning. Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders, 2002, no. 6, pp. 71—116.
  13. Keysar B.; Lin, Shuhong; Barr, Dale J. (2003-08-01). Limits on theory of mind use in adults. Cognition. 89 (1):25—41. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00064-7.
  14. Mitchell S. Can Love Last?: The Fate of Romance over Time. W. W. Norton: 1st Ed., 2002.
  15. Moore C., Frye, D. (1991). The acquisition and utility of theories of mind. In D. Frye & C. Moore (Eds.), Children’s theories of mind (pp. 1—14). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  16. Tronick E., Gold C. The Power of Discord: Why the Ups and Downs of Relationships Are the Secret to Building Intimacy, Resilience, and Trust. New York: Little, Brown, Spark; Hachette Book Group. 2020.

© 2007–2022 Portal of Russian Psychological Publications. All rights reserved in Russian

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Catalogue of academic journals in psychology & education MSUPE

Creative Commons License Open Access Repository     Webometrics Ranking of Repositories

RSS Psyjournals at Youtube ??????.???????