307 – Neurodivergent-Affirming Therapy

307 – Neurodivergent-Affirming Therapy

Growing and Evolving as a Counsellor – Reflecting on Your Counselling Training Journey

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In Episode 307 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly are back with this week’s three topics:

  • Firstly in ‘Ethical, Sustainable Practice’, we look at growing and evolving as a counselling practitioner across the arc of our practice.
  • Then in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Amy Peters about neurodivergent-affirming therapy practice.
  • And lastly in ‘Student Services’, we look at reflecting on your counselling training journey.

Growing and Evolving as a Counsellor [starts at 03:10 mins]

This segment of the Counselling Tutor Podcast is sponsored by


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As a counsellor, we want to be constantly improving ourselves and our practice. In this section, Rory and Ken go through some steps you can take to continue growing and evolving:

  • Take feedback and reflect on it. Is there anything you can change to improve?
  • Continual professional development (CPD) – become an expert in your field, whether this be a niche that you have a particular interest in.
  • Consider an area you might want to specialise in.
  • Look at your client retention and reflect on what could improve.
  • Partake in self-reflection and awareness.
  • How can you develop yourself within the therapeutic relationship? How can you speak more freely and integrate yourself with the client to develop deeper relational depth?
  • How are you applying your knowledge through communication?
  • Create a network of like-minded people.
  • You can gain valuable insights from colleagues.
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Neurodivergent-Affirming Therapy Practice [starts at 25:17 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Amy Peters about her lecture on neurodivergent-affirming practice.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • Your client could be late diagnosed – this means they could be looking back on all of their experiences through a different lens, reshuffling them to gain understanding.
  • It’s important for a client to recognise it as a difference, not something ‘wrong’.
  • Consider intersectionality and how this affects the unique experience of each individual.
  • We’re not trying to get rid of these neurodivergent traits in our clients, but we’re looking at how they can learn acceptance, self-compassion, and reduce possible self-blame.
  • To see if we are providing neurodivergent-affirming therapy, reflect on how accommodating and flexible our practice is. Can we offer movement breaks or provide fidget toys?
  • It’s important to use non-pathologizing language.
  • Don’t dismiss the challenges or struggles of a client.
  • For further reflection on how we can provide neurodivergent-affirming therapy, let’s identify our own internal biases.


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Reflecting on Your Counselling Training Journey [starts at 47:35 mins]

As important as it is to look to the future, there is also much to be gained from reflecting on the past. In this section, Rory and Ken share some of the benefits of thinking back on your own counselling training:

  • Taking time to reflect is important for self-development.
  • Where are you on your journey? What comes next? Who are you now?
  • Take a moment to let everything wash over you.
  • Look back at your own growth and development.
  • Reflect on how much you’ve changed.
  • Your outside relationships – it’s important to understand that they haven’t been through the same experiences you have, and while your worldview might have changed, theirs remains the same.
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Growing and Evolving as a Counselling Practitioner

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