Autism Counselling in West London, London

Photo of Lisa Markwell, Counsellor
Lisa Markwell
Counsellor
Verified Verified
West London, London W1G
I specialise in working with couples where one or both partners are on the autism spectrum (or Asperger's Syndrome).
Are you struggling to communicate with your partner? Feel like your partner doesn't understand you? Do you wish you could turn the clock back to happier times in your relationship? Many couples face difficulties in their relationship at some time or other, and this can often be a stressful experience, leaving one or both partners feeling hurt, lonely or rejected. Relationship counselling can help you re-connect with each other, reduce conflict in the relationship, and regain the closeness and intimacy you once had.
I specialise in working with couples where one or both partners are on the autism spectrum (or Asperger's Syndrome).
Are you struggling to communicate with your partner? Feel like your partner doesn't understand you? Do you wish you could turn the clock back to happier times in your relationship? Many couples face difficulties in their relationship at some time or other, and this can often be a stressful experience, leaving one or both partners feeling hurt, lonely or rejected. Relationship counselling can help you re-connect with each other, reduce conflict in the relationship, and regain the closeness and intimacy you once had.
07428 538182 View 07428 538182
Photo of Dr Yinka Oladokun (Abode Therapy), PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych., Psychologist
Dr Yinka Oladokun (Abode Therapy)
Psychologist, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych.
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
West London, London W1U  (Online Only)
I am a Clinical Psychologist, skilled in providing specialist support to people across the lifespan who are experiencing a range of difficulties, including stress, low mood, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, low self-esteem, trauma, relational difficulties, and adjusting to new life circumstances. I am also experienced in supporting individuals with neurodevelopmental differences (e.g., ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder).
I am a Clinical Psychologist, skilled in providing specialist support to people across the lifespan who are experiencing a range of difficulties, including stress, low mood, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, low self-esteem, trauma, relational difficulties, and adjusting to new life circumstances. I am also experienced in supporting individuals with neurodevelopmental differences (e.g., ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder).
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Photo of Bernard Horsford - Advanced Assessments Expert Witness Psychologists, PhD, CPsychol, Psychologist
Advanced Assessments Expert Witness Psychologists
Psychologist, PhD, CPsychol
Verified Verified
West London, London W1J
PSYCHOLOGY EXPERT SERVICES: Psychological assessment, educational testing services and occupational health assessments. EXPERT PSYCHOLOGIST ASSESSMENT OF SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY & NEURODEVELOPMENTAL CONDITIONS: Dyslexia tests, dyslexia in children, dyspraxia tests, autism spectrum disorder, autism spectrum, ADHD tests, and official IQ testing. MENTAL HEALTH: Personality disorder testing, mental health assessment online, wellbeing, and assessments of malingering disorders. We provide occupational health checks, undertake occupational health referrals, work capability assessments and advise on sickness absence policy.
PSYCHOLOGY EXPERT SERVICES: Psychological assessment, educational testing services and occupational health assessments. EXPERT PSYCHOLOGIST ASSESSMENT OF SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY & NEURODEVELOPMENTAL CONDITIONS: Dyslexia tests, dyslexia in children, dyspraxia tests, autism spectrum disorder, autism spectrum, ADHD tests, and official IQ testing. MENTAL HEALTH: Personality disorder testing, mental health assessment online, wellbeing, and assessments of malingering disorders. We provide occupational health checks, undertake occupational health referrals, work capability assessments and advise on sickness absence policy.
020 3962 0179 View 020 3962 0179
Photo of Neil Hammond, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych., Psychologist
Neil Hammond
Psychologist, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych.
Verified Verified
West London, London W1G
I have extensive experience of working with adults on the autism spectrum, I am an experienced autism diagnostician and practitioner in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), behavioural interventions, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and mindfulness.
I run therapy clinic delivering adapted evidence based therapies for mental health difficulties associated with Autism. I have vast experience of working with adults with neurodevelopmental difficulties. I work using National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines adapted interventions which I’ve been developing as the lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Maudsley Hospital for the last 10 years. I am internationally known for these interventions and is regularly invited to teach and train others.
I have extensive experience of working with adults on the autism spectrum, I am an experienced autism diagnostician and practitioner in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), behavioural interventions, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and mindfulness.
