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Neurodiverse Couples

Did you or your partner get late diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD? You will need a specialized, neuro-informed and thoughtful approach to couples therapy. Regular couples therapy can actually be harmful to a neurodiverse couple. 

 

The most common complaint I hear from a neurotypical person in partnership with a neurodivergent person is the partner's rigidity. Often, the individuals in this type of relationship suffered attachment injuries. 

I can help you shed light on some of your partner's behaviors and make sense of the hurt, misunderstanding and resentment you may feel. It is normal to go through grieving: for the past of your relationship that wasn't neurotypical as well as for the future of your union that will be always be a bit different. Your brains aren't wired the same way.

 

Neuroscience research show us that people with autism may appear stuck or have shutdowns or meltdowns because they are often in a state of overwhelm in which in which they are scared, frustrated, or angry, as well as withdrawn: the Defense Mode. 

I can help you understand the Defense Mode a neurodivergent person often employs so that you can help yourself or your partner from shutting down so often. Perhaps you know what the signs of Defense Mode are by now. The neurodivergent partner isn't trying to be mean. In fact, they are doing the best they can with the emotional resources they have, AND they can do better: for the sake of both of you as human beings worthy of love and acceptance, and for the sake of the future of your relationship.

There are ways to help yourself or your loved one come out of Defense Mode. The two fundamental ones center around decompression time and trust building which is comprised of four necessary pillars that we can work on putting together. Your partner isn't being willful. Their definition of an issue you are dealing with just isn't the same as yours.  

Talking in order to connect is a basic human need but we need to have a common shared understanding first. The message about what this shared understanding actually is can get blurred or corrupted. If you have a common language you can define shared values and shared expectations. Remember that forcing a conversation will lead nowhere. 

 

We can work on how to ensure an important conversation does take place though. I'm sure you know listening is important but are you actually using efficient and respectful listening with your partner? If you are, both of you will experience less frustration. Listen to understand, not to form a defensive retort in your mind as they speak. Understand what it is like to be them. I get that it isn't fair to you, the neurotypical partner, it feels as though you are doing all the work. I agree, it isn't fair but you are in a partnership and are here so I assume you do want to try. 

 

I am in the business of hope and positivity and would like to offer you some. I have seen many neurodiverse relationships thrive. 

Embark on the journey to a more harmonious relationship today. Contact me to schedule a consultation. Let's navigate the intricacies of different neurotypes together and build a foundation for a sustainable loving relationship, and common understanding. You both deserve it! 

Contact me

astonetherapist@gmail.com

I offer video sessions ONLY. 

Reach out via email or fill out the form so we can then schedule a free, no-obligations-whatsoever 20 min consultation on zoom where we meet and see what your main struggles are, what you would most like to change, and where I'll give you an overview of how I envision you and your partner getting to that new, healthier place that you both deserve. 

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