How do you tell your Therapist...?

I'm giving Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) another go - albeit again I'm becoming disheartened by the process. These so-called professionals really aren't geared to deal with an autistic perspective at all.

The Practitioner specialises in 'anxiety issues', and readily admits he has no idea about autism - saying I'm the 'expert' (god help me). He seems intently focussed on the issue of 'panic attacks', even though I say to him I don't consider myself as ever had one. Yet he focuses on anxiety issues with the attention worthy of an autistic! Okay, I do suffer anxiety with the best of Autistics, but for me (cognitive/sensory) overload is far more of a problem. If anything, as a defense mechanism (or attempt to redistribute internal resources) I tend to go into a catatonic state when suffering from overload (unless persistently exposed, whereby I can reach 'meltdown' and lash out), rather than the hyper-aroused state I would assume is a panic attack.

Part of the problem is that I'm having trouble explaining to him the difference between 'panic attacks' and '(cognitive/sensory) overload'. Indeed, I'm seemingly just not getting across to him just how complex and deafening the autistic mind can be, and how exhaustion results from trying to process the sheer volume of thought, rather than a build up to a panic attack.

Does anyone have a clear-cut and concise way for me to explain the difference between a 'panic attack' and '(cognitive/sensory) overload'?

Parents
  • I had a similar experience with my CBT.

    Prior to being diagnosed with ASD, after one session of CBT, the person I saw told me that I was not suitable for CBT and discharged me.

    A few months ago, after being diagnosed, I was referred again to CBT. This time I had a different experience.

    Although it didn't necessarily improve the issues I had etc, I found that being able to spend an hour talking to someone who knew very little about me and was paid to listen and give advice, actually made me feel better about myself.  Admittedly, she also said that she had no real knowledge and experience in dealing with patients who had ASD, but she did refer me to the Richmond Fellowship in the hope that they may be able to help me in ways that she was unable to.

    Unfortunately, I am still waiting for The Richmond Fellowship to get back to me (they sent me an acknowledgement letter a few months ago, but have yet to actually offer me an appointment to see someone), but hopefully this will be another step in the right direction.

Reply
  • I had a similar experience with my CBT.

    Prior to being diagnosed with ASD, after one session of CBT, the person I saw told me that I was not suitable for CBT and discharged me.

    A few months ago, after being diagnosed, I was referred again to CBT. This time I had a different experience.

    Although it didn't necessarily improve the issues I had etc, I found that being able to spend an hour talking to someone who knew very little about me and was paid to listen and give advice, actually made me feel better about myself.  Admittedly, she also said that she had no real knowledge and experience in dealing with patients who had ASD, but she did refer me to the Richmond Fellowship in the hope that they may be able to help me in ways that she was unable to.

    Unfortunately, I am still waiting for The Richmond Fellowship to get back to me (they sent me an acknowledgement letter a few months ago, but have yet to actually offer me an appointment to see someone), but hopefully this will be another step in the right direction.

Children
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