I run therapy clinic delivering adapted evidence based therapies for mental health difficulties associated with Autism. I have vast experience of working with adults with neurodevelopmental difficulties. I work using National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines adapted interventions which I’ve been developing as the lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Maudsley Hospital for the last 10 years. I am internationally known for these interventions and is regularly invited to teach and train others.
020 3962 1645 View 020 3962 1645
Photo of Harriet Sheppard, MA, MBACP, Psychotherapist
Harriet Sheppard
Psychotherapist, MA, MBACP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
West London, London W1G  (Online Only)
I offer a supportive, creative and honest environment to explore what it is like being you. Whether it's anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties or something you don't have a word for yet, what's really important in therapy is the relationship that we build together. We'll work collaboratively to find an approach works for you and supports you to move towards meaningful change. While I work with a wide range of conditions or concerns, I have particular experience working alongside clients with ADHD and autism, people with disabilities/ health conditions and gender, sexuality and relationship diversity.
I offer a supportive, creative and honest environment to explore what it is like being you. Whether it's anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties or something you don't have a word for yet, what's really important in therapy is the relationship that we build together. We'll work collaboratively to find an approach works for you and supports you to move towards meaningful change. While I work with a wide range of conditions or concerns, I have particular experience working alongside clients with ADHD and autism, people with disabilities/ health conditions and gender, sexuality and relationship diversity.
020 3835 4754 View 020 3835 4754
Photo of Anna Gray, MA, MBACP, Counsellor
Anna Gray
Counsellor, MA, MBACP
Verified Verified
West London, London W3
Waitlist for new clients
I work with: autism and neurodiversity, loss, depression, stress, anxiety, trauma, low self-esteem, and life changes.
Hello. Do you need some support right now? You may be dealing with feeling lost or overwhelmed, new changes, or perhaps old feelings that have reopened. I offer a calm and accepting presence, and I believe in the value of reconnecting to yourself and someone else: having the time and someone supportive to talk things through with could help you reduce overwhelm, find perspective, and develop your self-acceptance and confidence.
I work with: autism and neurodiversity, loss, depression, stress, anxiety, trauma, low self-esteem, and life changes.
Hello. Do you need some support right now? You may be dealing with feeling lost or overwhelmed, new changes, or perhaps old feelings that have reopened. I offer a calm and accepting presence, and I believe in the value of reconnecting to yourself and someone else: having the time and someone supportive to talk things through with could help you reduce overwhelm, find perspective, and develop your self-acceptance and confidence.
07479 270123 View 07479 270123
Photo of Dr Sophie Oakes-Rogers, PhD, CPsychol, Psychologist
Dr Sophie Oakes-Rogers
Psychologist, PhD, CPsychol
Verified Verified
West London, London W1T
I am a compassionate, authentic clinical psychologist with a wealth of knowledge about all things mental health. I strive to create a safe space to nurture understanding, generate acceptance, and empower change through evidence based psychological services. I only offer therapy that has a strong evidence base and that which is recommended by NICE Guidelines. This means you have access to the best psychological interventions. I am qualified to assess and diagnose Autism and ADHD as part of a multidisciplinary team, and I can adapt psychological therapy for neurodiversity.
I am a compassionate, authentic clinical psychologist with a wealth of knowledge about all things mental health. I strive to create a safe space to nurture understanding, generate acceptance, and empower change through evidence based psychological services. I only offer therapy that has a strong evidence base and that which is recommended by NICE Guidelines. This means you have access to the best psychological interventions. I am qualified to assess and diagnose Autism and ADHD as part of a multidisciplinary team, and I can adapt psychological therapy for neurodiversity.
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Photo of Dr Jeremy Rowe, PsychD, HCPC - Couns. Psych., Psychologist
Dr Jeremy Rowe
Psychologist, PsychD, HCPC - Couns. Psych.
Verified Verified
West London, London W1G
Waitlist for new clients
I am a specialist OCD therapist; I offer Rumination Focused ERP (Dr. Michael Greenberg) for OCD. I treat anxiety, depression & other mental health issues. I assess & diagnose Autism & ADHD. I have extensive experience in supporting people through life events and transitions. As a Christian psychologist I support those who wish to integrate their faith and mental wellbeing and those who wish to explore their faith and doubts (including scrupulosity). I also work with people other faiths or no faith. I’m registered with all major UK insurers and I'm insured to work internationally.
