Our therapists specialize in providing high-quality individual autism therapy to individuals with high-functioning autism in California.
Serving neurodiverse clients ages 12-adulthood
You want to go to individual counseling, but you’re afraid the therapist won’t understand you. In fact, maybe you’ve tried therapy before and felt like it didn't quite fit your needs as an individual on the autism spectrum. Something was missing.
There is a difference between counseling with a therapist who has heard of autism and a therapist who specializes in neurodiversity and autism.
Perhaps, you're dealing with feelings of anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome. Or, you're struggling to cope with the effect that bullying and trauma had on your life. Whatever brings you to therapy, our autism therapists can help you thrive and feel comfortable in your own skin.
Does this sound like you?
- You were diagnosed with autism.
- You wonder if you're on the autism spectrum
- Social cues and body language are a mystery to you and you struggle to fit into neurotypical society
- You’re doubly gifted but have always struggled to understand social cues and body language
- You're lonely
- You deal with anxiety and depression
- Dating or being in a relationship is hard for you
- You've experienced trauma and/or bullying
- Your child was diagnosed with autism and you want to find them a supportive therapist to help them thrive
If so, you may have what we call “autistic traits,” high-functioning autism, or what used to be called Asperger's. These traits mean you see the world differently than most people. Perhaps, you feel very uncomfortable to be yourself in a neurotypical world. And you may struggle to "fit in" with the people around you. This makes life hard; leaving you feeling overwhelmed, worthless, and hopeless.
To overcome these symptoms and move forward in a healthy and confident way, it is really important that you see a mental health professional who understands neurodiversity and the struggles you face in your day-to-day life. Our autism therapy team offers counseling services to neurodiverse clients across the state of California through Online Therapy and in-person at our Palo Alto, CA autism therapy clinic.
Individual Autism Therapy for Adults & Teens
Individual autism therapy is appropriate for neurodiverse teens and adults in all stages of life. We help clients deal with the hardships of being neurodiverse in middle school and high-school, overcome the struggles of independence and social demands in college, learn how to handle workplace stressors, navigate dating, and cope with the challenges of adulthood. We recognize that you face different demands and situations during these stages of life, but there are common challenges almost all our neurodiverse clients have as they navigate being neurodiverse in a neurotypical world. These challenges include:
- Anxiety- including social anxiety
- Sensory sensitivity
- Relationship struggles
- Loneliness and sadness
- Family challenges
- Being constantly misunderstood
Our Palo Alto Autism Counseling Clinic offers in-person services and Online Therapy. We specialize in helping adults and teens living in the state of California who identify as autistic, neurodiverse, having autistic traits or Aspergers. We offer a variety of social skills groups as well. Our mental health professionals are autism experts. Therefore, you’ll feel more understood by our therapists than you might have in counseling before. We’ll help you explore the things in your life you find challenging, teach you new skills and give you space to grow. Through individual counseling, you'll increase your self-confidence and become more comfortable being independent and advocating for yourself.
Autism and Anxiety
You feel anxious and always on edge. You're terrified of making a mistake and doing something wrong. Social settings make you anxious because you just want to fit in and be liked by your peers, family, and coworkers. You're scared of being rejected or ridiculed for getting something wrong. Perhaps, you feel frozen with fear too afraid to do anything because something bad could happen or someone could become upset with you.
Many people who are on the autism spectrum experience anxiety. In fact, almost all the clients we work with express feeling anxious. This may make your life miserable and make it even harder to function. Our autism therapists understand the challenges you face and are prepared to help you cope with the symptoms of anxiety.
Autism and Depression
It can feel extremely lonely and isolating to be neurodiverse living in a neurotypical world. You may feel like no matter how hard you try you'll never fit in. And after a while, you stop trying altogether. Perhaps, you've tried to tell people how you feel, but they are dismissive or even ignore your pain leaving you feeling worse than before.
Just like anxiety, many if not most of our clients experience depression, sadness, and loneliness. We promise to validate you as you discuss your feelings. When you meet with one of our autism therapists, you will feel like you've found support and compassion.
Autism and Trauma:
There is a strong correlation between autism and trauma. In fact, most individuals with autism experience trauma in some form. Perhaps, you were bullied, picked on, physically assaulted, taken advantage of, or been the victim of fraud or a scam. The effects of trauma, if left untreated, can be long-lasting and devastating. It may leave you feeling both helpless and hopeless.
At Open Doors Therapy we have trauma-informed autism therapists on staff. They specialize in helping individuals on the autism spectrum move forward in their lives and cope with the trauma they experienced.
