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Colleen Kahn

Welcome, I am so delighted you are here. 

My Passion for Neurodiverse Couples


I am dedicated to helping neurodiverse couples find a new way to love and appreciate each other. 

Understanding Neurodiversity


First, let me cover the basic terms.  A neurodiverse relationship is where at least one partner is neurodivergent (Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Down’s Syndrome...). This means that you and your partner are different; not better or worse.

Neurodiversity may be a new concept for you. Maybe it's what you have been searching for but didn't know. It may be an awakening to the difficulties you have been experiencing in your relationship but could not quite articulate.

In fact, many neurodivergent adults have gone undiagnosed for most of their lives. Neurodivergent is “the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in different ways; there is no ‘right’ way of thinking, learning and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits,” according to Harvard Health.

Please know that I recognize the distinct challenges you face. My personal experience has provided me with a first-hand rich understanding of the intricacies of neurodiversity.

Communication Struggles

Neurodiverse couples often struggle with communication breakdowns. The neurotypical partner may struggle to understand the neurodivergent partner's unique needs. The neurodivergent partner may face challenges with ADHD/Autism in expressing themselves in a way that resonates with their neurotypical partner. This two-sided communication breakdown is called the double empathy problem. Understanding this helps reduce blaming one person for the problem. This is the tip of the iceberg so to speak and one of many issues that you may be dealing with. I truly understand the frustrations that can arise.

A Safe Place for Healing


I am here to provide a safe and understanding space for you to explore your issues and relationship. My therapeutic approach offers a clear road map that emphasizes:

  • fostering mutual understanding and compassion,

  • enhancing communication skills,

  • providing exercises and tools that you can work on separately and together, and

  • embracing the unique strengths that each partner brings to relationships.

Neurotypical Partners (Cassandra Syndrome)


My journey is not just a professional one but also deeply personal. If you are in a relationship with a neurodivergent partner, it may feel isolating, frustrating, and exhausting. You may spend a lot of time and energy trying to make sense of your partner's behaviors and your reactions. You may seek books, podcasts, or any article to understand why your relationship is different. You may feel misunderstood, isolated, disconnected, and hopeless. I have been there. I have been married for 19 years. Every experience is unique. 

 

You are so special. You deserve to be seen and heard. 

 

Supporting Autism and Cancer:


I recognize the importance of a compassionate, supportive ally for autistic individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer. I had the honor and privilege to work bedside with neurodivergent pediatric oncology patients and their families at Stanford Children’s Hospital.

 

My firsthand experience at Stanford, expertise in supporting neurodivergent individuals, and being a stage four cancer survivor myself allows me to be a source of comfort and strength on the path to healing. I am here to provide a trusted environment that acknowledges and addresses your unique needs when facing a cancer diagnosis.

You can read more about Cancer and Autism by clicking here.


 

About Me:


I bring a unique blend of professional expertise, passion and personal experience to my practice. I am a proud mother of two sensationally strong willed teenagers. I am also a former software engineer turned therapist. My journey took a fascinating turn from the world of coding to the intricate landscapes of the human mind.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and forged a successful IT career starting at Apple Computers. My love of learning led me into engineering and product management. I became the first female self-taught software engineer at Alcatel TeleCommunications. My team dubbed me the engineer whisperer. I was the essential communication bridge between our neurodiverse engineering team and our neurotypical sales and marketing team.

 

I eventually learned that my heart yearned for something more – a meaningful connection with people and the opportunity to contribute to their lives in a significant way. Driven by my desire to help others, I embarked on a transformative path towards becoming a therapist and returned to school. I received my Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University. While in school, I cultivated my passion for mental health and overall well-being.


 

How I Work: 


My therapeutic neuro-informed approach covers a broad range of modalities. I tailor each session to meet the unique needs of each couple. My work is rooted in a client-centered, humanistic approach emphasizing compassion, building understanding, inclusive communication, empowerment with respect and dignity. In our sessions, we'll work on enhancing your relationship through mindfulness and effective communication. Let's navigate the challenges together so you can build a stronger, more connected partnership. 
 

 

Other areas of focus (in addition to Neurodiversity):

  • Adolescent Counseling 

  • Art Therapy

  • Caregiver Support

  • Co-Parenting

  • Couples Counseling

  • Cancer Support 

  • Divorce Recovery

  • Infertility

  • Individual Counseling

  • Life Transitions

  • Neurodiversity

  • New Parents 

  • Parent Coaching

  • Teen Counseling

  

Clients
 

  • Couples

  • Individuals

  • Families

License

Registered Associate, MFTA  #324701

Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452

Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.

Contact

Phone: 1-707-509-0803

Email:  colleenkahnamft@gmail.com

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