Aspergers Syndrome is a controversial term applied to individuals who, among other things, experience an intense sense of awkwardness and difficulty in interpersonal relationships and in social situations. When seeking Aspergers group therapy, sometimes those identified as “having” Aspergers arrive at therapy having applied the Aspergers label themselves, while other times a doctor, parent or spouse has applied the label of Aspergers (and encouraged that person to seek Aspergers therapy or an Aspergers therapy group). In our experience individuals “with Aspergers” who seek therapy, including group therapy, are alternately pleased with the benefits of the Aspergers label, hate the Aspergers label, or are somewhere in between. In our offerings of Aspergers therapy or Aspergers group therapy, we have no investment in applying an Aspergers label or not–in fact, we’re eager to discover why that label may be meaningful to you or something you’d prefer to avoid. As we often say, in seeking Aspergers therapy, or therapy or group therapy for anything else, what matters most is helping you create your life.
Aspergers group therapy: A choice for growth
A significant choice, however, is whether or not a therapy group for someone with Aspergers Syndrome should be a group specifically for individuals with Aspergers (i.e. with only patients in the group who have Aspergers) or a mixed therapy group where there are individuals with Aspergers as well as those without.
I strongly believe the second option is the better choice for those seeking Aspergers group therapy. Why? Look at it this way: If you’ve got difficulty getting close to people, building relationships with others and understanding the ins and outs of how all this works, does it make sense to work on that in an environment where everyone else is struggling with the same thing? Life includes all different kinds of people. Some of those people are like you, some not so much. Getting on in the world involves learning how to build relationships with all kinds of people. Is a therapy group with more diversity–something more than Aspergers group therapy, but one that invites those seeking therapy to grow in all kinds of ways–a more challenging environment? You bet.
Aspergers Group Therapy: Everyone can develop
While I won’t pretend that group therapy is a cure for Aspergers (and many with Aspergers are understandably offended by the notion of cure) I strongly believe that individuals with Aspergers can develop, and can learn how to build meaningful social relationships. We get better at things that are challenging by doing them. Group therapy is an environment where individuals with Aspergers can get the support they need to take on this challenge.
Will I fit in in group therapy if I have Aspergers?
Surprisingly well, yes. That’s because fitting in is a matter we engage continuously. While everyone brings different things to the group, everyone has a responsibility to help build it. Many who come into a group (whether diagnosed with Aspergers or not) question what it is they have to give. “What can I contribute?” you may ask. In group therapy we build with anything and everything available to us. You’ll likely be surprised by just how much you have to give.