What is Neuroinclusive DBT?

As we continue to learn more about the wide range of natural variation in human experience, we are increasingly able to recontextualize and reframe human psychology in manners that best serve us all. A prime example of this growth can be seen by considering the movement past models that pathologize gender and sexuality minority persons and toward LGBTQIA+ affirming care. 

More recently, similar movement can be seen with respect to the complex landscape of neurodiversity. The dialectical behavior therapy program at Growth Thru Change embraces this forward movement as part of its foundations, taking the paradigm of neurodiversity seriously and committing to genuinely neuroinclusive care. 


What is the Neurodiversity Paradigm? 


While the term neurodiversity was coined by sociologist Judy Singer in 1998, the concept of the neurodiversity paradigm was introduced by writer and educator Nick Walker in 2014. Put simply, the neurodiversity paradigm shifts our way of thinking about what have been commonly thought of neurodevelopmental disorders—autism, ADHD, dyslexia, etc.—away from a medicalized, pathological framework and instead into one which recognizes such neurotypes natural variation in human experience.

In embracing a neurodiversity paradigm, practitioners and clients alike are better positioned to understand and work with the realities and lived experiences of neurodivergent persons—that is, persons with neurotypes that diverge from that which our dominant culture deems typical. In doing so, we come to understand the struggles faced by many neurodivergent persons not as struggles that are confined or intrinsic to their particular neurotype(s), but are instead caused or exacerbated by embeddedness in a culture that centers neurotypicality, deems neurodivergent person as less than, and leads to social structures that become more and more inaccessible as neurodivergent persons are pushed further and further into the margins. 

In these ways, the parallels between neuroinclusive care and LGBTQIA+ affirming care might be clear: both approaches represent attempts to move past pathologizing frameworks, embrace the diversity of human experience, decenter socially constructed norms that perpetuate marginalization, and move toward a higher quality of consideration and care.

What is Neuroinclusive DBT? 


Dialectical behavior therapy can sometimes have a reputation of being a strict and somewhat inflexibility modality. That strictness and inflexibility can make spaces feel less accessible to neurodivergent clients with communication and care needs that differ from neurotypical clients. In taking the neurodiversity paradigm seriously and committing to neuroinclusive care, the DBT program at Growth Thru Change is designed to meet individual clients—neurodivergent or neurotypical—where they’re at, providing a shared group experience accessible to all. 

Our program is spearheaded by subject matter experts in neurodiversity, and we’ll work with you to make sure that the various skills and methods learned through DBT are communicated and practiced in a manner that really makes sense to you. Rather than enforcing a restricted (and restricting) “one size fits all” approach that simply re-centers neurotypicality, we embrace the broad landscape of neurodiversity so that your therapeutic experiences can really be your therapeutic experience.

Healing can be challenging enough without having to pretend to be someone we’re not. In Growth Thru Change’s DBT program, you have the space to show up as you. 


Learn More About Our DBT Program 


No matter where you are in your journey forward—whether you’re ready to dive in or just want to collect more information—we’re here for you. To learn more, check out our Dialectical Behavior Therapy program or contact us!

For updates on our DBT program and other offerings at Growth Thru Change, follow us on Instagram or connect on LinkedIn.

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