Neurology Matters in Couples Therapy

Neurology Matters in Couples Therapy.  If you are married to someone on the Autism Spectrum normal couples counseling will not help.  My husband has Asperger’s.  We have been married for 21 years.  As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I always knew there was something off with the way my husband communicated.  I love my husband very much, but the first decade of our marriage was very challenging.  I “acted out” quite a bit as I came to understand I was suffering from Cassandra Syndrome.  I don’t know how many times I threatened divorce.

We sought Marriage Counseling, however, our communication did not improve.  My discouragement and frustration lead to more acting out behavior which wasn’t helping.  What we needed were relational tools and education about how Neurodiverse couples (Asperger husband; Neurotypical wife) process information differently.  The understanding was quite eye opening.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, and Certified Neurodiverse Couples Counselor, I am able to effectively help Neurodiverse Couples:

  1. Identify root cause of issues through a Neurological lens
  2. Understand meltdowns in one or both partners and how to manage them
  3. By making an assessment using an Asperger’s profile in one of the partners
  4. Interpret for each partner what behavior means
  5. Acquire tools that initiate communication, express thoughts and feelings, and ask for what is needed
  6. Implement those tools
  7. Put systems in place for healthier and more effective interaction
  8. Understand and appreciate that both have their own perspectives and see things differently

As a Therapist that works with Neurodiverse Couples, I normalize behavior that may be construed as odd and unkind.  I know first hand how it feels to be a woman married to a husband on the Spectrum.  With education, tools and adding levity to our sessions and difficult situational stories my couples present, we are able to develop and exercise more relational behavior to receive the emotional connection desired.

For more information about getting the right kind of counseling please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

If You’re Married To Someone On The Autism Spectrum

If You’re Married To Someone On The Autism Spectrum.  My husband and I have been in a Neurodiverse Relationship for the past 20 years.  It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I realized he is on the Autism Spectrum.  Over the course of my marriage I experienced gradually losing my sense of self.  In the place of my former self emerged a person I barely recognized.  I was lonely, hurt and angry.  I felt isolated as my social connections gradually diminished.  Because my husband is a good man, I felt misunderstood when I talked about my problems.  I felt crazy and exercised a lot of “acting out” behavior that was hurtful to myself and others.

What I was experiencing is referred to as “The Cassandra Syndrome.”

Being married to a man with Asperger’s, and working with Neurodiverse Couples, I understand and have come to appreciate people think and process information differently.  And sometimes these people enter relationships where the two think and process information so differently it makes communication challenging.  As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I work with couples using a Neurodiverse lens where traditional couples counseling is ineffective and often frustrating for the couple who come in for relief from their pain and suffering.

People on the Spectrum feel criticized by some of the “labels” attached to them.   The Asperger’s and Autism Network (AANE’s) preferred the following terminology at this time.  They continue to examine and evaluate language use.

Preferred terms:
“Asperger/autism or similar profile”
“Neurodiverse/Neurodiversity” (not “neurodivergent”)
“on the autism spectrum” or “on the spectrum”
“Community member”

Please refrain from the following terms:
Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD
Asperger Syndrome, Asperger’s, or AS
Disorder
Disability or Disabled
High-functioning (or low-functioning) autism

Examples using preferred terms:

AANE works with individuals who have an Asperger/autism or similar autism spectrum profile.Society will will benefit from the different points of view neurodiversity brings to work and social settings.
We are proud to serve those on the autism spectrum in our work at AANE.
At AANE, our community members are children and adults with Asperger/autism profiles, their families and friends, and the professionals who work with those on the spectrum.

Individuals on the Spectrum have their own set of challenges.  When they enter into relationships that challenge is compounded by neurodiversity.  I act as an ASD/NT translator and my goal is to help both partners understand the world as seen from the other.
For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139.