Steve Howard

 

“The world needs different kinds of minds working together.”

                           Temple Grandin

 

Improving Neurodiverse Relationship Skills

Steve has personal experience working with neurodiversity and believes that neurodiverse couples can learn new skills to help them break old patterns and relate to one another in new ways. To some extent, all couples enter into their relationships with a lack of interpersonal skills and insufficient knowledge of who their partner is as a person. For neurodiverse couples, this skill deficit is magnified by being uninformed about how they are differently wired.

 

Being uninformed often leads to unhealthy ways of seeing and reacting to their partner. It creates separateness where you are hoping to build togetherness. With Steve, each week in therapy, you will learn skills to help improve the intimacy that will become the glue that binds you together. Steve will be careful to facilitate the skill building in a way that honors the dignity of both partners. 

 

Both-And Thinking

Steve is committed to using evidence-based therapeutic practices to work with neurodiverse couples, helping them shift their approach to life from “either-or” to “both-and” thinking. What this means for neurodiverse couples is BOTH of you are right in some way AND you can learn to use better relationship skills. This new approach will empower your different minds to work together for the good of your relationship.

"DBT" for Helping Neurodiverse Couples


He has been trained in using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to teach neurodiverse couples how to navigate life’s emotional challenges with a more skillful approach. DBT teaches practical skills to help people live with greater mindfulness of their emotional life and a non-judgmental approach to their relationships.

 

Some of the elements of this approach include:

  • Using the "Wise Mind" in your relationship

  • Learn skills to effectively manage negative emotions

  • “Reconditioning” a difficult situation so it triggers more effective emotional responses and intensity

  • Using Mindfulness to transform communication

 

Expectations

He believes that many of the problems faced by neurodiverse individuals are related to expectations of modern society versus limitations imposed by the condition. By openly discussing this expectation gap without harsh judgment, couples can begin to reset expectations in their relationship in a new constructive way. This will help both partners enter the thought (and emotional) world of their partner in order to improve the health of the couple’s relationship. 

Anger Management/Mindfulness

Anger can be a toxic force that slowly builds in a neurodiverse relationship and ultimately interferes with the growth of intimacy. This usually takes the form of meltdowns and shutdowns.

 

For couples, learning to manage anger will help you grow in ways that feel nurturing and address the underlying hurt or pain that is driving the anger in the first place. Steve will bring his extensive experience teaching anger management to prisoners into his work with your relationship.

 

Steve will teach you to use mindfulness skills to identify your anger triggers. As a couple, you can help each other create a personal “Anger Meter” as a visual aid that helps you monitor your anger. Together, you will learn how to use a “time out” to give each other some space to regulate your emotions so you can eventually reconnect.

 

Couples must remember that anger is an emotion that we all experience, sometimes more or less intensely due to your brain wiring. Steve will help you use the skills you learn in therapy to understand the message behind the anger and allow that message to provide greater understanding and intimacy with your partner. 

About Steve:

Steve is a Neurodiverse Couples Coach and a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who graduated from the Counseling Psychology program at CSU Bakersfield. He also holds a B.A. in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. He has experience providing therapy and counseling to couples/individuals/groups through on-line therapy as well as in-person in the community of Bakersfield, California.

 

Other areas of focus
  • General Couples Therapy

  • Blended Family Issues

  • Separation and Divorce

  • Anger Management

  • Working Through Anxiety

Modalities
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

  • Humanistic Therapy

 

​License

MS, Registered Associate, AMFT 110174

Supervised By Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452

Employed By New Path Couples Therapy, Inc.

 

​Contact
howardstk@gmail.com

Phone: (661) 428-3678

Steve Howard