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Lauren Florio

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.
Helping Someone like Myself

 

When I think about the kind of work I want to do as a therapist, I think about my younger self and how much easier my life would have been if I knew then what I know now about my neurodivergence.


If you’re at a stage in your life where you’re trying to navigate your differences in an allistic world, you’ve come to the right place.


As someone with AuDHD (Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), I felt like there was something wrong with me for most of my life. Now I’ve learned to appreciate, cope with, and embrace my differences. And now I want to help you do the same.

 

My Story

I grew up in Northern California, under the poverty line. In a family struggling with finances, doctor visits were scarce, and psychiatry visits were nearly out of the question.

 

ADHD AND ME

Though I was able to get my ADHD diagnosis relatively young, not much changed for me and the crippling differences I felt from the rest of society. With ADHD medication not being a good fit for me, it seemed this diagnosis was a dead end at the time. I wish I had known more back then and would have kept exploring my neurodivergence as it would have likely led me to my autism diagnosis much sooner.

 

FIGHTING BACK

Instead, I spent the majority of my life trying to push through a world that felt like it was fighting back at me. Much of my life was spent disassociating or with severe panic attacks from under or over-stimulation. As an adult, I finally began seeking mental health help after a lifelong battle with depression. Though I saw some benefits from my depression and anxiety treatments, it felt like a band-aid on the real issue. I spent years in therapy with dozens of different therapists.

 

MY AUTISM DIAGNOSIS

It wasn’t until I was told to explore an autism diagnosis that things changed for me. During this time, I was also in school. I received my Bachelor's Degree at Chico State University before moving down to Southern California to complete my Master's of Arts in Counseling Psychology in San Diego. During this time, I was learning more about psychology and my passion continued to grow for the human mind, specifically neurodivergence. Finally, receiving my autism diagnosis was like a breath of fresh air.

 

MASK COMES OFF

Since coming to terms with my autism, I have learned to unmask, reconnect with my inner child, and develop unique coping skills beyond breathing and meditation, skills that actually work for me. Through this journey, I have become a better partner, friend, daughter, and sister. For the first time in my life, I am able to meet myself with kindness. My journey here was tumultuous, but I hope because of my journey, I can help you learn about your neurodivergence and guide you to becoming a better version of yourself along the way, too.

 

NEURO-INCLUSIVE NOURISHMENT

Binge, Restrict, & Purge Cycles

 

In elementary school, I put myself on my first diet. Mimicking what I saw around me, I grew up in a house where there was constant dieting which affected me heavily. I was aware of my body, weight, and every aspect of my beauty as a result. My relationship with eating disorders changed in many ugly ways from middle school through my undergrad program.

 

With hard work and lots of help, I was able to overcome my many battles surrounding binge, restrict, and purge cycles. I want to use my both personal and professional experience to help you heal your relationship with food and create a more positive body image.

 

ARFID

 

Data shows there is an overlap of neurodivergence and ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder). Many people believe that ARFID is a disorder that only affects children, but this is simply not true. As an Autistic woman with ARFID, I am very aware of how sensory issues can negatively affect your ability to eat regularly and get adequate nutrition.

 

Overcoming sensory issues is hard, but you only get one body. Maintaining regular caloric intake with diverse nutrition is vital in keeping our body healthy. Let's work together to overcome this and keep our bodies healthy and happy.

To read more about Neuro-inclusive Nourishment, click here.

 

Certifications & Education
DBT/CBT/EMDR
  • The therapeutic modalities I am trained in and use are:

    •  Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT),

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and

    • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for trauma processing.

Group Facilitator 
  • I run our She Rocks Friendship Group. Read more here.

  • When I am not working with my clients here at She Rocks the Spectrum,  I host small groups which are designed for those with social anxiety, neurodivergence, and members of the LGBTQ+.

COMMON GROUND
  • I am a trained CommonGround Specialist. CommonGround is a program created by Pat Deegan, which was developed to help promote advocacy and independence for those with mental health issues.Clients

  • Neurodiverse women

  • Autistic, ADHD, Highly Sensitive

  • Neurodiverse clients with eating struggles

Modalities
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT),

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for trauma processing

  • CBT/DBT

License

Specialty areas:

Trans, LGBTQIA+, ADHD, Autism, Sex-Kink-Poly, Eating & Autism, Parenting Neurodiversity, Children, Teens, Assessment, DBT, ND at Work, Neurodiverse Couples

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