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  • The Neurodivergent Therapy Space

What You Can Expect from a Neuro-Affirming Practice

It can be incredibly challenging to look for a therapist. Endless scrolling through directories, where everyone claims they work with everything, can lead you to feel overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated.

When looking for a neuro-affirming practice, there are a few things you may expect from your therapist and a few red flags to look out for.

Here is what you should expect:

- Your therapist will support you to feel comfortable in however that looks for you, so if you need stim toys or sensory items to support you in engaging with your therapy, then this should be welcomed without questions.

- Your therapist will not force or try to encourage you to make eye contact.

- Your therapist will not tell you "you are not autistic" or tell you "it's probably all trauma".

- Your therapist will be happy to accommodate online sessions if face-to-face feels too overwhelming.

- Your therapist will have a sound understanding of neurodivergence.

Red flags:

- Your therapist is unwilling to acknowledge neurodivergence.

- Your therapist shuts you down when you mention you think you may be autistic or have ADHD.

- Your therapist insists you make eye contact, otherwise, it's a sign of "work that needs to be done".

- Your therapist is unwilling to undergo any extra training to support you as you navigate your process and understanding of who you are in relation to being autistic/ADHD."

Connection and relationship are indeed key when working with a therapist, but that doesn't negate the importance of having a therapist with a good amount of knowledge, understanding, and training as well. You should feel safe enough to ask your therapist to update their training if you would like to continue working with them, and this request should be received well by your therapist. If it isn't, then this would be another red flag.

Most therapists offer free consultations, so don't hesitate to ask for one. This will enable you to get a feel for who you will be working with and whether their approach aligns with your needs and preferences. It's essential to take the time to find a therapist who not only makes you feel comfortable and understood but also possesses the expertise and qualifications to support you effectively on your journey towards healing and personal growth.

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