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Autism Awareness For Counsellors – Allan Turner

May 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm BST

Allan Turner

Event Details


Autism (which embraces Aspergers Syndrome and ASD) occurs in 1 out of 88 of the population. However, if you are a counsellor seeing individual clients, about 1 in 10 of your clients will be affected by this Neurological difference of the brain. I don't like the term "disorder", which I think is demeaning to Autistic people and not an appropriate description for some of the greatest geniuses in humanity has ever produced. In my work with couples, I often find that 40% of my clients are affected.

This presentation will give you an insight into typical Autistic traits. The descriptions of these traits are often applied by others, living or working with Autistic people. Some Autistic people will even describe themselves in this language because they have been told so often. "People say that I don't listen, am too controlling, and see things in black & whites".

Autistic people often have difficulty in social interactions, that they might call "small talk" which they may struggle to understand or are simply not interested in them.


The interview:

This interview focuses on deepening counsellors understanding of working with Autistic clients and has a liberal sprinkling of "dos and don't". I also consider how male and female present differently. There is a myth that there are far more male than female Autistic people. You may think that you have not seen any autistic clients, but that would be very surprising if that is the case since this neurological condition is common in the counselling room.

About Allan Turner


MBACP Senior Accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist

I have been counselling for 40 years, and much of my work has been with couples. My two adult children have autistic traits, one mild, the other quite severe, so I had some idea of how Autism looks. I started attending workshops on the subject to learn more. I came to understand that there is a high incidence in couples presenting for counselling. I realise that this is not surprising. Inherent in Autism is a difficulty in empathy, or more accurately, difficulty with "theory of mind". This is likely to create problems in close relationships, and I suspect this is the reason that it appears to be so prevalent when counselling couples.

For the last twelve years, I, and a colleague, have run short training courses to equip counsellors to be able to work with couples. We have included a section on Autism and the normal reaction before people start the course is to wonder why we have included it. By the end of the course, the participants say that they understand why we included it and wish that it was included in their counsellor training.

Allan Turner

Event Format


This event will be an interview conducted using a ZOOM video link that will be streamed to our live video page. You will be able to see and hear the conversation, as it is happening, and use the chat room to offer your own comments and questions.

Recordings are usually posted to the library the day after the live event.

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May 19
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: