Neurodivergent Affirming Care

What is neurodivergent affirming care?
Neurodivergent affirming care is a mental health care paradigm that acknowledges and validates the experiences of neurodivergent individuals. It is accepting that all people have varying neurotypes, and some will need to have accommodations to assist being able to work, play and socialise as they wish. Neurodivergent affirming care recognises that people may have been diagnosed with a condition, or that they self-identify with criteria, and other barriers are set that prevent a diagnosis. Some people will self-identify and not want or need a diagnosis – that’s perfectly acceptable. Neurodivergent individuals are those who have neurodevelopmental differences that affect their cognitive, emotional, and sensory processing. These differences can make it difficult to navigate a world that is designed for neurotypical individuals.

Neurodivergent affirming care is about creating a supportive environment that recognises and respects the unique needs and experiences of neurodivergent individuals. This care includes conditions such as Autism, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental conditions, as well as therapy and support for families and loved ones.

Why would someone need neurodivergent affirming care?
Individuals who are neurodivergent face unique challenges and difficulties that can affect their mental health and well-being. For example, they may experience social isolation, difficulties in communication and social interaction, sensory sensitivities, and struggles with executive functioning such as paying attention or memory issues. These challenges can impact their mental health and well-being, making it important to seek affirming care that considers their unique needs and experiences.

Often neurodivergent individuals also face stigma and discrimination in society, which can have a negative impact on their mental health. They may feel like they don’t fit in or are misunderstood, leading to feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. By receiving neurodivergent affirming care, they can find a supportive and adaptive environment where their experiences are validated and understood, enabling them to focus on improving their mental health and well-being. By receiving neurodivergent affirming care, neurodivergent individuals can receive support and guidance that is tailored to their unique needs.

Why is Haven Psychology Different?
Haven supports people on their journey towards optimal health and is a refuge which helps heal hurt, gain clarity, and find self-compassion. To do this, we use both the medical model and social model of disability. The medical model is inherently about the individual; that there is something wrong with you, and this needs fixing. So yes, sometimes there is something that is distressing, and we can assist with this. The social model however recognises that barriers are formed by political and sociocultural systems that disable a person to participate in life such as overwhelming or competing sensory input (eg shopping centres and schools), buildings without accessible entry ways or bathrooms, or social exclusion of our very marginalised communities.

At Haven, each room has sensory tools that may assist you to focus on your needs. Eye contact, or even verbal communication is not expected by the team. Sit, stand, fidget, lay on your back or stomach are all okay. Wearing dark glasses to help with the overhead lights is perfectly fine too! Some of our rooms are low lighting (and we are working towards all rooms being lower lighting where possible. Needing to wear your Loops or headphones to minimise the tones and pitches that compete with your attention is A-OK at Haven.

Haven is a sanctuary from where you can learn to build a foundation of safety and stability, to start your own steps towards recovery and belonging. A shelter from where you can begin to understand who you are, who you want to be, and why your values and identity are so important. A calm place to rescript your story by learning how to be the person you desire to be, what your purpose in life may be and when to give yourself permission to put yourself first.

At Haven we foster a space for open and honest expression that promotes inclusion, compassion and connection. Contact us today to book a session knowing that you will be provided with neurodivergent affirming care.

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