Systemic Therapy and Autism
Autism has a special impact in relationships between partners and between parents and children. This involves a different way of connecting, communicating and experiencing. It is often difficult to understand or attune to the feelings and needs of the other. It is also often difficult to separate detail from the bigger picture.
When can relationship and family therapy help?
When your partner (possibly) has autism:
- there are a lot of arguments between partners, or parents and children through misunderstandings.
- it’s difficult to share your emotions because your partner cannot imagine what it’s like for you
- you’re often the one that has to take the initiative
- you feel that you have to be careful and wary of the other’s temper
- you feel that you’re bringing up the child(ren) on your own.
When you (possibly) have autism yourself:
- your friends and or family are sometimes angry and you don’t understand why
- whatever you do it doesn’t seem to be appreciated by your family.
- your environment often reacts in unexpected ways
- people around you expect a reaction but you’re often not sure what exactly is expected.
When your child (possibly) has autism:
- it’s difficult to attune to your child’s thoughts and feelings
- it’s really difficult to get and keep in contact with your child
- Have certain interaction patterns developed in your family that are underlying to a feeling of helplessness and exhaustion
- Has your child’s behaviour become central to the family lifestyle
What can you expect from the therapist?
- experience in and knowledge of autism and relationships
- knowledge of and experience with EFT (Emotionally focused therapy)
- an analysis of each of the partner’s attachment history and the influence of this in the present relationship(s)
- in relationship therapy: help in understanding and acknowledging autism and autism in the relationship, underlying emotions and needs. Help in relating and attuning in the relationship.
- In family therapy: help in gaining insight in persistent behaviour patterns that are linked to autism from the partner/ child or parent. Help in working towards new ways of relating and understanding.