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Natalie's Philosophy

Beliefs Are The Compass Of Experience

Discovering neurodiversity in my relationship invited me to connect with what I believe at the deepest level. Initially, it shook me and my world to the core. Beyond the disbelief and despair that I experienced, I RSVP’d its invitation and adventured into surfacing, challenging and transforming some fundamental beliefs that I discovered were holding me back from living the fullest life open to me.

In the beginning, in relation to autism, neurodiversity and neurodiverse relationships, I believed everything that experts, professionals and others in the same situation told me. In time, I discovered and lived into an array of new truths, busting myths of earlier theories and narratives that were, in some cases, biased, narrow and seemingly blind to lived experience and other contributing factors.

Here’s some highlights that relate specifically to how I see myself, my relationships and life differently these days. I have proof of these from my lived experience and working with more than 100 clients. These beliefs infuse the energy of who I am and everything I do.

  1. The most significant new truth I’ve lived into? The impact of unknown neurodiversity is reversible once you know about it! With insight, awareness, new perspectives, tools and strategies, you can unravel the mystery, of the relationship and yourself, restore your wellbeing and begin to live with purpose and flourish.
  2. I believe unknown neurodiversity is a part of the issue, not all of what’s going on, so it’s vital to understand other contributing factors. I focus on those AND on navigating neurodiversity with its different ways of seeing, experiencing, learning and relating. Focusing solely on neurodiversity misses 80% of what’s going on. 80%+ is other things and normal relationship challenges that we don’t have awareness or better ways for either so…
    • if you’re only learning about neurodiversity or specifics of neurodiverse relationships you’re missing loads
    • if you’re learning about relationships without neurodiversity, and in particular a lived experience lens, you’re missing vital perspectives

The evidence to support this is getting clearer and clearer:

    • CBT/talking therapy alone doesn’t work to resolve neurodiverse relationship issues – it can be validating but doesn’t create sustainable change
    • Individual and relationship therapy without a neurodiverse lens/experience doesn’t work and often makes things worse
    • Individual and relationship therapy focused solely on strategies to navigate the neurodiversity dimension of the relationship experience has limited and often short-term success
    • Success and sustainable change is also limited with anything that’s missing the lived experience lens – academics haven’t lived it day in day out and in my experience their questions and proposed solutions rarely get to the root of all that!!
  1. I believe we’re here to thrive, to all live a full life. I’m passionate about supporting clients to revive themselves and bring more and more of themselves to life than they ever have before so that they can live into more and more of the life they desire and dream of. Beyond that, discovering how their partner and others can support their aspirations.
  2. I believe BOTH individuals may experience the cumulative impact of unknown neurodiversity in the relationship. Neurodivergent individuals may have been experiencing this before the relationship without realising. I believe both individuals may experience invalidation of their lived experience by each other and by others outside the relationship. The impact is not unique to the neurotypical partner. It is also not unique to women. Knowing about neurodiversity in the relationship from the beginning also doesn’t necessarily create immunity from this impact. 
  3. I believe that a great relationship is an inside-out commitment. We’re taught that relationships are outside-in – a happy relationship will make me happy. In truth they are inside-out – a happy me will make a happy relationship. As soon as we start to erode our own happiness, authenticity and integrity through compromise (and other things), the health of the relationship will begin to suffer. I support clients to reclaim and create their own happiness, authenticity and integrity and beyond that the clarity they need to create relationships founded on them honouring all that as well as honouring that in others too.
  4. I believe everyone can change when they have capacity, support and a desire or need to and that we can change so much more about ourselves than we realise. Most of my clients are embarking on their recovery journey without the support of their partner. I get that completely because it was me too and I realised it actually doesn’t ‘take two to tango’!! We can’t make someone change, only step by step in the direction of our own dreams and see where that takes us, whilst also becoming more comfortable in discomfort, uncertainty and at edges (of ourselves, of others and of relationships) so that we can communicate bravely and make courageous decisions aligned with what matters most to us. 
  5. I believe that thriving relationships are created by discovering the circumstances where all needs, values, tolerances, preferences and aspirations are catered for. Compromise isn’t a sustainable strategy in a relationship where the degree of difference being navigated between individuals is significant, maybe polar opposites sometimes or a lot of the time. I live, promote and support consonance rather than compromise.
  6. I believe our identity is a fluid and changing experience as we experience life and are open to self-discovery and growth. With the arrival of labels to describe our neuro-identities in 2014, I quickly identified as a ‘devoutly neurotypical wife’ married to an aspie husband. Since then I’ve realised that the exploration of identity and deciding to be YOU is a radical and heretical act in our culture. A culture whose story, from the day you’re born, is to tell you who you are, what you’re like, who you should be, what you should do, what’s wrong with you, what’s acceptable and not. So many who find me, whatever their neurotype, are ill (emotionally, mentally and physically) because of who they’ve been told they are and who they’ve tried to be for too long, typically pre-dating their relationship. I support clients to decide the words that describe who they are – to name themselves rather than be labelled. Having subsequently discovered the limits of the labels we began to define ourselves by in 2014, my own journey has led to me ‘living beyond labels’. They are helpful to an extent and they can create limits and personas that aren’t true or hold us back from being more and more of who we are. Amongst other things, I currently identify as adventurer, encourager, neuroqueer, woman and gender curious as I continue to liberate myself from social conditioning, who I’ve been told I am and the masks I used for 40 years to fit in and protect myself. I use she/her pronouns.

‘What you believe is who you become’

The gentle exploration of  unconscious beliefs is treasure for healing and supports renewed connection with your inner knowing.

When we walk together in a coaching relationship, the invitation is there for you to connect with your beliefs and discover how who you are and what you believe at the deepest level can support you to live the happier and more fulfilled life you’ve dreamed about forever.

It’s an honour to share that path with all my clients. I’m here to meet you when you’re ready.

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