Do you have autism spectrum traits or love someone who does and you’re looking for a support group or social skills group?
Are you wanting a change for the better, but feel unsure how to get started? You’re maybe considering group counseling or a support group for either yourself or your child, but wanted to know more about it first.
We offer group therapy in the San Francisco Bay Area (Palo Alto, CA) for neurodiverse teens and adults with autistic traits. You or your child may have autism traits, social-communication difficulties, social anxiety, or even a diagnosis of Asperger’s, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or PDDNOS.
What are "Autism Spectrum Traits?"
Do any of these sound familiar?
- You feel uncomfortable interacting with people
- Much of the time, you'd prefer to be alone
- You get frustrated or overwhelmed by changes to your routine
- It's common for you to worry about failure
- You avoid trying new things or setting goals
- You think you have autism traits and relate with what you read about autism
- You have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling
- It's hard to understand others' facial expressions, body language, or social cues
- You have difficulty regulating emotion at times
- It can be hard to keep up a conversation or understand social cues such as when/how to take turns in a conversation
- You may have a tendency to engage in repetitive or routine behaviors
According to Autism Spectrum, "Autism is characterised by marked difficulties in behaviour, social interaction, communication and sensory sensitivities. Some of these characteristics are common among people on the spectrum; others are typical of the disability but not necessarily exhibited by all people on the autism spectrum." If you noticed that some of the traits listed above feel familiar to you, you may have autistic traits.
What Are The Benefits of Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a very effective way to help individuals who identify as neurodiverse or have autism traits. Our mental health therapists are experts in the area of autism. They have training and experience leading groups for individuals with some of the autism traits listed above and have found groups to be an empowering experience! Some of the specific benefits of participating in group therapy include:
- You’ll have the life-changing experience of feeling like you belong
- You’ll feel like you’re not alone because of your supportive and encouraging group
- You’ll feel relief that others have similar challenges
- You’ll learn to overcome these challenges by gaining strategies to help with:
- Reducing Stress & Frustration
- Building Conversational Skills
- Developing Lasting Relationships
- Adapting to Change in Routines & Life Transitions
- Setting Goals
- Self Advocacy & How to Get Your Needs Met
- Managing Sensory Sensitivities
- Planning & Organization
What’s Group Therapy Like?
When you decide to participate in group therapy at Open Doors Therapy, you'll be placed in a group with others who are in a similar phase of life and have similar treatment goals. Our group therapy participants go through two main stages of treatment:
Stage 1: Pre-Group Counseling
- You’ll have up to 4 individual counseling sessions with Dr. Tasha Oswald
- You’ll get to know her and build trust
- You’ll address your concerns and anxiety around starting group
- You’ll learn what to expect from group, so you’ll feel prepared for it
Stage 2: Group Therapy
- You’ll be matched with up to 8 other group members based on SIMILAR CHARACTERISTICS
- You’ll probably feel nervous at first, but over time you’ll get to know and TRUST each other
- You’ll see that you HAVE IN COMMON many issues and struggles
- You’ll LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF
- You’ll UNDERSTAND and EMPATHIZE with each other’s challenges
- You’ll ENCOURAGE and INSPIRE each other
- You’ll have FUN together
- You’ll help each other PROBLEM-SOLVE
- You’ll gain the CONFIDENCE to take steps in life to ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
We have a lot of different support and therapy groups for individuals with autistic traits, Aspergers or other forms of neurodiversity and their loved ones. If you're overwhelmed looking at this list, just reach out today for a free consultation.
We carefully select each person we place in a new group to ensure you will get the most benefit from your group therapy experience. Therefore, we want to talk to you beforehand and find out about your stage in life and what you hope to gain from the group. If you're unsure which group is a good fit, we'll help you figure it out.
If you’re an adult with autism traits, you might fit into one of these groups:
If you’re a caregiver or a youth with autism traits:
- Gifted Youth & Caregiver Group
- Summer Social Skills Training Program
- Mother’s Group
- Online Autism Parent Support Group
Individual Counseling Services at Open Doors Therapy
Are you still unsure about the idea of a group? Have you had a bad experience in a group before and want to do some individual counseling before joining a group? Or do you feel like you need help now and don't want to wait for a new group to form? We also offer counseling for neurodiverse individuals (Aspergers, diagnosed Autism, undiagnosed autism traits, etc) as well as individual counseling to support parents. If you are interested in any of our services, please reach out to Open Doors Therapy today. We'd love to talk to you about what service would be the best resource for you and/or your loved one!