Many times I have witnessed clinicians turning away a referral involving a person with IDD saying, “I am not equipped to work with them.  I don’t have the training.”  A personal goal of mine has been to attract clinicians to work in this underserved, yet fascinating, clinical specialty.  

If you only knew what it could have in store for you as a clinician, you might think twice about turning this group away.  Not only will you get to do mental health work, but you will also gain knowledge about a host of medical disorders, learn about the disability system of care in this state, as well as about advocacy efforts, and work with families and service staff.   It really does take a village to work with someone with IDD.  

Having worked over 20 years in the field of intellectual disabilities, I have acquired an extensive collection of training materials, and have developed several training presentations.  I am available to train clinicians, parent groups, disability agencies, and any group interested in learning ways to understand and work more effectively with persons with IDD.   Topics include:

  • What is a dual diagnosis?
  • Helping a person with IDD cope with stress.
  • Steps to de-escalate your client when they exhibit aggression.
  • Communicating effectively with individual with IDD.
  • Understanding assessment practices in dual diagnosis.
  • Learn elements of mental health evaluations and mental status examinations (MSE).
  • What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?
  • Adapting therapy for people with IDD.
  • Special considerations for childhood and adolescents with IDD.
  • Our aging population.  What does it look like for persons with IDD?
  • Other related trainings can be available at your request.

Nearly *40% of all persons with IDD have a comorbid psychiatric diagnosis.  Very few of these people are identified as having a mental health disorder.  As a result, most persons with IDD and mental health disorders receive no treatment. They need more therapists willing to work with them.  Please contact me with your training needs.

*Fletcher, R.J., Baker, D., St. Croix J., Cheplic, M. (2015).  Mental health approaches to intellectual/developmental disability: A resource for trainers. Kingston, NY: NADD Press.


Our son has benefited from the sage advice of Kathy Honeyman over nearly ten years. She has helped him break down problems into smaller parts that are understandable, and develop strategies to help him change behaviors. Kathy has always engaged with him respectfully to help him set goals for himself that have evolved as he has matured into adulthood. We all appreciate her role in his life. Our son knows when he is “stuck”, it’s time to meet with Kathy!

-Parent of adult client

I am so grateful that Kathy moved to North Carolina and provide exceptional services for our families. Kathy is very knowledgeable and she understand the issues we face. Kathy will also provide great options and solutions because....Kathy truly cares for our families. Life would not be the same without you Kathy. Thank you for who you are and all you do!

-Parent of adult client

My 23-year-old daughter has participated in multiple small group sessions with Kathy Honeyman. When the most recent session was over, she told me there is another session beginning in the fall and she wanted to attend.  When I asked why she said, "I like going to see Mrs. Honeyman and my friends." Meeting with a group of peers has helped my daughter to understand that others have some of the same struggles she has.

-Group Participant mother

Our son has worked with Kathy on both an individual and group setting. Because of her work with him, we have seen a great improvement in both his coping and social skills.

-Bryan S.

My meetings with Kathy Honeyman and the group of other participants over the past year have helped me learn how to make and keep friends, socialize with my coworkers, and understand more about personal relationships.

-Ryan A, Raleigh.

Several of the individuals I support have attended counseling sessions with Kathy Honeyman. She is incredibly person centered and works with each individual to address their specific need. I have recommended and will continue to recommend Kathy to individuals, parents and other service providers.

-Ann Chludzinski, QP, Residential Support Services

With over 40 years of experience as a professional in the IDD field, I have not associated with anyone who is more dedicated to the assurance of human rights and dignity than Kathy Honeyman. Because of this she is able to connect to the people she counsels in a very practical and effective way that makes them feel safe and promotes self worth

-Rick Chappell, Executive Director, Residential Support Services of Wake County, Inc.

Kathy Honeyman is an integral part of the ID world.She has many years of experience with working with this population, and this reflects in the services she provides. She has a true understanding of the issues this population faces.She upholds high morals and ethics and truly sees her clients as they are.She empowers individuals, helping to improve their lives and also helps them understand abstract concepts like accountability which helps foster motivation for healthy changes. She uses a whole systems approach and is strength-based in her practice.She also facilitates appropriate social groups on topics important to this population which further elicits motivation for change through peer support and professional guidance.I only wish we had more Kathys in the world!

-Denise Monkovich, QP

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