Autism Awareness for Counsellors – Allan Turner

This interview focused on deepening counsellors understanding of working with Autistic clients and had a...

Last updated 21 May 2024

This interview focused on deepening counsellors understanding of working with Autistic clients and had a liberal sprinkling of “dos and don’t”. I also considered how male and female clients present differently.

Course Content

Autism Awareness for Counsellors – Allan Turner

Presenter

Allan Turner

MBACP Senior Accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist

I have been counselling for 40 years, and much of my work has been with couples. My two adult children have autistic traits, one mild, the other quite severe, so I had some idea of how Autism looks. I started attending workshops on the subject to learn more. I came to understand that there is a high incidence in couples presenting for counselling. I realise that this is not surprising. Inherent in Autism is a difficulty in empathy, or more accurately, difficulty with “theory of mind”. This is likely to create problems in close relationships, and I suspect this is the reason that it appears to be so prevalent when counselling couples.

For the last twelve years, I, and a colleague, have run short training courses to equip counsellors to be able to work with couples. We have included a section on Autism and the normal reaction before people start the course is to wonder why we have included it. By the end of the course, the participants say that they understand why we included it and wish that it was included in their counsellor training.