Ali  Cunningham Abbott Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Ali Cunningham Abbott

Associate Professor & Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Lynn University

I am an associate professor at Lynn University and licensed mental health counselor and qualified supervisor at the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety & Mood Disorders. I have been working with clients with autism, their families, professionals and the community for over 10 years. Before academia, I was the assistant director of the FAU Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD).

Subjects: Education, Social Work


Throughout my life I have been interested in learning about the best ways possible to help others. Whether it was among friends or family, my desire to counsel others has almost always been a part of my personal and professional interests. From my early work in mentoring programs to my professional counseling career, this interest has remained consistent and recently culminates in the work I do as an educator, counselor and supervisor. Clinically, I began my career working in substance abuse and eating disorder treatment where I provided partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment. From there I gained experiences working with autistic clients, beginning with toddlers in a filial therapy model to adults navigating complicated relationship issues. I’ve been trained in evidence-based relationship programs for those with autism, the UCLA PEERS(R) program and the Gottman Method (Levels I & II), in order to integrate these empirical treatments into both the classroom and sessions with clients. I’ve worked primarily in non-profit organizations and higher education settings where I’ve been a program administrator, assistant director and consultant to programs that help improve maternal mental health, educational outcomes for young children and support for school systems. The diversity of experiences in my career has culminated in my expertise in counseling autistic adults and it is a specialty I truly love.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    My areas of research and professional experience have involved the investigation of treatment and screening outcomes for people with autism. This includes practice & research on relationship skills treatment outcomes and screening efforts for females in community mental health settings. I’ve provided individual, group, couples and family counseling services for autistic children, teens and adults as well as loved ones. My professional expertise also includes consulting with schools, employers and government programs that provide services to a wide range of clients including those with autism and others.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Counseling Adults with Autism - 1st Edition book cover


Counseling Outcome Research & Evaluation (CORE)

The Effects of a Romantic Relationship Treatment Option for Adults with Autism

Published: Mar 12, 2017 by Counseling Outcome Research & Evaluation (CORE)
Authors: Cunningham, Sperry, Brady, Peluso & Pauletti

Healthy romantic relationships yield physical and mental health benefits important to improved quality of life, yet many adults with ASD do not experience successful romantic relationships precluding them from possible benefits. This is the first study that explores the effects of group counseling, using the protocol Relationship Enhancement, for 38 adult ASD participants in treatment as usual and a modified condition.