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6 Types of Mental Health Therapy to Benefit Autistic Adults

It is very common in the autism community to experience anxiety or depression, as living in an allistic world leads to facing daily struggles. However, a mental health condition left untreated has negative outcomes that can greatly impact your quality of life.

With this in mind, we wanted to remind our adult autistic community of the therapeutic approaches that can help those on the autism spectrum navigate the complexities of their lives, manage their emotions, and improve their overall well-being. 

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a widely used approach in mental health therapy. It focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. For autistic adults, CBT has been shown to help manage anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions, as well as to become more aware of social cues and recognize their own emotional state. By providing tools to reframe thoughts and cope with challenging situations, CBT can empower those individuals to better navigate their daily lives.

  1. Sensory Integration Therapy

Many people on the autism spectrum experience sensory sensitivities or sensory-seeking behaviors. This type of therapy focuses on helping individuals process sensory information more effectively. Trained occupational therapists use various sensory experiences to help individuals become more comfortable with specific sensory input and reduce the anxiety related to sensory challenges.

  1. Social Skills Training

Social skills training provides strategies to navigate social situations, such as reading facial expressions, understanding non-verbal cues, and engaging in reciprocal conversation. It can help autistic adults build more meaningful relationships, both personally and professionally, and allow them to feel less isolated.

  1. Art or Music Therapy

Art or music therapy can be particularly helpful for creatively inclined autistic adults, or for those who are non-speaking. These therapies offer an alternative means of communication and emotional expression. They allow individuals to explore and process their feelings in a supportive way that does not require speech.

  1. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Engaging in mindfulness and relaxation techniques can significantly contribute to emotional and sensory regulation, offering a sense of calm and control. Practices like meditation invite individuals to explore a more peaceful mental space, offering self-awareness and acceptance. Deep breathing exercises serve as a grounding mechanism, enabling autistic adults to navigate through intense emotions or sensory overload with a more centered approach. The routine use of these techniques can make young adults on the autism spectrum more self-sufficient and empowered.

  1. Support Groups and Peer Counseling

Often, the best therapy comes from connecting with others who share similar life experiences. Support groups offer a safe space for autistic adults to discuss challenges, share strategies, and find a sense of belonging. More than that, the sense of camaraderie that comes from this shared experience can be deeply comforting.

Gersh Experience offers much-needed support for young adults on the autism spectrum transitioning towards independence. Along the way, they learn the value of such a support system made up of peers with similar experiences. To learn more about our one-of-a-kind program, reach out here.


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