Self-discovery and recovery through photography and collage
So my project is now 2/3 of the way through and I finally got round to blogging it here, my favourite space to talk about autism and art. It’s been full on!
I’m so grateful to Arts Council England for funding the research and development phase of this passion project, which seeks to address an extremely pressing unmet need. Women and marginalised genders are more likely to be late-diagnosed as autistic or otherwise neurodivergent, and our need to recover from the trauma of a lifetime of misidentification is not currently recognised or supported. A diagnosis, or discovery as I like to call it (thanks to the wonderful Annette Foster) is not an end point, but rather it’s a beginning of a vital process of unlearning unhelpful ableist social conditioning.
You can catch up with all my process on Instagram and also visit my online exhibition called Origin Story in multiple formats. I’m extremely proud of this project, and I look forward to sharing a PDF guide to the method of photo therapy I have adapted to neurodivergent practice.
My background training as an art therapist, counsellor and mental health social worker, have been important in informing this work. My work in the Arts has connected me to very many neurodivergent creatives and I’m grateful to you all for sharing your experiences with me. Finally my lived experience of self-recovery through research, blogging and creative practice have been key to this exciting development in my career.
For all humans I think a sense of congruence is vital to flourishing in life. This is what proves so elusive and problematic for us before we discover our identity. Masking autism is a vital adaptive survival mechanism, but it is also often devastating for our mental health. Working out how to unmask creatively, trying out ideas and gaining a more secure sense of identity can be a real support. Neurophotherapy offers a gentle way in to a conversation with the self.
Please do visit my Instagram and website to learn more. Share with others who might be affected. Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!