EMDR with the Autism Spectrum and ADHD – Sat Nov 28 2020 online with Caroline van Diest

The EMDR Association UK’s regional East Anglia group were thrilled to welcome Consultant and Trainer colleague Caroline van Diest to take us through how, as EMDR therapists, to recognise and work with clients on the Autistic Spectrum and with ADHD.

Caroline is an EMDR Europe Approved Trainer/Consultant
A BABCP Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
A Registered Learning Disabilities Nurse (RNLD)
MSc in Applied Social Learning Theory & Counselling

As all of us know working with EMDR, there’s been an explosion in recent years of awareness around what are formally termed Autism Spectrum Disorders, including what used to be – and still widely is – known as Aspergers Syndrome.

But what does the ordinary EMDR therapist without a specialist knowledge of ASD need to bear in mind when identifying and then tackling the impact on our clients of being on that spectrum, whether high- or lower-functioning, whether officially diagnosed or not, and whether they became aware of why they were different earlier in life or very much later?

And what and where are the overlaps between ASD and another relatively recent diagnosis in the DSM and ICD cookbooks of mental “disorders”, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorders or ADHD.

Caroline is one of the EMDR UK’s leading authorities – and certainly our most enthusiastically engaged – on ASD, and presented some fascinating research at the 2016 national EMDR UK conference in London.

For her online day with us in November (noting of course that in these Corona times of virtual training, you don’t have to be a resident of East Anglia to join), she’ll introduce us to the history of clinical and social understandings around autism and ADHD, much more recent than many realise and still fast evolving.

With case examples and powerful personal stories, Caroline outlined how effective EMDR with appropriate adaptations can be in working not just with the internal felt experience of those on the Autism Spectrum of being different to what’s now termed the “neurotypical” mainstream, but how to work with the traumatic impact of those differences on relationships with self and the world, bewildering until understood for both the individual and those around them.

Using Zoom’s now familiar larger meeting tools (well practised for our last regional event in April on intergenerational EMDR), we also had the opportunity in breakout rooms to explore Caroline’s ideas in smaller groups.

She’ll probably kill us for posting this, but here’s Caroline and her then fresh-out-the-oven Dutch husband Rene on their wedding day in 2018… A day of truly bilateral joy…