Health & Wellness

Counselling For Individuals Coping With Autism

9:24 PM

counseling autism

One to one counselling can be the starting point for many people as they begin their recovery for depression, addiction, or other mental health issues. But counselling for individuals with autism can be a much different journey. While many autistic people find counselling effective and worthwhile, their needs can vary greatly, with more focus on coping strategies and relaxation techniques.



Counselling for Individuals Coping with Autism 



What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition. Caused by irregularities in the way the brain develops and works, it affects how a person might interact or communicate with other people socially, as well as how they view and understand the world around them.

Communication difficulties

Many autistic people find it difficult to interact socially with others - and communication plays a big part in this. People without autism can instinctively rely on both verbal and non-verbal communication - such as visual clues in body language, appearance, and spatial awareness as well as someone’s tone of voice, sarcasm, or jokes when they speak.

But without the ability to pick up on these visual or verbal clues effectively, autistic people can have difficulty feeling comfortable in group situations or understanding conversations.

Overwhelming feelings or emotions

They can also be overwhelmed by intense feelings and emotions. This can be a confusing experience as they might be suffering a high state of anxiety or nervousness, but not know or understand why they feel this way.

Over time, many autistic people develop their own personal coping strategies to help them when faced with such situations. And while they may be seen as unconventional to a non-autistic person, they should be accepted as the best way for that individual to help themselves.

Senses and sensitivity

Other common traits of autism can include feelings of hypersensitivity - to sound for example - or the experience of either high or low extremes of the physical senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell. It’s also common to see extremes in ability - some autistic people can be exceptionally skilled in certain areas, but struggle greatly in others.

What’s known as Executive Function Disorder can also play a big role in the lives of autistic people. This means they can find it difficult to plan, organise, or schedule everyday duties or tasks - especially those that involve certain timescales. Such difficulties can leave them feeling tired and emotionally drained.

While many autistic people may share similar characteristics and mannerisms, being a spectrum condition, every diagnosis is different. Therefore, every autistic person can have experiences that differ greatly, but with some common similarities.

Why is counselling for autism needed?

Life with autism can be difficult and, at times, the daily challenges can get the better of all people living with it. This will obviously affect the mental health of some, so talking with a counselling professional can make a big difference.

But counselling for autism can also be helpful for friends, family, or carers too, giving everyone extra support as and when they might need it. While there are no cures, counselling and talking therapy can help people on the spectrum, and everyone who is living with autism, find ways to face up to or cope with their daily lives.

Getting a formal diagnosis is also important or helpful for some people with autism. Some prefer not to be put into an official ‘pigeon hole’, preferring to celebrate their uniqueness. But for some, having a diagnosis can be beneficial, giving them an understanding of why they might feel different from others, as well as opening avenues of support for them.

Addressing mental health

The number of people with autism affected by mental health issues is likely to be higher than those who aren’t on the spectrum. But sometimes their issues can be missed or overshadowed by some autistic behaviour patterns.

Anxiety can be an area of concern in many autistic people as they struggle with the effects of stressful situations in a social context. Another highly common issue is depression. Coping with any potential anxiety issues as well as the daily challenges autism brings can make lives harder.

But while dealing with these challenges is a positive step forward, it can be difficult for autistic people to reach out for help. Change can be unsettling and talking about their feelings can be hard, but the right counsellor, especially one with experience in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can help with the range of emotions, anxieties, and confusion.

CBT therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a recognised and common therapy treatment for people suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is why some autistic people benefit greatly from it. Looking to change the way autistic people think and behave, CBT can help patients deal with the bigger problems or emotions that overwhelm them by breaking them down into smaller pieces.

As CBT deals with issues and problems that are felt by the patient currently (rather than focusing on issues that have taken place in the past like other talking therapies), it gives them realistic ways to help improve their state of mind and the way they feel day to day.

To provide successful therapy to autistic people, counsellors may have to modify and adapt their methods. But a counsellor with specific training in or experience of CBT would be best placed to deliver the recommended treatment for a positive outcome.

Chrysalis training courses

Whatever area of talking therapy you work - or want to work - and specialise in, CBT counselling is a perfect way to help autistic adults and children. With more on offer than just a job, it’s a chance to make a difference in their lives and help them overcome their daily challenges. And a counselling course with Chrysalis can be the first step of your journey.

Chrysalis is the UK’s leading trainer of counselling and therapy courses. Accredited by the National Counselling Society, all courses can help you gain valuable qualifications - whether you’re taking an introductory course or if you’re an already qualified counsellor looking for career development.

So if you want to specialise in counselling for autism, achieving accredited qualifications from Chrysalis Courses can be a rewarding step to take. For more information and more details about all Chrysalis counselling and therapy courses, visit www.chrysaliscourses.ac.uk, email enquiries@chrysaliscourses.co.uk, or call 01278 401352 today.


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