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This qualitative research study uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009; Smith & Nizza, 2022) to explore how Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy can be used effectively with clients who are neurodivergent. It aimed to explore the lived experiences of participants, all of whom were neurodivergent and received psychotherapy as adults but who were undiagnosed in childhood.
Participants all reported a sense of frustration, sadness, and shame regarding how others have responded to their neurodivergence and neurodivergent behaviours historically. This study aimed to look beyond the outward presenting behaviours to the underlying need and consider what neurodivergent clients may need, both from their psychotherapist and from their psychotherapy.
This study suggests four main psychotherapeutic needs, identifies three main traps that psychotherapists may fall into when working with neurodivergent clients, and describes eight relational affirmations which are important to consider when working with neurodivergent clients.
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