I am a specialist OCD therapist; I offer Rumination Focused ERP (Dr. Michael Greenberg) for OCD. I treat anxiety, depression & other mental health issues. I assess & diagnose Autism & ADHD. I have extensive experience in supporting people through life events and transitions. As a Christian psychologist I support those who wish to integrate their faith and mental wellbeing and those who wish to explore their faith and doubts (including scrupulosity). I also work with people other faiths or no faith. I’m registered with all major UK insurers and I'm insured to work internationally.
01273 099539 View 01273 099539
Photo of Dr Dorothy Szinay, PhD, CPsychol, Psychologist
Dr Dorothy Szinay
Psychologist, PhD, CPsychol
Verified Verified
West London, London W1B  (Online Only)
I am neurodivergent with ADHD and possibly Autism, so I can relate to the difficulties related to these.
I work with neurodivergent individuals or their loved ones, supporting, improving and changing their lives. You may feel overwhelmed, seeking clarity, understanding and strategies for your unique experiences with ADHD or Autism. Whether struggling with health, emotional regulation, relationships, education or work, or parenting a child with ADHD or Autism, you want tailored support. You may feel that whatever you tried is failing you. You want to find out what works for you or a loved one. You strive for harmony and growth. You want to feel understood, explore practical coping mechanisms, and build resilience.
I am neurodivergent with ADHD and possibly Autism, so I can relate to the difficulties related to these.
I work with neurodivergent individuals or their loved ones, supporting, improving and changing their lives. You may feel overwhelmed, seeking clarity, understanding and strategies for your unique experiences with ADHD or Autism. Whether struggling with health, emotional regulation, relationships, education or work, or parenting a child with ADHD or Autism, you want tailored support. You may feel that whatever you tried is failing you. You want to find out what works for you or a loved one. You strive for harmony and growth. You want to feel understood, explore practical coping mechanisms, and build resilience.
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Photo of Anne-Marie Catterall, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych., Psychologist
Anne-Marie Catterall
Psychologist, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych.
Verified Verified
West London, London W8  (Online Only)
My NHS specialism was working with people with a different thinking styles: autism, ADHD, dyslexia/dyspraxia to achieve your potential.
Hello, my name is Anne-Marie, I'm a Clinical Psychologist specialising in helping adults deal with life transitions & achieve life goals. My specialism is in anxiety. I have 15 yrs + experience in the NHS and I offer a friendly and approachable private psychology service. My focus is on providing practical support and solution focused strategies. I offer phone appointments and online sessions via Zoom. I work with people who are looking to make positive practical changes in their lives and we will work together to get clear goals and help you get to where you want to be.
My NHS specialism was working with people with a different thinking styles: autism, ADHD, dyslexia/dyspraxia to achieve your potential.
Hello, my name is Anne-Marie, I'm a Clinical Psychologist specialising in helping adults deal with life transitions & achieve life goals. My specialism is in anxiety. I have 15 yrs + experience in the NHS and I offer a friendly and approachable private psychology service. My focus is on providing practical support and solution focused strategies. I offer phone appointments and online sessions via Zoom. I work with people who are looking to make positive practical changes in their lives and we will work together to get clear goals and help you get to where you want to be.
020 3893 2930 View 020 3893 2930
Photo of Alison Edwards - Alison Edwards Therapy, Coaching and Supervision, MSc, FMBPsS, Psychologist
Alison Edwards Therapy, Coaching and Supervision
Psychologist, MSc, FMBPsS
Verified Verified
West London, London W1W  (Online Only)
Choosing a therapist can be a stressful process, and it's difficult to decide which kind of therapy to try. Many people find it helpful to work with a therapist who has trained in more than one therapy, who can switch to a different therapy when needed, and who can tailor sessions according to your needs. You can have a phone consultation with me to discuss what you are looking for and ask questions. 16 years experience in supporting neurodivergent clients (with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia or other difficulties) led me to further training in autism, and specialised CBT and ACT for ADHD and emotional regulation problems.
