I was diagnosed autistic and ADHD at 55 in March 2021. I had no idea I might be Neurodivergent until that January. Now I am a Neurodivergent Counsellor and Mentor and I actively welcome all those people who think they might be Neurodivergent (ND), are thinking of going for assessment or just want a safe place to talk. I support people who are autistic, ADHD, dyslexic, dyspraxic, dyscalculic, Tourettes and OCD.
Here are ten reasons why it’s a great idea to have Counselling with a Therapist who is also Neurodivergent.
Finding patterns in behaviour
Interest in patterns is very common for our Community. There are many Neurodivergent Counsellors for this reason. Supporting clients by discovering which behaviours have happened when, for how long, how they manifest and how they may have helped in the past builds a pattern. From here goals can be set to adapt behaviour to more positive outcomes. Building on strengths and maybe even finding new more healthy patterns.
Many of us may have felt like an alien where ‘normal’ people just don’t understand our way of being. It is extremely uplifting and validating when we meet a new tribe who get us; sharing stories, making connections and building a Community. Not to mention building business contacts and finding new ways to work and have fun. A Neurodivergent Counsellor understands this and will most likely have many excellent resources to get clients moving forward. We are not broken and we don’t need fixing. We do have challenges and we also have incredible workability, given the chance. We’re hopefully in a new era where organisations will actively welcome ND employees. I, for one, am shouting from the rooftops and I am ready to support those who, like me, celebrate difference.
Whether you decide to go for assessment or not the very idea can cause a lot a stress and anxiety. I went into a shutdown for a few days building up to my second assessment because the first one was unsatisfactory, pathologised and I was misdiagnosed. Feelings of imposter syndrome and anxiety about what it might mean are common. This situation is especially difficult for late diagnosed people who may have good communication skills, maintain eye contact and have used their masking skills to fit in.
After diagnosis there may be many complex feelings to work through like shock, grief and identity issues. You may have spent your whole life believing you were one person then to discover you were are someone quite new and different. I rewrote my life story and that very act has enabled me to feel free, whole and authentic. I know who I am now and I like the new me very much. Many people self diagnose which is just fine or go to private Assessors who may be Neurodivergent themselves with decades of experience. This is what I did and it was an incredible experience.
As a Neurodivergent person you may be dyslexic, Tourettes, autistic, ADHD, have dyspraxia or dyscalculia or OCD. More conditions are being added as further research is carried out about those of us who are wired differently. You many identify with one condition or have more than one. You can add Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, Pathalogical Demand Avoidance and HSP (Highly Sensitive Person).