Neurodiverse Couple Therapy
Kelli knows that when couples say critical things to each other like, “why can’t you just be more…” or “why can’t you just be less…” they’re really trying to say, “I’m hurt and wish things were better between us.”
If you’re in a neurodiverse marriage (where one partner has ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s/Autism, dyslexia, etc. and one partner is neurotypical) you’re likely to find yourself deeply frustrated at times. It may seem like the very differences that attracted you to each other in the first place are what grate most on your nerves today! You may wonder if you can ever work through your differences, having already tried therapy or marriage books in the past and failed.
Remember that it’s normal for any marriage to need help from a neutral third party sometimes. Neurodiverse marriages have their own set of challenges, though, that may need a little extra support. This is not an extensive list, but the most common challenges for neurodiverse marriages tend to be:
- An ADD/ADHD male feeling like a constant failure, while their female neurotypical partner feels like their parent
- A male Asperger’s/Autistic person withdrawing from the “overwhelming and exhausting” feelings of their female partner, leaving her feeling chronically invalidated
- One or both partners feeling like they’re trying their best but it still isn’t good enough
What does neurodiverse couple therapy teach?
- How to set realistic expectations for yourself and your partner
- How to identify and maintain personal/interpersonal boundaries
- How to find creative solutions to reach your goals
- How to improve your communication and conflict resolution skills
- How to improve your emotional and physical intimacy
How is neurodiverse couple therapy different, and is it worth the cost?
In traditional couple therapy and many popular Christian marriage books, couples are encouraged to communicate their feelings and needs through eye contact and high-level verbal expressions. But did you know that eye contact can actually be upsetting or even physically uncomfortable for many neurodivergent persons? Also, some neurodivergent persons experience alexithymia. This means that identifying and communicating feelings back and forth can require extra patience, accommodation, and support. One size does not fit all when it comes to marriage advice!
Neurodiverse couple therapy recognizes that each person’s brain needs are unique, and important. Kelli uses a wide variety of therapy skills that do not rely solely on neurotypical standards. This promotes a less rigid, more flexible relationship atmosphere that maximizes each client’s ability to give and receive clear messages back and forth to each other. Authentic, vulnerable, and meaningful connection can take place when common barriers are removed.
Kelli often hears that a client’s experience of 5 sessions in neurodiverse couple therapy was more effective than 5 months of their past therapy experiences!
Stop the cycle of chronic disappointment today. If any of the above neurodiverse couple dynamics relate to you and your partner in your relationship, contact Kelli today for a free consultation. She would love to speak about how to help rekindle your love for one another.