Neurodiversity at Walnut
People who identify along the neurodivergent spectrum are welcome to seek treatment at Walnut Psychotherapy. We take seriously the provision of a safe and affirming therapeutic environment. As therapists, we have a shared and well-established understanding of the role that psychology and social work have played in shaping harmful narratives around autism, ADHD and other “a-typical” neurotypes. These narratives, informed by capitalistic thought and industry, seek to convert neurobiology that doesn’t perfectly fit into the hegemonic expectations that are held around how brains ought to perform.
The role that psychology has played in shaping, defining, and treating neurodivergence has been nothing short of devastating and traumatic. Based on a form of eugenics, dominant practices include mainly behavioral treatments that are designed to correct what is “wrong” with divergent people. We stand firmly against the use of ABA, applied behavioral analysis, for the treatment of ADHD and Autism for both adults and children.
Recognizing the increasing chorus of voices of adults who have aged out of ABA systems, only to face the trauma that these interventions created; we are here to deconstruct the autism industrial complex alongside you.
Knowing full well that autism is the most profitable diagnosis for billing insurance companies, particularly through the reckless use of ABA, we steer clear of pathologizing neurodifferences. We stand in favor of creating safe spaces for unmasking and affirmation of all neurodivergent traits. We honor: the need for stimming as a means of self regulation, the importance of special interests, complex sensory needs, and the intersectionality between queerness and neurodiversity. We think about and embrace neuroqueerness as an essential piece of our political stance. Furthermore, we fully validate the legitimacy of self-diagnosis alongside, helping clients to find accessible means for formal diagnosis if that is what would be most helpful.
We are comfortable in supporting the enhancement of executive functioning with our clients. We are also open to recognizing the role it plays in making daily functioning in our current society a struggle. We will co-examine the idea of executive functioning as a tool (or construct) by which someone’s worth and productivity are problematically measured.
At Walnut, our main orientations are trauma informed and queer affirming; meaning that we know that there is trauma in living with identities that have been marginalized and made to sound like a set of symptoms; rather than parts of the self. We are here to see you as whole and full and complete, exactly as you are. We are also here to encourage a space for safe unmasking and to take a deep dive into the psychological toll that masking has had on your life.
We consider our work to be political. Ableism in our field has been used as a weapon against neurodivergent communities. That is even more true working with neurodivergent BIPOC clients who have either been further oppressed by the intersection of ableism and race or have experienced that adequate care is made inaccessible by broken healthcare systems. That is a pattern we are seeking to break in each therapeutic pairing at Walnut. We have therapists that openly identify along the neurodivergent spectrum, accompanied by therapists that are committed to stopping the harm that has been done within the mental health field. We are here to co-create healthy and non-pathologizing relationships with you.
If you're interested in being matched with a therapist at Walnut please click here to be redirected to our intake form.