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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Aubin, LCSW

A Letter To A New Autistic Therapist


Autistic therapist online california

Hi there,


I am an autistic LCSW in private practice in California. To answer your question, I believe that you can become an excellent psychotherapist with a MSW (masters of social work) degree through having a good supervisor and taking courses in the types of therapy you are interested in (including reading, listening to podcasts, etc). Psychotherapy is both an art and a science, I don't believe you need to know all the "evidence-based" therapies to be an effective therapist, I lean heavily person-centered and existential which I am sure some would argue are not “evidence-based.” 


I learned how to provide psychotherapy through employment, I started at an eating disorder clinic with just my BA in psych and got my MSW knowing I wanted to work in psychology. I also think social work and social justice is integral to good therapy and in some ways, our training is a great compliment to psychotherapy since euro-western psychotherapy is very focused on the individual and we can bring a more broad lens. People are looking for therapists who are aware of social issues and prioritize social justice (see directories such as inclusivetherapists.com as examples of how people don’t just look for “evidence-based” therapy, they are looking for decolonized therapy).


The reality is that psychotherapy is not stagnant, it is dynamic. The psychotherapy that folks learned 20 years ago may not be what you want to practice. You get to bring yourself to this work and essentially create your own psychotherapy, every therapist has their own spin and grows through experience. We get to throw out what doesn’t work or what is rooted in white supremacy, ableism and colonialism. I am not the psychotherapist I was 10 years ago at all, every session I learn and grow and question and adapt.


So, my advice would be that you will learn wherever you go. The most important thing is to join groups and consultation that is affirming and are places where you can bring your questions and listen to others' experiences. I thought at some point I would "arrive" at being a good therapist but just like everything else, there is no arrival. There is simply learning and implementing and changing and growing. Every day. I hope that helps!


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