Benefit for Couples and Families
The close relationships that characterise partnerships and families have social interactions between individuals at their heart. As we all know, the dynamics of these social interactions can be intense, especially when they occur in the shared space of a home, but this can be true elsewhere, and the outcomes of interactions may be influenced by the expectations based on 'the social norm'.
When people in the relationships are neurodiverse, the social expectations of the people involved can become quite divergent, and can cause resentment, disagreements and anger. TA has been an important tool in the support of couples and families for many years. The development of the established TA models to accommodate neurodiverse interactions provides a common language for people to communicate their needs, and the workshop itself provides a safe space, so that all parties can understand their interaction with their partners or family members.
The group of trustees themselves, include two couples that have benefited significantly from the learning gained in the workshops, using TA as a framework to understand their differences and the dynamics of their interactions. Some details are seen in the Trustee pages. Our therapist Trustees also have significant experience gained through the “Help! Counselling” charity, of supporting autistic children and family members.
Psychotherapy and counselling with couples and families provides another safe forum, in which family members can address issues within relationships in the family. When family members have a mix of autistic and NT people, and such difference is not fully understood, challenges can seem insurmountable. With greater insight and understanding, NT families with an Aspie family member, or Aspie families with an NT family member, can access and exploit a far broader range of skills than families that are exclusively NT or Aspie.
The Different Engine provides workshops and can arrange personal counselling and psychotherapy to enable couples and families to work together as a team of individuals, each of whom brings unique strengths to the family unit or couple. This process involves learning about the different subjective experiences and perspectives of each family member, and about how the Aspie or NT psychology is evident in the way individuals perceive the world and each other. The transformative effect of this process means that families that formerly endured antagonistic and emotionally distant relationships are today havens of mutual respect, support and love, where individual family members become reinvigorated to face the challenges they encounter outside of the home.
"The last barrier to our communication has been lifted, and we can now be wholly 'real' with each other, in a shared space, with no concerns about treading blindly on each other's toes..."