Executive Clinical Staff
Dr. Emilio Amigo
Founder and Director
Emilio M. Amigo is a Clinical Psychologist and Director of Amigo Family Counseling, LLC (AFC) in Columbus, Ohio. Licensed as a mental health therapist since 1986, he specializes in working with individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Dr. Amigo developed and founded a group therapy treatment program called Respons·ability Social Therapy™ (RST) that garners much attention. Dr. Amigo, his clinical staff, and his ASD clients were the subjects of a recent documentary film, How to Dance in Ohio, by filmmaker Alexandra Shiva’s Gidalya Pictures. In addition to his role as Director, Manager, and Supervising Psychologist at AFC, he is also Executive Director of Family Foundations, Inc., a non-profit entity focused on providing a broad range of social services and opportunities for individuals with ASD. His extensive history in Clinical Psychology work includes not only his longstanding position as a clinic director but also includes these roles: previous owner of a private practice, a full-time professor in the Psychology Department at John Brown University, and an Editorial Columnist for issues pertaining to psychological family health. Read more about Dr. Amigo here.
614-310-1234 ext: 10
Autism Transition Coach
Matthew Wilson, M.Ed., M.Div., has worked with people on the autism spectrum since 1985 in community, educational and therapeutic settings. He is a licensed intervention specialist, college professor, and author. At Amigo Family Counseling , Matthew coaches individuals on the autism spectrum as they transition into adulthood. Specifically, he mentors individuals with ASD as they explore their interests in post-secondary education and/or as they develop their aspirations for a future a career, empowering them to reach to their fullest potential. In his 2017 publication "Debut of Diversity: The Emerging Conversation About Autism and Higher Education", Matthew shares a message that those on the autism spectrum are integral members in our society with much to contribute. Read more about Matthew's services here.
Creative Social Arts Program Director
Ashley Amigo is the Creative Social Arts Program Director at Amigo Family Counseling, LLC, under the supervision of Dr. Amigo. As an undergraduate, Ashley attended Ohio Northern University for Musical Theater and Dance. For over ten years she has been teaching acting and dance classes and workshops at AFC. Under Ashley's leadership, the Acting Workshop program has become an essential and influential program at AFC. Past performances have been held at the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) building, Otterbein University, the Columbus Performing arts center, the Short North Stage, and MadLab Theatre.
614.310.1234 ext: 18
Michael Bayda, MSW, LISW
Clinical Social Worker
Michael is an independently Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been providing outpatient psychotherapy services to children (ages 18 months +), adolescents, adults, couples and families in the central Ohio community since 1987. Michael joined Amigo Family Counseling, LLC (AFC) in 1998. At AFC, Michael works closely with Dr. Emilio Amigo in assessing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders who participate in Dr. Amigo’s Respons•ability Social Therapy™ Group Program. His contributions at Amigo Family Counseling include:
- Clinical interviews with individuals ages 6+ diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder as part of a comprehensive social-emotional assessment protocol to establish pre-group therapy functioning baselines and annual reassessment.
- Provision of Developmentally-Based Psychotherapy to empower parents and enhance their skills in facilitating social-emotional growth in their children. Parents learn about the important social-emotional capacities underlying future development, how to recognize their child's strengths and weaknesses, and practice a variety of developmentally facilitative and responsiveness-based interactive strategies.
- Collaborative family problem solving therapy with older children and adolescents. This is another model of intervention which assumes that “the mind grows through interaction with other minds” and that parents can learn how to view everyday interactions as potential opportunities for their children to learn and exercise their capacities for communication, relating, self-regulation, and creative, flexible and reflective thinking.
Michael received his Masters of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University in 1987 and his Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare from The Ohio State University in 1986. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the American Academy of Social Workers (ACSW), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the International OCD Foundation, and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. In 1993 the NASW honored him with the lifetime credential of Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW) in recognition of advanced clinical practice. He is a Certified Trauma and Loss Clinical Specialist (CTS) via the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children and a contributor to the book, Trauma-Informed Practices with Children and Adolescents. Michael completed the postgraduate infant mental health Certificate Training Program in Working with Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families, through The University of Michigan’s School of Social Work in 2000. He is also a graduate of The International OCD Foundations Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI), an in-depth, three day intensive training course in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for mental health professionals who treat individuals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and related conditions.
Michael enjoys working with families, couples, and individuals across the lifespan. With his extensive clinical background, he is qualified to address a wide array of concerns. While therapy will often focus on the alleviation of distress, he also views it as a unique opportunity for a clients to flourish and maximize their potential for a richer, fuller, and more meaningful life. His approach frequently includes the application of Mindfulness Awareness Practices (MAP’s) and Positive Psychology strategies and interventions to help clients develop and enhance psychological flexibility, personal well-being, resilience, strengths, social connections, and positive emotions.