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Image by Jon Tyson

QUESTIONS

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DO YOU USE PERSON-FIRST OR IDENTIFY-FIRST LANGUAGE?

My pride in being Autistic is probably loud and clear. I use identify-first language: I am an Autistic psychologist, not a psychologist with autism. If you do not understand identity-first language, you may view autism as negative. Identify-first language indicates that being Autistic is an inherent part of our identity, not an unwanted burden or disease. Autism is a different way of seeing and interacting with the world. Once you know how an Autistic brain works, you will be able to see why we love our brain.

To be respectful of our natural neurology, we do not use the term 'ASD' or 'autism spectrum disorder' unless specifically required. Click on the above bee to see how this is becoming mainstream.

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WHY DO YOU USE 'IDENTIFICATION' INSTEAD OF 'DIAGNOSIS'?

Psychology made a fatal flaw when it labeled Autistic thinking, feeling, and behaviour as disordered. Quite literally, this move has cost thousands of autistic lives.

Diagnoses are for unwanted illness and disease. People get a diagnosis in order to be treated and cured from something. Autistic thinking is not disordered - we do not need to be treated and cured. We are proud of our Autistic thinking, and see its evolutionary advantage (ah, should I say modern day advantage with Autistic people frequently advancing science, technology, art, music, and environmentalism - not that contribution is a justification for existence, or to deny our disability, but that's for another time). Click on the above bee for a link to a wealth of International Autistic-led resources for discussion on topics such as this.

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ARE THERE OTHER NEURODIVERGENT PSYCHOLOGISTS?

Yes! There are many neurodivergent psychologists, some who are public and some who are private about their neurology. My hunch is there are many more unidentified psychologists too - after all, if you have spent your whole childhood gobsmacked by neurotypical behaviour, there's a good chance you'll enrolled in a psychology course as an adult! Click on the above bee for a link to a wealth of Australian Autistic-led resources for discussion on topics such as this.

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WHAT THERAPIES DO YOU USE?

I model my care on anti-oppressive practice using acceptance and commitment therapy and narrative therapy. This basically means that I continue to develop my understanding of systemic disadvantage and oppression, identify my own biases and privilege, and seek to build your advocacy. Therapy is person-centered and trauma-informed, and you are encouraged to engage neurodivergently (e.g., info-dump, tangents, pace and fidget). Your lived experience is valued, you are heard as the expert on yourself, and I work with you to build a felt sense of safety in session. 

 

Please note, you do not need therapy for being Autistic or ADHD. But by golly gosh many of us need healing for the pain we have gone through living in a world not built for us. Click on the above bee for a fun way to understand how to observe our thoughts without judging them.

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IS YOUR OFFICE A SAFE PLACE FOR LGBTIQA+ PEOPLE?

Absolutely! In fact, queerness (i.e., not heterosexual or cis-gender) is not only common among neurodivergent people, but neurodivergent people are leading the way in promoting education and acceptance of gender and sexual diversity, and tend to reject normative behaviours. I stand with the neurodivergent queer community as a passionate ally. 

In Melbourne, we have the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda. Click on the above bee for the link.

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DO I NEED TO SEE A PSYCHOLOGIST OR PSYCHIATRIST?

Knowing the different roles of each mental health professional can be confusing.  Psychologists have a training range of undergraduate degree to doctorate degree, and are trained in human behaviour to diagnose and treat a range of mental health issues. Psychiatrists have a training range of at least eleven years, and are medical doctors who diagnose and treat severe mental illness, and can prescribe medication. If you are seeking to try stimulant medication as an ADHDer, you will need a referral from your GP to a psychiatrist as they are the only ones that can prescribe this (with some exceptions). Click on the above bee for more on this. Important to remember, you can have brilliant and shocking clinicians at all levels of training. Don't settle for anyone who doesn't treat you with respect.

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When you email me, I will send you an online form to fill out to ensure that I am the right person to help. Other professionals will be recommended if I am not able to assist. Once you are booked in, your first session will be a comprehensive interview of your history and concerns, and I will discuss with you options on how to best to address your concerns. Some people feel a few sessions achieve their outcome, and others prefer long-term therapy. You may have many other questions - the mental health care system can seem confusing! If so, click on the above bee for the link to send me an email. Please note, therapy spots are full for 2024, and wait times are currently 3-6 months for assessment. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I EMAIL YOU AN ENQUIRY?

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