Choosing a therapist can be a stressful process, and it's difficult to decide which kind of therapy to try. Many people find it helpful to work with a therapist who has trained in more than one therapy, who can switch to a different therapy when needed, and who can tailor sessions according to your needs. You can have a phone consultation with me to discuss what you are looking for and ask questions. 16 years experience in supporting neurodivergent clients (with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia or other difficulties) led me to further training in autism, and specialised CBT and ACT for ADHD and emotional regulation problems.
01392 321135 View 01392 321135
Photo of Shabnam Yasmin, MUKCP, Psychotherapist
Shabnam Yasmin
Psychotherapist, MUKCP
Verified Verified
West London, London W1W
I work with clients presenting with complex issues such as Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Autism, BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), Bereavement, and Loss.
I’m a UKCP-Registered Neurodiverse Psychotherapist trained in Transactional Analysis which has its roots in Psychodynamic and Humanistic psychotherapy, and share similarities with Schema therapy. Transactional Analysis (TA) examines an individual's personality and how this has been shaped by experiences. This means I’m able to help clients understand the root of their issues and therefore make lasting changes.
I work with clients presenting with complex issues such as Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Autism, BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), Bereavement, and Loss.
I’m a UKCP-Registered Neurodiverse Psychotherapist trained in Transactional Analysis which has its roots in Psychodynamic and Humanistic psychotherapy, and share similarities with Schema therapy. Transactional Analysis (TA) examines an individual's personality and how this has been shaped by experiences. This means I’m able to help clients understand the root of their issues and therefore make lasting changes.
020 3949 8810 View 020 3949 8810
Photo of Melanie Menell, PsychD, MUKCP, Psychotherapist
Melanie Menell
Psychotherapist, PsychD, MUKCP
Verified Verified
West London, London W2
My specialities include working with trauma, loss, grief, relationship issues, abuse, adhd, autism, pregnancy issues, pregnancy loss, postpartum depression, parenting.
Welcome. If you are in distress, not sure where to turn, or you may be feeling lonely, in need of a safe space to just be. Please know that however difficult it has been to reach out, that you are now beginning a process to alleviate the suffering and pain you might be currently experiencing. Whether that's depression, anxiety, grief, loss, bereavement, abuse, or just feeling bewildered, deflated by life, I offer a compassionate and safe space to talk. I will walk alongside you in the process of self discovery. Anyone and everyone welcome.ie inclusivity around race, gender, sexuality or age is important to me.
My specialities include working with trauma, loss, grief, relationship issues, abuse, adhd, autism, pregnancy issues, pregnancy loss, postpartum depression, parenting.
Welcome. If you are in distress, not sure where to turn, or you may be feeling lonely, in need of a safe space to just be. Please know that however difficult it has been to reach out, that you are now beginning a process to alleviate the suffering and pain you might be currently experiencing. Whether that's depression, anxiety, grief, loss, bereavement, abuse, or just feeling bewildered, deflated by life, I offer a compassionate and safe space to talk. I will walk alongside you in the process of self discovery. Anyone and everyone welcome.ie inclusivity around race, gender, sexuality or age is important to me.
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Photo of Katharine Morgenroth, DCounsPsych, MUKCP, Psychotherapist
Katharine Morgenroth
Psychotherapist, DCounsPsych, MUKCP
Verified Verified
West London, London W2
I am neurodiversity affirming and have experience working with autism and ADHD.
You may be feeling lost or searching for meaning in your life or going through a difficult transition and need to talk. I aim to help you find your own answers - from discovering how to live a happier more fulfilling life and realising your potential to learning how to be in relationships without losing yourself. My warm and empathic approach will help you find and trust your true self, so that you may understand yourself better and can make the transformations you want in your life.
I am neurodiversity affirming and have experience working with autism and ADHD.
You may be feeling lost or searching for meaning in your life or going through a difficult transition and need to talk. I aim to help you find your own answers - from discovering how to live a happier more fulfilling life and realising your potential to learning how to be in relationships without losing yourself. My warm and empathic approach will help you find and trust your true self, so that you may understand yourself better and can make the transformations you want in your life.
020 3540 7314 View 020 3540 7314
Photo of Bogdan Micu, DCounsPsych, MUKCP, Psychotherapist
Bogdan Micu
Psychotherapist, DCounsPsych, MUKCP
Verified Verified
West London, London W2
Before that, I worked for several years with young people with Autism in the education sector.
