No way. If there is one thing I have learned from all the stories I’ve heard as a licensed therapist on social media, it is that finding a good therapist is hard. And my personal experience is no different.
To say that autistic people require an autistic or neurodivergent therapist is narrow minded. Would some autistic people benefit from having a therapist with similar neurology to them? Sure. I know I would. But I also know that there is soooo much more that goes into being a good therapist.
For example, I would much rather have an anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, LGBTQ+ affirming therapist than an autistic pro-capitalist, pro-racist, anti-LGBTQ+, colonist therapist. Being autistic does not necessarily mean someone is engaged in the deep, uncomfortable work of self-discovery and self-growth. That work matters far more than having a shared neurotype.
Although the name of my business is My Autistic Therapist, being autistic is not the only reason why I believe my services are helpful. Being autistic does positively impact my ability to be a therapist, 100%. But that isn’t the whole picture. The only reason why I even found out I was autistic in the first place was because I am constantly engaged in challenging myself and my self-understanding. I am constantly seeking out knowledge and growth. That is what makes me a helpful therapist. Being autistic is just one piece of it.
When I look for my next therapist, although I would prefer an autistic therapist, it is not a deal breaker if they are not. I want someone who is authentic, analytical, existential, relational. I want to work with someone who believes this is their life’s work. That matters so much more to me than simply sharing a neurotype, although it would be helpful if we did.