After many years of research and teaching in University settings, I made an abrupt mid-life career change to start this practice. There were few, if any, services for neurodivergent adults at the time. I wanted to change that. It was personal. I am a mom, friend, colleague, teacher and therapist to neurodivergent people of all ages and walks of life. As for me? I may, or may not, be neurotypical (that’s a fancy word for falling within the statistical norm of brain types). I’ve been told many times that I’m far from typical. The jury is still out.
As a counsellor: I provide traditional counselling services for mental health struggles (anxiety, depression, relationship breakdowns, self-harm, sex and gender identity stuff, etc.) Drawing on my teaching background, I also do a lot of:
- psychoeducation (that’s a fancy word for teaching psychological concepts such as ‘alexithymia’)
- coaching (executive functioning, education, career, relationships, etc.)
- consciousness-raising (that’s a fancy word for connecting personal issues with social structures – nod to Paulo Freire)
For instance, I work with teenagers struggling to understand who they are and navigate school and social relationships, late diagnosed adults who wonder what their diagnosis means, adults who have self-diagnosed but continue to question, individuals who are tired of masking or suffering from autistic burnout, couples who are not getting what they want from their relationship and struggle to communicate about it, and people who want to meet other neurodivergent folks and figure these, and other, things out together.
As a trainer: I work to build capacity for neurodiversity-affirming educational and mental health services in Canada. In a neurotypical world, the burden falls on the neurodivergent to adapt, at any cost. But round pegs don’t fit into square holes. The only way all neurotypes can coexist with an equal chance of being understood and respected, is if we build understanding around difference and stop privileging typical brains over all others. My training workshops are based on research and lived experience (clinical and personal).