Neurodiversity refers to the different ways in which human brains interpret and experience the world around us. In the UK, it is estimated that approximately 15% of the UK population are neurodivergent. Neurodivergent people have innate differences in how their brain functions and how they process the world around them compared to what we would call ‘neurotypical’ people, who learn and experience the world in a way that is more in line with social and cultural expectations. 

Neurodivergence includes conditions such as Autism Spectrum, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. Those living with these neurological differences may experience a number of issues, such as sensory sensitivities, inability to cope with unexpected changes in familiar routines or environments, distractibility, difficulties with concentration and focus and personal organisation, delayed emotional reactions and difficulty expressing emotions. Learning in traditional academic settings may also be harder, especially when educators are not able to adapt or understand why the person struggles. These issues, among others, can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and even symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Neurodiversity-specific counselling and psychotherapy uses the social model of disability – it does not pathologise individuals or see neurodivergent traits as flaws; it does not seek to alter neurodivergent traits or behaviours. It promotes a strengths-based view of neurodiversity and helps clients develop self-understanding and compassion, build a sense of a positive neurodivergent identity, develop self-advocacy skills, improve self-esteem and emotional resilience, and address emotional issues and past trauma. 

For more information on counselling and psychotherapy tailored to those that are neurodiverse, please contact Liz Smith on 07934 923122 or email liz@victoriatherapycentre.co.uk. Liz has a Masters in Counselling and is specially trained to work with people with autism, Asperger’s, ADHD and other forms of neurodiversity.

Liz Smith therapy neurodiversity