My Approach to Helping
It can be a lonely place, this relationship in which one partner is autistic and the other is neurotypical. Both partners can feel isolated and hurt, which leads to losing hope that anything can ever change for the better.
As a specialist in working online with neurodiverse couples, I offer you a unique understanding of the dilemmas and challenges encountered by each of you. You can learn to identify the differences between you and understand the effects of these differences. Our work together includes creating strategies for effective communication in a blame-free environment where you can begin to show compassion not only to your partner but to yourself.
If you have children, we can include parenting concerns. Often, a parent begins to see autism in himselfherself only after one of the children has been diagnosed. Family considerations are key to our work together.
Sometimes, couples are confused about their relationship goals: one partner wants to leave and the other wants to stay. Individually, we will look at each partner's hopes, dreams, and needs, and then come together to see what is possible. Our work includes a frank assessment of the difficulties and the rewards involved in this unique relationship. I will support you with education and skills development along the way.
More Info About My Practice
Neurodiverse couples face unique challenges, many of which are misunderstood or overlooked in traditional methods of counseling. Please don't give up because you have had an unsuccessful experience with counseling in the past. Most couple counseling techniques are emotion-focused and insight-based. These are two areas of divergence for neurodiverse couples, and they favor the perspective and orientation of the neurotypical partner. My approach includes acknowledgment of these differences and a goal of helping you understand them as well.
A large part of our work together includes education about autism and also about the neurotypical experience, and how the relationship is shaped by these differences.
If you discern during our work that it might be better to go your separate ways, we can work together on creating a new path. There are more options to consider than marriage as you currently experience it and divorce.
My clients and I work online with a video chat platform created specifically for telemedicine. Depending on where you live, we form a counseling (Washington state) or coaching relationship (everywhere else). There is overlap in these two practices but they are different. You can find a full exploration of the distinctions on my coaching website.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I work with neurodiverse couples - autistic + neurotypical partners - and also with individuals in these relationships. My second area of clinical expertise is high intelligence. Often, these two specialties merge in the couples with whom I work.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
My practices are unusual and highly specialized. Together, we can work to help you understand your unique issues and replace them with strategies for communication behaviors that help you feel better about yourself and your relationship. Please visit my counseling website for extensive information about my practice. I work exclusively online. For individuals in states other than Washington, please visit my coaching website at SwensonCoaching.com. International clients are welcome in both the counseling and coaching practices.