Following the overwhelmingly positive response for our 2023 pilot group, JLP is excited to announce that Jasmine and provisional psychologist, Andrea, will be running a 9-week small-group therapy program ONLINE (total of 18 therapy hours) for late-diagnosed/identified neurodivergent adults (over 18 years old, ASD and/or ADHD). Expression of interest for our Jun 2024 group is now officially open and numbers will be very limited (6 to maximum 8 participants). Please email us for further information or for expression of interest. More details about the group, including topics that will be covered in each week's session, can be found on the flyer below (you can also click on the button to download the PDF version, if you wish). Further breakdown on each week's content available around the poster.
© Jasmine Loo Psychology 2023
Learn about the history of neurodivergence and its changing landscape in how we understand it from new research findings. Participants are invited to apply this to reflect on their own journey of late diagnoses, before unpacking what it means to them.
Elements of healthy and unhealthy relationship dynamics and practices broken down into concrete, neurodivergent-friendly ways of learning. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the health of their current (and past) relationships, and the part that their late-identification may have played in it.
This week will look at not only building healthy relationships with others, but more importantly, with ourselves. Healthy boundaries are a key ingredient to any well-balanced relationships and sustainable lifestyles.
Understanding neurodivergent burnout and learning to integrate self-care into daily living is an essential life skill for neurodivergent adults. Learn practical strategies for ongoing evaluation of our own energy levels and for pre-emptive strategies to buffer against burnout.
Learn practical strategies for adaptive, effective communication to foster healthy relationships in your life, including ways to identify and handle/exit interactions where others are being disrespectful or manipulative.
Learn about the spectrum of possible manifestations of the neurodivergent emotional experience and/or challenges with regulation, and what that can translate to, in terms of a person's mental health. Sensory challenges, amongst other neurodivergence-related challenges, that can come into play to make emotional regulation a challenge at times are also discussed.
This week's aim is to support participants to re-author their lives from neurodivergent lenses, using everything they have been learning about themselves and from the program so far, in hopes to engender a more self-compassionate, or gentler perspectives on their lives. We cannot change the past, but the angle from which we look at it can make a huge difference to how we see ourselves and our lives, and how we feel about your way forward.
After looking back, it's time to look forward. Examine the important life values to you in the present, to be used as a guide as you venture forwards to create a life that is meaningful for you. This week's aim is to encourage participants to shift from a "goal-directed" focus to a "value-led" life, so that we can direct our endeavours towards what's within our circle of control (our actions/decisions in this present moment) and not what's beyond our control (e.g., outcomes and results).
In this final week, we will be recapping the essential learning that we have done thus far, do some final reflections together, and celebrate the journey that we have been on together at the end with food and (non-alcoholic) drinks.
* The topic of masking is not introduced as a topic on its own, but is instead incorporated into each week's topic, because of its pervasive nature for many NDs. Each week's topic ties in with each other to help participants gain a better understanding of their profile of strengths and difficulties.
.The group facilitators would like to encourage participants to bring along any personal sensory aide (e.g., noise cancelling headphones, caps, sunglasses, etc) or fidget tools that help them regulate or stay present. A big box of fidget tools is always available in each of our rooms, but we understand that sometimes the ones from home just work differently :) Being a neurodivergent-friendly space, we understand that stimming can help a person express themselves or to regulate, and hence stimming is welcomed and encouraged. During the group, if any participants feel triggered or overwhelmed for any reason and would like to take a 5-min break, a separate quiet room is set up, so that you can have a quiet break away from the group before rejoining. One of the co-facilitators would drop by for a gentle check-in after 5 minutes, just to make sure everything is alright.
*Please note: New and former clients (i.e., clients who have not had therapy appointments at the service for more than 3 months) will need to attend an initial consultation prior to group registration to determine suitability of the group. If deemed suitable, the facilitators will be in touch to help you register. Partial Medicare rebates, or use of NDIS funding, may be possible. Please enquire for further information.
Notes from Jasmine on creating Divergent:
"It's always tricky to try to define who a group programme is for, I'd imagine, especially when inclusivity is an important value for me. As much as I dream about creating a group that is for everyone, it's important to clearly define the target group for the program, so that it has an appropriate focus. The decision to start with this target group is because I am aware that there are many group programs for children and adolescents, but groups for neurodivergent adults are very rare in comparison, especially for those who are only diagnosed/identified later in their lives, as adults. It represents a serious gap between support offered and existing support needs. This is why I decided to tailor and run a programme specifically for this group of individuals as the practice's very first group program."
Additional general information on group therapy programs:
Not only are groups more cost-effective for clients (as the fee per therapy hour is much lower than for individual sessions), making mental health care more accessible, but research shows that group treatment can be as effective as individual treatment for a range of psychological concerns.
Group therapy can also provide the opportunity to meet others who are experiencing similar difficulties and to learn that you are not alone. Courage can be contagious and being in a supportive group can also give us a motivation boost to help us make changes in our lives. You may even inspire someone else in the group to make changes as well! In short, group programs can be a wonderful addition to (or in some cases, alternative to) individual psychological therapy.
Therefore, at JLP, we are definitely big fans of group programmes. Despite so, in order to create an evidence-based group programme of a high quality, clinicians need to devote hundreds of hours into researching, writing up material, and creating engaging infographics and activities/tasks. As a small practice, time and clinician resources are scarce, and so, for the time being, the Divergent group therapy programme is the only group programme we run. We definitely hope to create and run more group programmes in the future, should circumstances allow for it. Thank you for your interest, and for visiting this page!