Neurodivergent? Need a therapist? Here's what you gotta do...

Do you identify as neurodivergent? Maybe you have the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Or perhaps you are in a relationship with someone who is autistic or neurodivergent?


Just like any relationship, communication can be difficult...and we may need a therapist to help guide us through the process. People who are autistic may need more support in this area, as communication subtleties can be difficult for us.


BUT...finding a therapist can be a challenge, particularly if you have autism.


Why would this be?


Well...in the talk therapy world (LMFT/LCSW) autism is considered a medical diagnosis and needs medical intervention...which means ABA therapy. If you go to a LMFT and have autism, they have to refer you to an ABA therapist (this is shifting, but as it stands now that's what is considered 'best practice').


However, here's a hack:


The roundabout way is to find a therapist who identifies as "Neurodiversity Affirming" (NA). This means they will have had additional training that qualifies them to serve the ASD population. If a therapist does not have ASD specific training they cannot directly treat ASD, but they can provide support for other diagnosis. For example, if you have the diagnosis of ASD and also have, say, depression...you can be treated for depression but not for your autism...


Ok...but...what if I'm having issues that stem from my autism? Like, what if I have a hard time communicating with my spouse, or making friends because I'm autistic, not because I'm depressed?


Well, that's when you would seek out a Neurodiversity Affirming therapist that has expertise and training in helping people who are on the spectrum.


Here is a great website I just came across on where to find a NA therapist, what to ask and how to go about the search:


https://www.choosingtherapy.com/find-a-neurodiverse-affirming-therapist/


I hope this helps!!




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