Nicole is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and a mother of two teenagers. Nicole’s educational background includes:
an undergraduate degree in Business,
a double Master’s degree in Psychology and Alternate Dispute Resolution, and a
Juris Doctorate degree.
In addition to her couples therapy and coaching, Nicole has a mediation private practice in Irvine, California. She also facilitates Batterer’s Intervention Groups, teaches parenting and anger management groups, and helps clients and families combat addiction.
Nicole was in a long-term relationship where neurodiversity was present. Nicole understands and believes that it is vital to identify solid communication strategies between partners, using specific techniques for handling relationship troubles, whether perpetual or solvable.
These techniques encourage the understanding that emotions are important, there is no absolute reality, only two subjective ones, acceptance is crucial, and a development of fondness and admiration within the relationship. Nicole encourages couples to celebrate the small steps towards a larger goal and helps keep focus on what the couple can do to set themselves up to thrive.
Parenting Neurodiverse Children
Nicole has personal experience as a mother of a neurodivergent teen, and appreciates that
parenting neurodivergent children can be exponentially intense. Nicole has navigated the educational battles to obtain IEP and 504 plans, and understands the unique family environment needed to help families to support each other.
She teaches parents positive parenting skills that encourage the use of “Why?” to address the child’s behavior, focusing on an understanding of the purpose that behavior serves the child and what they are trying to tell you. Allowing the behavior to inform what needs to be put into place ahead of time to help the child manage the particular challenge, and also ensuring that consequences are related to the behavior/issue as a last resort to addressing behavior.
Nicole encourages parents to catch their child’s positive behaviors whenever possible and to name specifically what they see so as to encourage the positive behavior to reoccur.
Other areas of focus (in addition to Neurodiversity):
Major Life Transition Support, co-parenting, blended families, separation/divorce
Couples and families
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Solution Focused Brief (SFBT)
Structural Family Therapy
Registered Associate, AMFT# 122657
Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452
Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.
Phone: (949) 293-7405
PERSONAL NOTE from Nicole Knowlton, Neurodiverse Specialist, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Neurodiverse Coach
CHILDHOOD: Ever since childhood I knew I was different. I didn’t enjoy the same things as my female peers yet I yearned to be included. I had an older sister and looked to her to guide me. I mimicked her and my female peers.
Yet, left to my own decision-making I would gladly go days without bathing, brushing my hair or changing out of my favorite comfy clothes. My very first word was ‘book’ and my ideal relaxation place has always been in a library reading and learning information about psychology, behavior and the law.
MASKING: To blend in with others, like many other Aspie women, I have masked. I became a fashionista and memorized Emily Post books. I obtained a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy & Conflict Resolution. I even attended law school.
I learned about how neurotypical people navigated life, relationships, and conflict. I’ve learned how to blend in and go undetected, much to my detriment. Since youth I’ve had bouts of suicidal ideation because I felt so disconnected and received many different mental health diagnoses that didn’t fit or help.
DISCOVERY: Not until my 40's did I learn I had Asperger’s. Female symptomology looks much different than it does in males. We tend to have a specific image of what being on the spectrum looks like and so many of us do not fit that image; yet, we do have ASD.
Learning about my diagnosis has been life changing and I finally comfortably fit into my own skin. “Coming out” has answered so many questions and allowed me to live authentically. I’ve had friends reach out who have struggled similarly or saw signs in their daughters and we all deserve to feel comfortable and live authentically, embracing our differences.
INVITATION: Please allow me to help you. I promise I will be compassionate and understanding. You deserve to experience the same healing that I have had. I look forward to hearing from you.