Therapist Neurodiversity Collective


Therapist Neurodiversity Collective Inc.
– a trailblazer in neurodiversity-affirming therapy, education, and advocacy since January 2018!


Our innovative lecture topics and classes are aligned with a Neurodiversity-Affirming Paradigm, interconnecting cutting-edge contemporary research, autistic lived experiences, and ethical guidance with meaningful, practical applications that prioritize mental health and self-determined quality of life for autistic and other neurodivergent people.


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Ethical and Neuro-affirmative Approaches to Trauma Therapy

August 17, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm CDT

Pic is of Dr. Gabriela Hurtado, a psychologist who will present on Ethical and Neuro-Affirmative Approaches to Trauma Therapy.

Ethical and Neuro-affirmative Approaches to Trauma Therapy
with Dr. Gabriela Hurtado

When: August 17, 2023, @4:30pm Pacific / @ 6:30 pm Central / @ 7:30 pm Eastern. 
Register: $15 USD

Topic: Dr. Gabriela Hurtado, Ph.D., a Licensed Psychologist, will present a one-hour evidence-based LIVE presentation on neuro-affirmative trauma therapy approaches followed by a Q&A and discussion.

Target audience: Psychologists, Mental Health Counselors, Social Workers, other Therapy Providers, Autistic adults, and parents of Autistic and Neurodivergent children and young people.

Course Description: Trauma is an emotional response to a stressful event (or events) that threaten an individual’s physical, emotional, and/or cognitive safety. Intrusive memories, nightmares, insomnia, hypervigilance, negative affect or emotions, severe anxiety and distress, irritability, avoidance, difficulty with memory and concentration, flashbacks, dissociation, anhedonia, and ruminative thoughts characterize this response (National Center for PTSD, 2023). The chronicity of this experience can contribute to difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships, substance use, self-harm, and suicidality (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014).

Neurodivergent individuals are at increased risk of experiencing psychological trauma. For example, it is estimated that approximately 32-45% of autistic individuals report symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Rumball, 2019), and individuals with ADHD report more traumatic experiences and PTSD symptoms when compared to the general population (Antshel, 2013; Ayoubi et al., 2020). Unfortunately, although the link between PTSD and neurodivergence has been documented by existing research, as well as factors that might increase the vulnerability of neurodivergent individuals to experiencing psychological trauma, there is scant research available regarding the assessment and treatment of trauma in neurodivergent individuals.

Cognitive behavioral therapies have been determined to be the “gold-standard” approach to psychological trauma (American Psychological Association, 2017). These therapeutic approaches center on exposure strategies. These include behavioral methods such as graded exposure, flooding, and systematic desensitization, which have been identified as harmful to neurodivergent individuals (Shkedy, Shkedy, & Sandoval-Norton, 2021). This presentation will discuss the framework and components of commonly used trauma interventions (RO-DBT, DBT, ACT, SE) and their use, when appropriate, including adaptions of these interventions to individual needs from an affirmative perspective.

The course includes slides, a handout, and a Certificate of Attendance.

Participants will

  • demonstrate an understanding of contextual factors necessary to consider in the therapy
  • list and describe strategies to build a collaborative, non-judgmental, flexible, and validating environment for their clients.
  • discuss the adaptations needed to provide neuro-affirmative therapy services.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Hurtado(she/hers/ella) has experience in the field of clinical psychology, with a particular focus on the mental health of Latinx/e adolescents and adults. Her clinical interests and practice involve crisis intervention, assessment and evaluation, and treatment of trauma and PTSD, and eating disorders. Dr. Hurtado area of expertise is the delivery of culturally-grounded interventions, as well conducting neuroaffirmative, culturally-grounded assessments and evaluations with immigrants and bicultural/bilingual adolescents and adults.

Ethical and Neuro-affirmative Approaches to Trauma Therapy