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Kathy Marshack News

Whether You Have Asperger Syndrome or Not – Trust Your Instincts When Finding a Therapist

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Why are some Aspies so hostile to psychologists and psychotherapy?  Among those adults with Asperger Syndrome, there is a growing movement toward acceptance instead of diagnosis.  These folks say they don’t want to be “fixed” but accepted for the unique human beings they are.  The problem is there are times when they could really benefit from professional help for anxiety or severe depression that comes from struggling with interpersonal problems, but they resist treatment. Is there an underlying reason for this resistance? Yes, unfortunately too many mental health professionals are woefully unprepared to treat the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome. I should know since I sought professional guidance for my daughter.  I went from professional to professional for years seeking help for my daughter’s suicidal depression and severe anxiety.  It was a school psychologist who finally turned me in the right direction and I will be forever grateful for her help.  As a result of my trials and tribulations, I was able to write my book on the subject, “Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: GOING OVER THE EDGE? The majority of therapists are well-intentioned; they’re not the biggest part of this problem. At least they are open to learning.  You can hand them a book and ask them to consider another possibility, and they will learn.  It is the clueless and narcissistic ones that do the most damage.  Unfortunately I was annihilated by one of these clueless and self-righteous therapists not long ago and I’m still recovering from her unkind and ignorant words. Karin is an interior decorator, turned psychotherapist, without much in the way of credentials, but a gift for marketing.  She is attractive and personable, but absolutely clueless about Asperger Syndrome.  One day she witnessed one of my daughter’s meltdowns and was stunned.  Later she criticized me for not handling the situation well. Furthermore, she told me that she would never have the problems I do because she is so much more balanced when it comes to handling these situations. Coming from a therapist, these words hurt. But I needed to consider the source. Karin has never parented any children of her own, much less a child with special needs. How on Earth could I possibly consider her opinion seriously, when she is clueless?  When someone with Asperger Syndrome (or their family)  is seeking professional help, they are apt to run into a therapist or two or three like Karin.  No wonder they’re angry or depressed by the therapy experience. So how does one choose a therapist when the odds are great that you will run into more than one Karin?  Whether you have Asperger Syndrome or want help with any other of the myriad problems that plague humanity, always trust your instinct.  Never give up but do trust your instinct.  Don’t waste your time and your heart with a therapist you cannot trust.  I love this quote from Buddha, because he sums up the situation in that inscrutable way that only the Buddha can. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason, and your own common sense.”


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