An Introduction to Working with Neurodiverse Couples

An Introduction to Working with Neurodiverse Couples

Presented by Sarah Swenson, LMHC on 06-08-2018 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern) to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

Neurodiverse couples in which one partner is on the autism spectrum and the other is neurotypical face unique challenges that are seldom addressed in training programs for therapists. These couples have the potential to feel lost or misunderstood when they choose to seek help in individual therapy or couples counseling. Without specialized training or education, clinicians may struggle to provide adequate treatment or effective interventions.

In this two-hour continuing education web conference, Sarah Swenson, LMHC will explore the ways in which these couples differ from neurotypical partnerships. She will also discuss the implications of these differences and how common it can be for couples to struggle with misdiagnosed or undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is Sarah’s overarching goal to help therapists learn to offer an informed approach for working with individuals on the autism spectrum. 

Sarah will describe how her approach, coupled with a clinician’s focused therapeutic support, will aid in acknowledging the strengths and challenges that neurodiverse couples experience. She will discuss how this approach is as much about what not to do as it is about learning how best to provide the most appropriate counseling services. Developing an awareness and sensitivity to these couples’ unique issues is key to providing the help they need to have healthy and fulfilling relationships. 

This introductory instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Describe the complex nature of a neurodiverse couple in which one partner is on the autism spectrum and the other is neurotypical.
  2. Explain common misdiagnoses associated with the autism spectrum.
  3. Summarize the unique experiences of the autistic partner and of the neurotypical partner.
  4. Identify the therapeutic challenges that arise when working with neurodiverse couples.
  5. List effective therapeutic modalities and interventions for supporting neurodiverse couples.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email from GoodTherapy.org with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable. 

To attend the event, registered attendees will log in to the web conference center using a computer or device (smartphone or tablet with internet access) and calling in to the teleconference line on a phone. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via their computer or device. Attendees who are logged in to the event center will be able to see live streaming video and/or document sharing. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions. 

At the conclusion of this event, participants will receive an email with information about how to request a CE certificate in the GoodTherapy.org Member's Area. To confirm attendance, participants must enter the start and end codes announced at the beginning and end of the live presentation. Participants will also be prompted to complete an online survey evaluating the event. Participants will need to complete this online survey within six days after the event. Once completed, participants will be able to download a copy of their CE certificate instantly. 

For additional information about this event or our CE grievance procedures, please contact us here

499CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy.org members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

2 CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety. 

GoodTherapy.org is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Counseling Services. 

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

This organization, GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to GoodTherapy.org members.

Meet the Presenter

Sarah Swenson, LMHC

Sarah Swenson, LMHC

Sarah Swenson, LMHC is a psychotherapist in private practice in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, home of some of the world's largest information technology companies. Because of the high occurrence of autism among members of the IT workforce, she specializes in working with couples in which one partner is on the autism spectrum and the other is neurotypical.

Sarah is a former dean of students, museum educator, and surgical photographer who returned to graduate school when her own children went off to college. Her lifelong interest in high intelligence, coupled with personal experience of adults with undiagnosed ASD, led to her working with couples struggling with misdiagnosed or undiagnosed autism. 

Sarah is fluent in four languages and provides coaching services for clients around the world. She also offers consultation services to therapists about working with neurodiverse couples. 

Sarah is currently working on her first book with the working title Twenty Questions and Twenty Answers for Couples Facing Autism Spectrum – and for the Therapists who Support Them. Sarah is also an autism spectrum Topic Expert for GoodTherapy.org. 

For more information about Sarah and her work, please visit www.swensoncounseling.com and www.swensoncoaching.com.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. GoodTherapy.org received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo
    GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.