Autism and Neurodiversity

Why Person-centred Counselling?

The person-centred approach is founded on a deep respect for the uniqueness and value of every living being. It’s about a gentle finding of self-acceptance, and does not ask anyone to be anything other than who they are. As such it welcomes neurodiversity, and is well-suited to working with neurodivergent – including autistic – clients.

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.” I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds.

Carl Rogers
Orange red and yellow clouds as sun sets
Photo by joe ting on Unsplash

What I offer

I offer all my clients acceptance, understanding, and my honest authentic self. I strive to understand the world as seen through the client’s frame of reference, and my aim is to support a gentle self-acceptance of oneself, rather than asking anyone to change. We work together to find what fits best: some clients like for me to stay very close to their own words so they can feel heard and understood, others prefer a little more structure or use of questions. My additional training in focusing-oriented therapy can also help in accessing the felt sense and the feelings that are there, but not yet in words. There are no expectations of how anyone ‘should’ behave in therapy (like crying, or eye contact, for example). Stimming is welcome.

Together we can explore your experience of being you, and your experience of being you in the world. I welcome all neurodiversity but have specialised more in autism. We can explore whatever you wish to bring: being autistic may not be the central issue, but it can still make a difference to work with someone who welcomes and accepts autism.

‘I don’t know if I am autistic, but I wonder if I might be?’

If you are wondering whether you might be autistic, I do not offer any assessments or diagnoses, but would support you in finding your own meanings, deciding whether to go for assessment, and then through whatever follows. I can work with you to explore your own autistic discovery / identification.

Background and training

My background includes being in the midst of a range of autistic friends and family, and I have good knowledge and acceptance of autism. However, I don’t assume I know everything: it is your own experience that is most important and central to the work we do. Although I do learn from all my clients, I also continue to develop my own knowledge and understanding independently. I take responsibility for myself – including in checking my own privilege and acknowledging differences.

I try to stay up to date with current thinking, research, and training from within the autistic community. My understanding of autism includes the neurodiversity paradigm, the double empathy problem, masking, autistic burnout, hyper empathy, alexithymia, and internal and external/observable autism.

I have completed 25+ hours training in counselling, autism and neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity rainbow infinity symbol.
Image by Welcome to All ! ツ from Pixabay