Autism and Relationship Challenges:
Reading social cues and understanding body language is hard when you're autistic. Therefore, being in a relationship can also be extremely challenging. Although you want and even crave connection and romance, dating and being in a relationship when you're on the autism spectrum can be very anxiety-provoking. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy relationship can be very challenging because you're often misunderstood.
As autism experts we get how these challenges impact your romantic life. We will support you in learning the social skills necessary to date and be in a relationship. We are also able to help you cope with the sadness and disappointment that comes with a breakup or rejection in a healthy way, so you'll eventually feel like trying again.
What to Expect From Individual Autism Therapy
What happens during autism therapy varies greatly on the issues and challenges you're experiencing, your age, and the stage of life you're in. For example, individual autism therapy for a middle schooler would obviously be very different from individual autism therapy for a 60-year-old adult.
Typically, you will meet with a therapist, on a regular basis, every week for 1 hour. Over time you’ll build trust and feel understood, this is when the real therapeutic work begins. Together, you’ll work collaboratively on addressing issues that are important to you. You’ll work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Through counseling, you will practice strategies to communicate more effectively with people, become more relaxed during social interactions, reduce anxiety around change, enhance your problem-solving skills, and more.
Our Approach to Individual Counseling:
You are an individual, so we will tailor your therapy experience to help you meet your individual goals. For instance, some of the therapeutic approaches we use include Internal Family Systems, Social Skills Training, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), EMDR, and art therapy. Through your work in counseling sessions, you’ll begin to build skills and overcome the challenges that are causing you to feel frustrated or overwhelmed. You’ll grow in confidence and skills.
As with many of our individual counseling clients, you may decide to transition to group therapy in order to hone your social skills and connect with other neurodiverse peers who can relate and empathize with you. If you're experiencing family issues, you may also decide to begin autism family therapy.
Our Goal for Individual Autism Therapy:
Ultimately our goal is to help you feel confident being neurodiverse. We want you to develop better self-worth and find a sense of pride in the autism traits that make you awesomely unique. We won't teach you tricks to act “normal.” We will support you in growing your natural abilities to empathize, listen, validate, and appreciate others. These are the abilities you already have. As you learn to access these inner qualities, you will see your life transform for the better.
Individual Counseling Fee
Depending on the therapist you see, the cost of counseling ranges from $180-$250 per 50-minute therapy session.
Learn more about fees and payment.
Specific Benefits of Individual Autism Therapy at Open Doors Counseling
Through individual counseling sessions with one of our autism mental health professionals, you’ll increase your self-awareness and learn new skills including:
- Coping techniques and relaxation strategies to help you cope with anxiety, depression, trauma, sensory sensitivities, and more.
- Strategies to reduce social anxiety and improve your communication and social skills
- How to build closer relationships and friendships
- Techniques to reduce worries around setting goals and making changes in your life
- How to tolerate change more easily and increase in flexible thinking
- The ability to emphasize with others and accept other's point of view
- Increased self-advocacy, determination, and resilience.
In therapy, you’ll have the opportunity to explore your identity, challenges, and concerns in a nonjudgmental space. As you begin to identify what you care about in life and how to make your life more fulfilling we will build the skills to help you reach those new goals. Then, you’ll have the space to practice the new skills you are learning and the support to problem solve any challenges that come up.
Begin Autism Therapy in California
If you live in California, feel like you may have some autistic traits, and would like to begin individual autism therapy, we can help. Things can be easier. You can find a therapist who understands you, reduce your stress, and find new ways to relate to the world around you. Let us help. To begin counseling at our autism therapy clinic based in Palo Alto, follow these steps:
- Contact us for a free phone consultation using this link. You will meet with one of our autism therapists.
- Like us on Facebook. On our page, we post useful information about our autism therapy clinic.
- Sign up to receive our newsletter.
Other services and autism resources offered at Open Doors Therapy:
Our autism therapy clinic located in the South Bay Area serves teens and adults on the autism spectrum. We help high functioning individuals who identify as having Aspergers, high functioning autism, undiagnosed autism traits, etc., and their families.
Currently, we are providing all our autism counseling services online. Our autism therapy team provides a variety of autism services including autism family therapy, parent counseling, and group therapy. Also, we run several different social skills groups for neurodiverse working professionals, college students with autistic traits, gifted youth & caregivers, autistic adults, women who identify as neurodiverse, a summer social skills college transition training program for youth transitioning to college, teens & caregivers, and a mothers group. Please contact our autism counseling office for more information on our services or to schedule a consultation.