Neurodiverse Couple's Therapy
Not All Couple's Counseling is Equal
Are you neurodiverse? Have you tried traditional couple's therapy?
Many couple's therapists are not experienced with autism or neurodiversity.
Neurodiverse couples face unique challenges in the relationship.
Traditional couple's therapy can misinterpret common neurodiversity traits as deeper problems.
Have you wanted to give up on couple's counseling due to the therapist's lack of understanding?
You don't have to give up on couple's therapy. Find a therapist who understands neurodiversity.
What Is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity describes the reality that people experience the world in different ways. There is no one "right" way to think, learn or behave. Neurological differences are deviations not deficits . Neurodiversity is often used in the context of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Neurodiversity interprets autism as a neurological difference, not a disease or problem. A neurodiverse couple refers to a partnership where one person is neurotypical and the other is neurodivergent with the traits of autism, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. ADHD can also be a form of neurodiversity.
Autism is a result of differences in the structure of the brain (compared to a neurotypical brain). These differences impact the autistic person's experieces and interactions. Autistic people have a difficult time with social interactions. They also experience challenges with emotional regulation, sensory overload and communication. These differences need to be identified, accommodated and supported in the context of neurodiverse couple's therapy.
Neurodiverse couple's therapy is sensitive to the various
challenges faced by an autistic person.
Common Struggles for a Neurodiverse
While every neurodiverse couple is different, there are some common struggles that many partners face. These obstacles include:
Structure and Routine
Low Empathy / Struggle with Theory of Mind
Men who seem self-absorbed, blunt, hyper-focused, very intelligent and struggle with empathy are too quickly labeled as having narcassistic personality disorder. In my experience, many of these men are autistic and have not been properly diagnosed. Women who struggle with physical touch or emotional expression are often percieved as depressed. They may in fact be on the autism spectrum. It's important to find a couple's therapist who understands the nuances of neurodiversity. Neurodiverse couple's therapy will navigate issues not always explored in traditional couple's counseling.
Neurodiverse couple's counseling addresses issues not always covered in traditional therapy.
What Is Explored in Neurodiverse Couple's Therapy
Couple's therapy does not always fit into a cookie-cutter mold. Every couple is different. It's important to tailor the therapy to meet the unique needs of each couple. With this in mind, there are several common issues that I explore with each couple:
Exploring the autism diagnosis: Whether you have an official diagnosis or not, it's important to better understand autism. Identifying and understanding characteristics of autism that apply to you can help you better manage them.
Accepting the diagnosis: It's not enough to understand the characteristics of autism. To grow and flourish as an individual and a couple you have to accept the diagnosis. Acceptance does not mean you are always excited about being on the autism spectrum. Acceptance means that you have a firm grasp of your obstacles and a commitment to work through them so you can experience your best life.
Staying motivated: A person with autism can struggle to stay motivated. This can be a real challenge in the context of a relationship. Addressing lack of motivation can helpful for the individual and the couple.
Managing concurrent diagnosis or symptoms: It's common for autistic people to have another diagnosis in addition to ASD. Depression, OCD, ADHD, and anxiety can be common with autism. It can be a real challenge for a couple autism and something like OCD or depression.
Creating a relationship schedule: It can be helpful for a neurodiverse couple to create a shared relationship schedule. This schedule helps couples negotiate time to spend together and time spent apart. Agreeing on a schedule can help with anxiety and expectations.
Meeting sexual needs: Healthy sexual intimacy can be complicated. It requires verbal and non-verbal communication which can be difficult for an autistic person. Sex also entails touch and different sensations that can be a challenge for a neurodiverse individual. Neurodiverse couple's therapy can help a relationship develop a sexual dynamic that meets the needs of both partners.
Negotiating parallel play: Autistic adults may be more comfortable with parallel play than direct engagement. A neurotypical may struggle with this preference. Neurodiverse couple's therapy can help a couple navigate this dynamic.
Coping with sensory overload and meltdowns: Sensory overloads and meltdowns can impact several aspects of a relationship. If your partner struggles with touch, this can be an obstacle for physical intimacy. Emotional meltdowns can be scary. You may not understand what is happening or how to be there for your partner.
Improving Communication: Every couple struggles with communication. Communication for someone on the autism spectrum is a especially challenging. Learning how to communicate in a way that works for your relationship can help you deepen intimacy.
Managing expectations/suspending judgement: A couple needs to learn how to accept each other's strengths and weaknesses. Expectations are premeditated disappointments. Learning how to manage expectations can help increase relationship fulfillment. Judgement is the greatest relationship killer. Neurodiverse couple's therapy helps you suspend judgment and accept your partner.
Neurodiverse couple's therapy can help you navigate all
the issues you face in your relationship.
Neurodiverse Couple's Therapy Can Help You Find Solutions
Not every couple's therapist has experience working with neurodiverse couples. Have youve tried traditional couple's therapy? Were you frustrated when the therapist misunderstood your struggle? Please don't give up on couple's therapy! I want to encourage you to schedule an appointment with me and give neurodiverse couple's therapy a shot.
I have experience working with autistic individuals and neurodivergent couples. I take the autism diagnosis into account when I help people navigate their relationship issues. I can help you and your partner overcome your obstacles and experience a fulfilling life together.
A happier future is waiting for you. With a few sessions together I can help you find the solutions to your relationship problems. Neurodiverse Couple's Therapy is an effective way to improve communication and experience greater intimacy.
Neurodiverse couple's therapy can help you experience a happier future
Start Your Neurodiverse Couple's Therapy Journey with Quique Autrey: Katy, Tx & Houston
You and your partner do not have to do this alone. If you don't know what to do next, please contact me and set up your first appointment. I am here to help. I can work with your partner to help bring healing and hope. I'm just off of I-10 and 99. I am centrally located for those living in Katy and Houston. To start your neurodiverse couple's therapy journey, follow these simple steps:
1. Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling.
2. Schedule your first appointment with Quique Autrey.
3. Begin your neurodiverse couple's therapy journey and start healing. You are not defined by your struggles. I want you to realize your true worth and potential. I want you to embrace a bright future. Imagine what life will look like for your relationship when you have overcome your struggles.
The mission at Katy Teen & Family Counseling is to restore hope, happiness, and connected family relationships. I look forward to starting this process of hope and healing with you!
Katy Teen and Family Counseling
Units 401 & 402
Katy, TX 77494