Many neurodivergent people, with or without a diagnosis, can see “difference” as a lonely experience of not belonging (Humphrey & Lewis, 2008; Huws & Jones, 2008). Internalized oppression can lead some who have received a diagnosis to wish for a cure (Bagatell, 2010; Punshon et al., 2009). These are just some indicators of the pressures placed upon this demographic to adopt a “less than” stance toward themselves. A “less than” internalization can lead to all manner of difficulties for people, neurodivergent or not. While it’s likely that most therapy is generally geared towards addressing such internalizations, I believe ISTDP is a particularly effective modality with regard to interrogating the relationship you have with yourself and how that plays out in your relationships with others. But for neurodivergent folks, as with folks who feel similar pressures as a result of other aspects of their identity, finding safety and understanding with a practitioner is the important thing. When the risk of being harmed by someone you are going to for help and support is high, it takes genuine courage to reach out for help in the first place.
Bagatell, N. (2010). From cure to community: Transforming notions of autism. Ethos, 38, 34 –58. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1352.2009.01080.x
Humphrey, N., & Lewis, S. (2008). “Make me normal”: The views and experiences of pupils on the autistic spectrum in mainstream secondary schools. Autism, 12, 23– 46. doi:10.1177/1362361307085267
Huws, J. C., & Jones, R. S. P. (2008). Diagnosis, disclosure, and having autism: An interpretative
phenomenological analysis of the perceptions of young people with autism. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 33, 99 –107. doi:10.1080/13668250802010394
Punshon, C., Skirrow, P., & Murphy, G. (2009). The “not guilty verdict”: Psychological reactions to a diagnosis of autism in adulthood. Autism, 13, 265–283. doi:10.1177/1362361309103795
Thoughts on Therapy and Mental Health