Welcome - I offer counselling and psychotherapy in Rickmansworth, Hackney (London) and online. I use an integrative and transpersonal approach. I hope you find here what you are looking for. -Experience and Background- Following my undergraduate degree in psychology, I trained and formed as a psychotherapist for five years at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London. I have been practicing since 2015, collaborating with a number of charities, and currently working in private practice.
Before that, I worked for several years with young people with Autism in the education sector.
Welcome - I offer counselling and psychotherapy in Rickmansworth, Hackney (London) and online. I use an integrative and transpersonal approach. I hope you find here what you are looking for. -Experience and Background- Following my undergraduate degree in psychology, I trained and formed as a psychotherapist for five years at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London. I have been practicing since 2015, collaborating with a number of charities, and currently working in private practice.
01923 961546 View 01923 961546
Photo of Dr Georgina Sergi, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych., Psychologist
Dr Georgina Sergi
Psychologist, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych.
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
West London, London W1W  (Online Only)
Hi, I'm Gina, a London-based Senior Clinical Psychologist, registered with the HCPC and BPS. With over eight years of experience in the NHS, I specialize in complex mental health difficulties, anxiety disorders, and neurodiversity. My therapeutic style is integrative, meaning that I will tailor my approach to your needs using a variety of evidence-based approaches including CBT, CFT and ACT. I also offer Autism diagnostic assessments using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R).
Hi, I'm Gina, a London-based Senior Clinical Psychologist, registered with the HCPC and BPS. With over eight years of experience in the NHS, I specialize in complex mental health difficulties, anxiety disorders, and neurodiversity. My therapeutic style is integrative, meaning that I will tailor my approach to your needs using a variety of evidence-based approaches including CBT, CFT and ACT. I also offer Autism diagnostic assessments using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R).
020 3817 7717 View 020 3817 7717
Photo of Letizia De Mori, CPsychol, Psychologist
Letizia De Mori
Psychologist, CPsychol
Verified Verified
West London, London W8
Dr. Letizia De Mori is a Psychologist, Neuropsychologist, Researcher, and Superior Cognitive Function Rehabilitator. Her expertise is to test with Assessments for Learning Disability and DIfficulty; Spectrum Autism Disorder; Personality; Psychological Expertise for Psychological Damage. Cognitive rehabilitation is programmed for Brain Injuries (such as Ictus or cerebral haemorrhage and for rehabilitation for Learning Disabilities/Difficulties and ADHD).
Dr. Letizia De Mori is a Psychologist, Neuropsychologist, Researcher, and Superior Cognitive Function Rehabilitator. Her expertise is to test with Assessments for Learning Disability and DIfficulty; Spectrum Autism Disorder; Personality; Psychological Expertise for Psychological Damage. Cognitive rehabilitation is programmed for Brain Injuries (such as Ictus or cerebral haemorrhage and for rehabilitation for Learning Disabilities/Difficulties and ADHD).
020 3974 2694 View 020 3974 2694
Photo of Dr Victoria Brattan, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych., Psychologist
Dr Victoria Brattan
Psychologist, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych.
Verified Verified
West London, London W4
I also offer assessments of autism spectrum condition (ASC), as well as post-diagnostic support for ASC and ADHD.
Sometimes life doesn’t look the way we would like it to. Unexpected events occur that feel difficult to deal with, or we might feel ‘stuck’, unable to move beyond events or through the stressors of life and relationships. Most people at some point experience difficulties in response to life circumstances. These might be feelings of anxiety, guilt, grief, loss, shame or thoughts of not being ‘good enough’. Sometimes they can stop us from living the life we would like to live.
I also offer assessments of autism spectrum condition (ASC), as well as post-diagnostic support for ASC and ADHD.
Sometimes life doesn’t look the way we would like it to. Unexpected events occur that feel difficult to deal with, or we might feel ‘stuck’, unable to move beyond events or through the stressors of life and relationships. Most people at some point experience difficulties in response to life circumstances. These might be feelings of anxiety, guilt, grief, loss, shame or thoughts of not being ‘good enough’. Sometimes they can stop us from living the life we would like to live.
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Photo of Dr Ashley Gibson, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych., Psychologist
Dr Ashley Gibson
Psychologist, PsychD, HCPC - Clin. Psych.
