Therapy Place Bristol Counselling & Psychotherapy with Duncan E. Stafford

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Coaching, counselling and psychotherapy around ADHD, dyslexia and other neurodiversities

An individual approach to ADHD, Dyslexia and other neurodiversities

Most people who identify as neurodivergent have had a long path to the door of my practice. While the medical model has helped the general understanding of neurodiversity, for many it has also become part of the problem or it has failed to provide the sorts of answers that are being looked for.

Medical (scientific models) necessarily become quite reductive (although in medicine there are strides and understandings currently surging forward that one size doesn't fit all). I feel fortunate through personal, family and professional experience to be well ahead of this curve. I provide an open-minded, modern and progressive approach to working with neurodiversity at my central Bristol and online practices.

My main approach to this work is generally a coaching framework - where we work transparently and openly alongside each other - helping you to develop your own knowledge and skills. I find, on the whole, people greatly prefer this coaching model to being 'treated' by an 'expert'. I also draw from my long experience as a therapist combining elements from psychodynamic, humanistic and cognitive frameworks of therapy.

Past experience and interest in working with neurodiversities

I have worked with, and have an interest in, neurodivergent people of all ages in various settings. This includes:

  • students at the University of Cambridge
  • male and female offenders in a Home Office secure unit
  • group and individual sessions with young people in primary and secondary school settings
  • groupwork with ADHD boys and girls in special education settings
  • being a specialist mentor for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the area of special education
  • having a particular interest and experience of working with later life diagnosis of ADHD and women with ADHD (who are often underdiagnosed in comparison to men).

Neurodivergence - it's personal

As well as my professional background in working with those who have dyslexia, ADHD, ASD and other neurodiveristies, I also have experience of neurodivergent family members. Growing up, my own issues with dyslexia (dysorthographia) remained undiagnosed until I undertook my undergraduate degree in psychology, philosophy and education.

Resources

The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) in the link in this text consists of the eighteen criteria used for establishing ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version 4, text revision (DSM IV-TR). According to the ASRS, six of the eighteen questions were found to be the most predictive of symptoms consistent with ADHD. These six questions form Part A of the Symptom Checklist. Part B of the Symptom Checklist contains the remaining twelve questions. Click the link that follows to view the The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1).

Note: Something that people find useful when filling in this symptom checklist is to complete it twice. First, complete it as your natural, uncompensated self (sometimes I call this your child self), and then as your compensated or adult self. This helps you to gain an insight to changes that have happened over time. Whether you might currently meet the criteria for ADHD or not, having a neurodivergent brain isn't something you grow out of - it's a style of being and one that develops and changes over time.


Interested in booking sessions?

Please note that I currently have quite a long wait time for new people coming into my practices. I next anticipate being able to offer initial appointments in May 2023. Please email me through the address on my Contacts page or use the form in the side bar (appears below when viewed on phones) if you are interested in working together.

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