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Eschewing allistic-centered business practices


Autistic therapist minnesota california online autism therapy

When I started my private practice, I did what most people probably do. I created business cards, signed up for directories and made a website. I also didn’t do what most people do. I didn’t go to “mixers”, I didn’t schedule calls with therapists in my area, and I didn’t go to local businesses passing out my newly printed business cards. 


You see, I knew I wanted to go into private practice but I put it off because of what I perceived to be the main requirement of owning your own practice: networking. It’s the word written on every promotional ad for how to create a thriving private practice. I work with people after all, shouldn’t I know how to network and market and sell myself? 


I originally thought I could force myself to do it. That if I just pushed myself to “get out there” I could. Well, I couldn’t. I hit a wall, a wall I now know was autism. I felt so extremely uncomfortable with the thought of even calling another provider to market myself, I never did.


So what happened, did my practice fail to launch? Did I pack my bags and go back to government or corporate work? Nope. Not even close. 


Since July 2023, my practice has been consistently full and I am more successful than I have ever been. And I have not handed out a single card or called anyone trying to market myself. I just went with what was comfortable for my neurotype and I never forced myself to do anything that didn’t feel right for me. 


The message I am trying to share is that just because allistic-centered coaching courses for therapists say that we need to put ourselves out there and call doctor’s offices, etc to market ourselves, I am here to say that I am at least one example of someone who opted out. I allowed myself to be autistic and a business owner, not masking who I am and what works for me. 


The more I have leaned into embracing my autism, the more I learn that I cannot operate the same way as an allistic therapist. I market in my own way (you are looking at it) and I practice therapy that centers the autistic experience and is adapted specifically to accommodate the way I work best. Could I be more “successful” if I went around marketing myself in person or over the phone? Sure. But that would burn me out long term and I don’t think I could even get myself to do it. And that’s ok.


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