Posts

So Lonely

Now no one's knocked upon my door For a thousand years or more   - The Police, So Lonely, 1978   When I think back on my experience of growing up autistic (and unaware of it), the time period that stands out most starkly is my late teens to my late 20s (the late 1970s to the late 1980s), dominated as it was by a bleak, pervasive, and often overwhelming sense of loneliness.   In his 1955 book, The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry , American psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan describes loneliness as "...an experience which has been so terrible that it practically baffles clear recall..."  And even now I'm finding my own years of intense loneliness painfully difficult to recall - I've been writing this blog post in short bursts over a period of weeks, with long gaps in between.   It was in the last few years of secondary school that I began to really realise how little I fitted in with other people - how they thought, how they saw the world, what was impor

Autism-Informed Therapy

What is Autism-Informed Therapy? Autism-Informed Therapy is simply therapy that takes autistic neurodivergence into account, and adapts to the particular ways autistic people process the world. Given that therapy is a social/interpersonal setting, particular attention should probably be paid to non-typical ways in which an autistic client may process, and interact with, the social world. Different therapeutic approaches have their own assumptions and norms (both explicit and implicit) about interpersonal interaction, which might not be helpful to neurodivergent clients such as autists. (Whether these norms are necessarily even helpful to all neurotypical clients is another question). Therapists also need to make allowances, up to a point, for different preferences with regard to practical communications outside of sessions (setting up or cancelling appointments etc). Sensory aspects of the therapy setting should also be given consideration, as sensory sensitivity is an issue fo