Training Webinars for Therapists

Through the services of, I offer occasional webinars to help therapists identify, understand, and support neurodiverse couples. They are available for two CEU credits each. Webinar descriptions are from the website.

Identifying and Supporting Autistic Women in Neurodiverse Relationships

In couples therapy, therapists often unknowingly work with neurodiverse couples in which one partner is or may be autistic. This experience can be frustrating for the therapist. For the couple, it can be at best not helpful, and often inadvertently harmful.

In this 2-hour continuing education webinar for therapists, Sarah Swenson, LMHC will cover the concept of neurodiversity as it applies to couples. She will examine both the autistic and the neurotypical perspectives and how they can differ within the couple. This work includes all couples: straight, same-sex, and polyamorous.

Ms. Swenson will also discuss why and how an undiagnosed autistic woman is frequently mischaracterized in a relationship, so therapists can discern whether autism might explain some of the challenges a couple faces in therapy. The main emphasis in this webinar will be to demonstrate therapeutic techniques and strategies that have a high likelihood of helping the autistic woman feel heard, and how clinicians might incorporate these considerations into their work with neurodiverse couples.

To avoid pathologizing autism, Ms. Swenson will also discuss how recognizing neurodiversity in a couple can lead to mutual compassion and open the door to healing and growth in the relationship.

When Your Partner Is On the Autism Spectrum: Individual Therapy for the Neurotypical Partner

In neurodiverse couples, a sometimes underserved and misdiagnosed person is the neurotypical partner. In therapy, the neurotypical partner may describe depression, anxiety, debilitating loneliness, exhaustion, and no sex life. They may describe living with their partner as if they were roommates or feeling like their partner's parent. Their friends, family, or previous therapists may have misunderstood their relationship experiences, and the the therapist may see self blame from this client.

In this 2-hour continuing education web conference, Sarah Swenson LMHC will discuss how mental health clinicians can make sense of the neurotypical partner’s story in individual therapy. Sarah will also discuss strategies for supporting the neurotypical partner as they unpack relationship challenges they may be experiencing and face difficult decisions in their life.

An Introduction to Working with Neurodiverse Couples

Neurodiverse couples in which one partner is on the autism spectrum and the other is neurotypical face unique challenges that are seldom addressed in training programs for therapists. These couples have the potential to feel lost or misunderstood when they choose to seek help in individual therapy or couples counseling. Without specialized training or education, clinicians may struggle to provide adequate treatment or effective interventions.

In this 2-hour continuing education web conference, Sarah Swenson, LMHC will explore the ways in which these couples differ from neurotypical partnerships. She will also discuss the implications of these differences and how common it can be for couples to struggle with misdiagnosed or undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is Sarah’s overarching goal to help therapists learn to offer an informed approach for working with autistic individuals.

Sarah will describe how her approach, coupled with a clinician’s focused therapeutic support, will aid in acknowledging the strengths and challenges that neurodiverse couples experience. She will discuss how this approach is as much about what not to do as it is about learning how best to provide the most appropriate counseling services. Developing an awareness and sensitivity to these couples’ unique issues is key to providing the help they need to have healthy and fulfilling relationships