As a Neurodiverse Woman with Autistic Traits, You May Often Feel Misunderstood.
It can be challenging to build connections and navigate the intricacies of both friendship and romantic relationships. Especially, as social situations may trigger anxiety and make it difficult to interpret social cues accurately. There is a possibility that others may misinterpret your words or actions and pass negative judgments. Despite your efforts to fit in, there might be instances of social rejection, which can leave you feeling alone and isolated.
Maybe you identify with anxiety, depression, or OCD, but you feel like those labels don't fully capture your experiences. Perhaps you've had meltdowns throughout your life, which led to a bipolar disorder diagnosis, but even that doesn't quite resonate with you. Perhaps you identify as neurodivergent, such as being on the autism spectrum, or you may be curious if you fall within this category.
It's also possible that you received an autism diagnosis later in life, as you were able to imitate social cues and interactions during your upbringing. Or because you functioned well academically, potentially through homeschooling. However, you've encountered ongoing challenges throughout your life, making it difficult to maintain friendships. You may have experienced bullying or manipulation from others, which can significantly impact your self-confidence.
The Women’s Group at Open Doors Therapy Can Help You!
Ultimately, it's important to find support that understands and embraces neurodiversity, helping you navigate the world around you. You're eager to acquire new skills and knowledge to succeed in relationships, at home, and at work. While group settings may initially cause anxiety, we're confident in our ability to create a comfortable and supportive environment for you. Our therapists are equipped with valuable tools to enhance your comfort as a woman with high-functioning autism. Learn more about what to expect from group therapy for neurodiverse adults.
A former participant shared:
...the group helped provide structure that gently guided myself and other group members in real-time practice and learning of constructive patterns of communication, perspective, and support. I found myself implementing it immediately to improve professional and personal relationships in my life. This and other applied learning felt like finally getting a glimpse of and using some “How-To” manual with which many other people are already familiar.
During the Women's Group Sessions, You Will Learn and Practice Useful Skills.
One of the primary considerations that women on the autism spectrum have is understanding how to navigate social situations and feel included. We recognize that social interactions can be overwhelming and induce anxiety. Hence, our aim is to support you in developing strategies to manage stress and anxiety, enhance your social and communication abilities, and foster self-confidence.
Learn Useful Social Skills
We understand that individuals with diverse neurological experiences may encounter unique challenges when it comes to forming new connections, maintaining existing friendships, and navigating romantic relationships. That's why we aim to provide you with a practical set of social skills that can be applied in your everyday life. Our ultimate goal is to support you in feeling more at ease and self-assured in social situations while respecting your authentic self. It's important to note that our groups prioritize nurturing social confidence without promoting masking or compromising your true identity.
Some of the skills we will explore in the group sessions include:
- Understanding social cues and social norms,
- Improving non-verbal communication,
- Listening skills and turn-taking in conversations,
- Expressing empathy and validation to build rapport
- Starting and maintaining conversations
- Managing the desire to "info-dump"
- Conflict resolution to improve interpersonal relationships
Learn New Strategies to Cope with Stress and Anxiety
Individuals who identify as women and are on the autism spectrum often express experiencing heightened anxiety and stress levels. These feelings can lead to meltdowns and a sense of loss of control. To support you in managing these challenges, our skills groups provide tools and strategies tailored for coping with stress, anxiety, and sensory overload. These skills are designed to be applicable in your daily life, including moments of change that may disrupt your routine.
Some of the coping strategies we work on include:
- Dealing with stress and social anxiety,
- Learning about emotions and how to cope with negative feelings,
- Managing unwanted sensory stimulation,
- Creating an individualized self-care routine,
- Nurturing confidence and self-esteem.
Become More Self-Aware in our Women's Group
Ultimately, our hope is that the women’s group will contribute to an improved quality of life for you. Therefore, we want you to gain more self-confidence, learn how to advocate for yourself and enhance your self-awareness. We understand that by acquiring these skills, you will discover more joy in your day-to-day life as an autistic woman.
We will discuss the following goals and concerns during the course of the group:
- Identifying your strengths, challenges, and values.
- Setting personal, educational, or professional goals.
- Identifying your needs and learning the resources available to you as an autistic adult.
- Learning skills to help you better manage any challenges you may face.
- Creating an individualized plan to better navigate your everyday life.
- Connecting with other autistic women and learning how to create meaningful relationships.
- Exploring the topics of self-care, vulnerability, and acceptance in a supportive environment.
Advantages of Group Therapy for Women on the Autism Spectrum
There are NUMEROUS benefits to group therapy for neurodiverse women! Our participants thoroughly appreciate the opportunity to connect with other women on the autism spectrum. Some of the advantages group participants share are:
- Having a safe and non-judgmental place to discuss your struggles.
- Learning from others.
- Having a group where you belong and can find support.
- Learning and practicing new skills.
- Feeling less anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, and unhappy.
- Reducing any shame regarding your differences.
- Feeling accountable to the group can help motivate you to practice the skills in your daily life.
Details about the Neurodiverse Women’s Group:
During this group, we will prioritize addressing the specific concerns you may have about navigating life on the autism spectrum. Our primary goal is to ensure that this group is a suitable match for you, accommodating your unique needs and availability. We will arrange a complimentary phone consultation to address any questions you may have and assess whether the group aligns with your requirements. If you choose to join, we kindly request that participants commit to attending the women's group once a week, for a duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Duration: 20 Sessions, Meet once a week
- Days/Times: TBD (typically a weekday evening)
- Start Date: Groups typically start in August/September and January/February
- Price: $150/Session
- Learn more about fees and payment
Best of the Blog: Posts for Neurodiverse Women in Silicon Valley
- Honoring Women with Autism
- Women with Autism are Often Misdiagnosed or Underdiagnosed
- Reasons Why Women with Autism are Misdiagnosed or Underdiagnosed
- Are you wondering if you may be a woman with autism traits?
- Current Research on Girls and Women with Autism
Join the Group for Adult Neurodiverse Women in California
This group is specifically for neurodiverse adult women in California who identify with autism, Asperger's profile, or autism traits. If you are seeking support and a safe space to explore your autism diagnosis and personal growth, then our Women's Group might be a great fit for you. Our team of autism therapists will collaborate with you and seven other group members to learn and practice valuable skills that can help you overcome challenges and lead a more fulfilling and successful life. To begin autism group therapy in California, follow these simple steps:
Other Autism Services at Open Doors Therapy
Our Palo Alto/Bay Area counseling clinic specializes in helping individuals with autistic traits and their families. This includes individuals who identify as having Asperger's, autism, undiagnosed autism traits, etc. Specifically, our autism therapy services include individual therapy, parent counseling, and group therapy. We also offer support and educational groups for college students with autistic traits, young adults with autism, neurodiverse adults, women who identify as neurodiverse, and gifted youth & caregivers, a mother's group, and an online parent support group. We are now offering online group therapy in the state of California. Additionally, I have been blogging to expand the available knowledge and resources for autistic adults. Please contact our office to learn more about our groups and therapy options and how we can help you or your loved one!