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Kristin Herbert

A photo of neurodiverse expert and therapist, Colleen Kahn. Colleen sees clients with Neurodiverse Couples Counseling Center and is here to support you on your journey.
Background and Education

 

Conceived accidentally during the “summer of love,” I was surrendered by my birth parents as an infant, then adopted and raised as one of two adopted children. Reunited with my birth parents and extended families on both sides as an adult has resulted in an inconclusive, ongoing self-study of nature and nurture.

 

Following my divorce as a young adult, I earned an MFA in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in an effort to turn my heartbreak into poetry. My writer’s resume, in addition my own published poetry, fiction, journalism, and creative nonfiction, includes working as a university instructor, in academic and literary book publishing, as a massage therapist, and at educational nonprofit for underserved populations including foster youth.

 

After my second divorce,  as a single parent navigating complex relational trauma recovery and learning to accommodate and support the neurodivergence in my family, I earned a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and began training to became a therapist.

 

Now, I am ten years along in a blended family that includes a spectrum of neurodiverse brains and nervous systems: those of my own and my partner, our combined four children, and our dog and cats.

 

I find inspiration and meaning from my ongoing work with an array of clients who share the courage to turn inward in order to better understand their experience and relate ever more deeply to themselves and the people they love.


 

My Approach

 

Imagine two different nervous systems, two divergent ways of experiencing and being in the world. Often, we find ourselves polarized, stuck in an either-or mentality, vying with the person we love most for our goodness, our truth, our most authentic way of being and being seen. In an effort to achieve a shared perspective, we may lose ourselves and invalidate one another.

 

Couples therapy interventions that work for neurotypical couples can fall flat when neurodiversity is in the mix, leaving both partners feeling unseen, misunderstood, exhausted, and even hopeless. But there is hope, with a couples therapist who is dedicated to understanding the ways in which your neurodiversity affects your relationship.

 

My approach is informed by curiosity and attachment theory, as well as the ability to hold complexity and paradox. Moving from an either-or to a both-and perspective, our minds can expand to imagine another point of view without sacrificing our own. Nowhere is this opportunity more present than in a neurodiverse relationship.

 

I will help you discover the best of both worlds where each of you make sense, all of your feelings are valid and important, and you can turn to one another with vulnerability. We will work in session to create shared experiences of safety so your nervous systems can re-set, and your brains and bodies can form new pathways to connection.

 

 

Highly Sensitive Nervous Systems

 

Neurodivergent minds often run highly sensitive nervous systems. Whether diagnosed (or mis-diagnosed) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), giftedness, twice-exceptional learners (2e), anxiety, depression, relational trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any number of other labels, including self-identified  “creatives,” many people report experiencing sensory overload. I understand how that feels and how it can impact relationships. I will help you identify and craft ways to support your nervous system and those of your loved ones in your home, relationships, and life.

 

Trust, Infidelity and Betrayal

 

When we love, we are vulnerable. When trust is broken, it can be hard to imagine moving forward. But it’s important to process what happened. Because the rupture was relational, so too must the healing be relational. We’ll work together to understand the factors that contributed to this traumatic experience. We will grieve what was lost and tend to your wounded parts. Whether you are the betrayed or the betrayer, whether you choose to move through this traumatic experience separately or together, you will not be alone. I will help you make sense of what happened and re-establish safety and self-esteem.

 

Blended families

My lived experience comprises adoption, biological relations, step-families, divorce, blended families, and neurodiversity. We will work together to map and understand your family of origin patterns, to express your conscious beliefs about what love means, and to explore how your behaviors reveal unknown parts about yourselves and one another. Viktor Frankl writes, “there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” In session, we will explore the space between.


 

Other Areas of Focus
  • Supporting neurodiverse couples

  • Exploring and fine-tuning Coping Skills

  • Understanding and Healing Family Dysfunction

  • Establishing Healthy Boundaries

  • Increasing Connection and Intimacy

  • Implementing Self-Compassion and Self-Care

  • Processing Relational Trauma (cPTSD) & Post-Traumatic Growth

  • Mapping Attachment Patterns

  • Processing Grief and Ambiguous Grief

  • Healing from Infidelity and Betrayal Trauma

  • Discernment Counseling

  • Processing Grief related to Infertility and/or Miscarriage

  • Supporting Caregivers

  • Identifying and Healing Burnout

  • Improving Co-Parenting

  • Supporting Life Transitions

  • Coaching Parents, including Single Parents, Co-parents, Adoptive Parents, and Step-parents

  • Exploring Identity

  • LGBTQIA+ Allied

Clients
  • Couples

  • Individuals (including Single Parents)

  • Families (including Divorced and Bended Families and Single-Parent Families)

Modalities
  • Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples

  • Existential Therapy

  • Experiential Therapy

  • Attachment-based Therapy

  • Compassion-focused, Humanistic Therapy

  • Culturally Sensitive Therapy

  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Psychodynamic/ Relational Therapy

  • Trauma-Informed Therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Coaching

License
  • Licensed MFT #141308

  • Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.

Specialty areas:

Cassandra, Sex-Kink-Poly, Parenting Neurodiversity, Emotion Focused Therapy, LGBTQIA+, Trans, Buddist - Spiritual, Affairs, Neurodiverse Couples, Autism, ADHD, Blended, Parenting, Discernment, Sex

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