The Neurodiversity Movement is a mindset that everyone, whether neurotypical or mentally different, should be treated equally in society.
The self-identifying term “neurodivergent” initially focused on people who are on the autistic spectrum. However, this word now describes people with a different learning style than our dominant societal norms. Therefore, today neurodivergence is used to identify people who think, learn, and even act differently than what is typical.
Neurodiversity is a revolutionary concept that challenges the idea that people are either fully neurotypical or have a specific mental health condition. It includes autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and many more conditions, where individuals may not fit into one category. Many neurodiverse people face barriers to success because of their differences from the traditional expectations for how things should be done in our dominant culture.
Barbara considers herself a member of this movement, as she has friends and family members whom she believes deserve to be seen, heard, and acknowledged for their unique brains rather than identified as someone with a brain processing deficiency.
Are you in a Couples Relationship where One or Both of You are Neurodiverse?
Neurodiverse couples’ relationships have all the joys and sorrows of so-called “typical couples’ relationships” and a few more challenges. Barbara’s role as your therapist/coach is to support you as you navigate these differences and help you find resolution with your partner.
What Types of Challenges May Be Present in a Neurodiverse Relationship?
A few different types of challenges may be present in a neurodiverse relationship. One type of challenge is communication difficulties. This can happen when two people have difficulty understanding each other or when one or both people have trouble communicating their needs. These types of communication challenges can lead to misunderstandings and even conflict.
Another type of challenge is managing different levels of anxiety or impulsivity. This can be difficult when one person constantly feels stressed or overwhelmed while the other is more relaxed. Finding a balance between giving someone space and providing support can be challenging.
A third challenge may be because you may have very focused interests, hobbies, and routines. And while you may be happy enjoying your routine, your partner may feel left out, resentful, and even jealous that you give something else more time and energy than you share with them.
Finally, there can be difficulty in managing different expectations. This can happen when one person wants or needs more structure and routine while the other prefers more flexibility. It can also happen when one person expects the other always to be available and understanding while the other person needs some time alone.
How Can Barbara Help You and Your Partner?
Each of these challenges can be difficult to manage, but it is essential to remember that every relationship is unique. What works for one couple may not work for another.
Barbara can help both partners in a neurodiverse relationship learn to understand each other better by using specific strategies for communication, for example using more visual support to express each other. It is essential to communicate openly with your partner about what you need and to be willing to compromise.
All people can get triggered, and the good news is that there are strategies that can help manage these triggers, especially in a neurodiverse relationship. Key strategies include learning about each other's unique triggers, like loud sounds or crowded rooms, and creating ways to manage the overstimulation for you.
Many couples need therapy and coaching from Barbara about how to honor their special time for interests, hobbies, and routines. What might be good for one partner, may not be interesting to the other partner, and it’s important to embrace that you're both on the same loving team and want what's best for each other.
If you are in a neurodiverse relationship and struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Barbara for help. By understanding the different types of challenges that may arise in your neurodiverse relationship, you can work to overcome them together. You can make your relationship thrive with patience, love, and understanding.
ABOUT BARBARA LAZARONY
Barbara (Blaze) Lazarony, MA is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #127882, Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor #10253, Transpersonal Coach, Author & Speaker.
For 20 years, Blaze held leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies, including Macy’s, Inc. While working in retail, Barbara worked with thousands of people, mentoring and leading them to grow businesses and become their best selves. In 2003, after a cancer diagnosis, she decided to leave the business world behind to discover who she was without her fancy job title and office overlooking Market Street in San Francisco, CA.
The Gift of Cancer
It was an intensely challenging time; she was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It took time, and eventually, Barbara was able to heal with the support of both western and eastern medicine, a great therapist and coach, and a loving life partner.
Becoming a Life Coach
Looking back, it is clear that cancer has become one of Barbara’s greatest life gifts, leading her to self-development and spiritual awakening. She became an Advanced Certified Integral Coach with The Institute for Transpersonal Psychology and a Certified Coach with the Martha Beck Organization. For eighteen-plus years, she was dedicated to the healing of others through her coaching business, where she supported others in discovering and using their unique gifts in the world.
Becoming a Marriage & Family Therapist
Supporting her clients was rewarding; however, Barbara realized that she lacked the skills and experience to address the more significant issues that were coming up in her coaching sessions with clients. This included helping clients through panic attacks, depression, anxiety, ruptured relationships, trauma, and childhood attachment issues. Therefore, she decided to attend graduate school to better support her clients.
She earned her master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Sofia University in California at fifty-six. Today, Barbara offers her couples hope and healing using therapy and coaching, so they can have a soul-based life that lights them up.
Couples & Marriage Coaching/Therapy
Business Partnership Coaching
Childless Couples by Choice & Circumstance
Depression & Anxiety Treatment
PTSD & Trauma Treatment
Grief & Shame
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MBCT)
Writing to Heal & Expressive Arts
Registered Associate, AMFT #127882
Registered Associate, APCC #10253
Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452
Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.