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Building an Effective Neurodivergent-Affirmative Practice: Working with Traumatised Adults with undiagnosed ADHD and ASC

Building an Effective Neurodivergent-Affirmative Practice: Working with Traumatised Adults with undiagnosed ADHD and ASC

Very often amongst adult clients, the manifestations of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) have been misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, leaving them to battle a long-term sense of anxiety, depression, shame, isolation and loneliness.

Times on both days:
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, London UK

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, New York, USA

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$183.22

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Course Credits

CPD: 6 / CE: 6

Speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson

Course length in hours

6 hrs of video content

Location

Online streaming only

Full course information

Contrary to common perception, ADHD is not restricted to childhood. It persists in up to 60 per cent of adults. There has been a significant increase in adults seeking assessment for previously undiagnosed ADHD or ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) / ASC. Currently the waiting list in the UK for adults to access assessment or diagnosis for ADHD or ASD through the NHS is between three to seven years, while the waiting list for a private assessment is six months to 1 year.

Many clients enter therapy without realising that the challenges and struggles they face may be linked to ADHD or ASD. Counselling proves especially efficacious in helping them to understand and move on from the psychological trauma and its manifestations created due to misdiagnosis and stigmatisation of neurodivergent challenges.

The most common manifestations that can have overlapping symptoms with adult ADHD include mood disorders, anxiety, depression, self-medication through alcohol or drugs, developmental and/or certain medical conditions. There may also be an overlap with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Complex PTSD.

However, as practitioners, we often lack specific training or awareness of how neurodivergent clients may present in the therapeutic process. As a result, the focus may be confined on overt presenting symptoms and easily identifiable mental health conditions without taking into consideration any potential neurodivergence.

Therapy for adult neurodivergent clients thus requires:

  • Recognising that ADHD/ASD is a neurodivergent challenge
  • Having the training to work with the interplay of the neurobiological and psychological manifestations

This online workshop, which will be of interest to psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors, aims to enhance practitioner awareness of neurodiversity – covering the range of challenges and struggles faced by those who are neurodivergent as well as their strengths. The emphasis will be on ADHD/ASD and how preconceived ideas about ADHD/ASD and masking can prevent clients and practitioners from realising that there may be a degree of neurodivergence.

This workshop will aim to enable practitioners to be more aware of:

  • The range of signs and symptoms associated with ADHD and ASC
  • The crossover and interplay of symptoms with other types of neurodivergence
  • Comorbidity with trauma and other mental health difficulties

Specifically, we will explore effective therapeutic skills such as Compassion-Focused therapy and Trauma-Informed practice to work with such clients.

Having neurodivergence confirmed through appropriate diagnosis can significantly relieve the client’s sense of shame and allow them to not blame themselves for feeling different. In this context, we will work to develop therapeutic skills to mitigate the traumatic effects of shame and marginalisation and resourcing clients to manage their impact.

In addition, the training will also highlight how we can create a neurodivergent friendly therapeutic space and how to incorporate affirmative neurodivergent informed practice into our modalities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the struggles and challenges of those adults who have ADHD or ASD as well as their strengths
  • Identify the range of signs and symptoms associated with ADHD and ASD and explain how to see under masking
  • Identify the overlap between trauma symptoms and ADHD and ASD symptoms
  • Identify how to create a neurodivergent friendly therapeutic space which incorporates affirmative neurodivergent-informed practice
  • Discuss effective therapeutic skills within the context of Compassion-Focused Therapy and Trauma Informed Practice
  • Explain how to develop therapeutic skills to mitigate the traumatic effects of shame and resource clients to manage the impact of stigmatisation

© nscience 2023 / 2024

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

This online workshop, which will be of interest to psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors, aims to enhance practitioner awareness of neurodiversity – covering the range of challenges and struggles faced by those who are neurodivergent as well as their strengths. The emphasis will be on ADHD/ASD and how preconceived ideas about ADHD/ASD and masking can prevent clients and practitioners from realising that there may be a degree of neurodivergence.

Learning objectives

  • Discuss the struggles and challenges of those adults who have ADHD or ASD as well as their strengths
  • Identify the range of signs and symptoms associated with ADHD and ASD and explain how to see under masking
  • Identify the overlap between trauma symptoms and ADHD and ASD symptoms
  • Identify how to create a neurodivergent friendly therapeutic space which incorporates affirmative neurodivergent-informed practice
  • Discuss effective therapeutic skills within the context of Compassion-Focused Therapy and Trauma Informed Practice
  • Explain how to develop therapeutic skills to mitigate the traumatic effects of shame and resource clients to manage the impact of stigmatisation

You'll also be able to...

Develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels in clients and for safer trauma therapy

Identify and acquire recovery options and strategies for trauma clients inappropriate for trauma memory processing, particularly for those who don’t want to and those who decompensate or dysregulate from memory work

Also develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels for professional self-care

About the speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 35years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield.

She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee.

Program outline

3 reasons why you should attend this course

nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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