Adela is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who graduated with an MA in Clinical Counseling. She also has a Master’s degree in Journalism which she received in Europe where she is from. She speaks three languages and understands the need to tailor therapy based on cultural backgrounds.
Her experience as an immigrant helps Adela to empathize with her client’s life challenges, and her early parental and spousal losses enable her to connect with others in mourning. It has also boosted her resilience and given her a worldview atypical for her age. She has gone through a big marital challenge herself during her current second marriage and has undergone couples therapy. She is now a part of a blended family which enables her to understand some of the tricky dynamics of step parenting.
The most common complaint of a neurotypical person in partnership with a neurodiverse person is the partner's rigidity. Often, the individuals in this type of relationship suffered attachment injuries.
Making Sense of Differences
I can help you shed light on some of your partner's behaviors and make sense of the hurt, misunderstanding and resentment you may feel. It is normal to go through grieving: for the past of your relationship that wasn't neurotypical as well as for the future of your union that will be always be a bit different. Your brains aren't wired the same way. Neuroscience research show us that People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may appear stuck or have shutdowns or meltdowns because they are often in a state of overwhelm in which someone with Asperger's is scared, frustrated, or angry, as well as withdrawn. This state is often referred to as Defense Mode.
I can help you understand the Defense Mode that a neurodivergent person often employs so that you can help yourself or your partner from shutting down so often. Perhaps you know what the signs of Defense Mode are by now. The neurodivergent partner isn't trying to be mean. In fact, they are doing the best they can with the emotional resources they have, AND they can do better: for the sake of both of you as human beings worthy of love and acceptance, and for the sake of the future of your relationship.
There are ways to help yourself or your loved one come out of Defense Mode. The two fundamental ones center around decompression time and trust building which is comprised of four necessary pillars that we can work on putting together. Your partner isn't being willful. Their definition of an issue you are dealing with just isn't the same as yours.
Listening to Understand
Talking in order to connect is a basic human need but we need to have a common shared understanding first. The message about what this shared understanding actually is can get blurred or corrupted. If you have a common language you can define shared values and shared expectations.
Remember that forcing a conversation will lead nowhere. We can work on how to ensure an important conversation does take place though. I'm sure you know listening is important but are you actually using efficient and respectful listening with your partner? If you are, both of you will experience less frustration. Listen to understand, not to form a defensive retort in your mind as they speak. Understand what it is like to be them.
I get that it isn't fair to you, the neurotypical partner, it feels as though you are doing all the work. I agree, it isn't fair but you are in a partnership and are here so I assume you do want to try. I am in the business of hope and positivity and would like to offer you some. I have seen neurodiverse marriages succeed.
Other areas of focus (in addition to Neurodiversity):
Healthy Grieving as a Couple
Couples going through life transitions
Kink-aware couples therapy
Couples with mismatched sexual desires
Differences in sexual taste and style
Guidance through nonmonogamy/polyamory
Blended families/step families
Fluent in Czech, French and English
Couples, Families, Young Adults
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-based Therapy, Gestalt, Positive Psychology, Existential Therapy, Art Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy.
Registered Associate, MFTA #124546, APCC #9260
Supervised by Claudio Silva, LMFT #82582