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
West London, London W1U  (Online Only)
Dr Ashley Gibson is a Clinical Psychologist who worked in the NHS for over 10 years prior to working in private practice. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at University of Glasgow. Ashley enjoys working with various age groups, from children to older adults. She supports individuals who are facing a range of experiences, including anxiety, low mood, loss and bereavement, low self-esteem, OCD, long-term physical health conditions, and trauma. She also has experience in working with children with autism and ADHD, and their parents.
Dr Ashley Gibson is a Clinical Psychologist who worked in the NHS for over 10 years prior to working in private practice. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at University of Glasgow. Ashley enjoys working with various age groups, from children to older adults. She supports individuals who are facing a range of experiences, including anxiety, low mood, loss and bereavement, low self-esteem, OCD, long-term physical health conditions, and trauma. She also has experience in working with children with autism and ADHD, and their parents.
020 4538 0878 View 020 4538 0878
Photo of Marcus Gage, MBACP, Psychotherapist
Marcus Gage
Psychotherapist, MBACP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
West London, London W12
What can I help with Abuse, Anger management, Anxiety, Autism spectrum, Bereavement, Depression, Loss, Men's issues, Neurodiversity, Post-traumatic stress, Redundancy, Relationships, Self esteem, Spirituality, Stress, Work related issues.
Everybody is different and special, but has in common the need to be heard, recognised, valued and understood. As a fully qualified BACP registered person-centred counsellor trained at the Metanoia Institute those four things are at the heart of my practice. Whatever your worry, concern, or difficulty, sharing what is on your mind and in your heart in a safe space is the start of healing and self-acceptance.
What can I help with Abuse, Anger management, Anxiety, Autism spectrum, Bereavement, Depression, Loss, Men's issues, Neurodiversity, Post-traumatic stress, Redundancy, Relationships, Self esteem, Spirituality, Stress, Work related issues.
Everybody is different and special, but has in common the need to be heard, recognised, valued and understood. As a fully qualified BACP registered person-centred counsellor trained at the Metanoia Institute those four things are at the heart of my practice. Whatever your worry, concern, or difficulty, sharing what is on your mind and in your heart in a safe space is the start of healing and self-acceptance.
020 3984 9136 View 020 3984 9136

See more therapy options for West London, London

Autism Counsellors

What is the most effective treatment for autism?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has come to be considered the standard treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder, and research has confirmed its effectiveness for many children. Therapists trained in ABA techniques work with children (and their parents) on developing social skills, communication and learning abilities, and everyday habits of hygiene and grooming. The clinician will tailor their program to the child’s particular need but the overarching goal will be to help them advance as far as possible toward independence based on their level of symptoms and decrease the need for additional special services. Families should seek a mental health professional specifically trained in ABA, and holding special certification in the technique, who has extensive experience not only with the approach but in using it with children with the same level of symptoms as the child who needs care.

How does ABA work?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) sessions, which typically focus on positive reinforcement, can be intensive, lasting two or more hours several times a week, and continuing for two years or more. Therapists can also be expected to ask parents to take an active role in reinforcing lessons. Research has found that the technique can lead to major improvements that decrease the need for additional special services.

How does treatment for autism work?

Therapy sessions based on Applied Behavior Analysis will likely be frequent, intensive, and highly structured. After a thorough assessment, a therapist will help a child understand and develop skills in a range of areas, including communication, motor skills, social skills, self-care, play, and academic skills, as well as routines of daily living like hygiene. Typically, the therapist will help a child break down the components of a behavior—often referred to as the antecedent (what prompts an action), the behavior, and the consequence(what immediately follows)—and then reward the child at every step, while also asking parents to reinforce the lessons, and the rewards, throughout the day. This core therapy may be supplemented by occupational or speech therapy, and antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants may be prescribed to address specific severe symptoms.

How long does therapy for autism take?

Some people with autism spectrum disorder may be engaged in some level of therapy for many years, but research shows that treatment will be most effective if it is begun early and delivered intensively. When therapy begins by age 3, children tend to be better able to grasp and adopt the skills needed to manage everyday life, including attending school and establishing social relationships. This type of early-intervention treatment regimen is highly structured, typically involving 20 to 40 hours of one-on-one therapy per week, along with additional hours of engagement managed by parents, for a period of two years or more, although the duration of treatment is dependent on the child’s level of symptoms and pace of progress.