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NHC conference talk: 'Embracing the neurodiversity-affirming hypnotherapist ethos’ by Kathy Carter

The talk ‘Embracing the neurodiversity-affirming hypnotherapist ethos’ aims to shed some light on some common myths surrounding neurodivergent and especially autistic clients – including so-called challenges with imagination and empathy, and the widely-held view that autism doesn’t define a client.

Looking through a neurodivergent lens, Kathy aims to introduce some of the modern neurodiversity concepts, including language and labels, as well as some key facets of the autistic experience. These include the ‘double empathy’ problem; monotropism, which recognises and even celebrates interest-based brains; and the breaking down of unhelpful stereotypical viewpoints of autistic people and clients, especially concerning empathy, imagination, and how neurodivergence defines individuals, and shapes their identities.

Kathy will also introduce some discussion about the medical versus social model of disability – as well as how holistic, autonomic nervous system-based concepts within talking therapy position the autistic experience, in terms of individuals’ social engagement systems.

The talk will feature lots of practical tips about how a therapy room can be physically adapted to suit neurodivergent clients, how telehealth sessions may be affected, and what modality adaptions may be useful, from a neurodivergent client’s perspective.

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