Neurodiversity-Affirming EMDR therapy for assisting clients with Autism/ADHD

These two workshops focus on upskilling EMDR clinicians to integrate Neurodiversity-Affirming practise into their therapy with clients who are on the Autism spectrum or have ADHD. The content is informed by the relevant literature and the presenter’s clinical experience to ensure best-practise guidelines are met. Each workshop is stand alone so that therapists can choose to do one or both days.

Prevalence rates of Autism and ADHD are escalating because of increased recognition of Autism/ADHD in adults (particularly women)1,2. Research also shows that Autistic people face significant barriers in accessing therapy. One barrier is that therapists report lacking confidence and training necessary to support Autistic clients3. Further people with Autism/ADHD are at increased risk of experiencing a range of adverse events and subsequent negative life outcomes4,5. The AIP model has strong utility for case formulation with Neurodivergent clients who are at substantially higher risk for these adverse events.

Therefore, EMDR clinicians have the potential to play a pivotal role in supporting people with neurodivergence and to recover from impacts of trauma.

Neurodiversity-Affirming EMDR therapy training for assisting adult clients with Autism/ADHD

In this workshop you will:

  • Understanding core principles of Neurodiversity Affirming Practise
  • Review of the literature & latest best practise guidelines for working with Autism/ADHD
  • Explore the Applicability of AIP model for clients with Autism/ ADHD and using this to inform case formulation
  • Awareness of common traumatic experiences in Neurodivergent populations
  • Understanding ‘social trauma’ of being ‘different’/living with disability and subsequent mental health impacts
  • Identifying common negative core beliefs
  • Adjusting EMDR eight phases and 3 prong treatment plan to deal with; rapport building and maintenance, addressing sensory needs, understanding communication differences, maintain concentration, and ensuring a sense of safety

Pre-requisite Experience: both workshops require participants prior completion of an EMDR Australia Accredited Part One (Introductory) training.

Workshop Fee: $350 early bird (payment received 6 weeks prior to event). Otherwise $399. Strictly limited places at all 4 workshops. Workshop runs 9am to 5pm. Lunch is included.

Perth November 6 2023
Ambrose Estate
Wembly Downs

Register Perth

Sydney November 8 2023
Rydges Camperdown

Register Sydney

Melbourne November 9 2023
Treacy centre

Register Melbourne

Neurodiversity-Affirming EMDR therapy training for assisting child clients with Autism/ADHD

This workshop is focused on integrating new best-practice guidelines for working with Autistic and/or ADHD children with EMDR therapy. It is well established that Autistic and/or ADHD people are at high risk of many negative health and wellbeing outcomes. These statistics and stories do not have to be the future for Autistic and/or ADHD children today.

In this workshop you will:

  • Learn ways to work collaboratively with families to reframe ‘behaviour’ through the AIP model and neurodiversity affirming frameworks
  • Address power imbalance and ableism when working with Autistic/ADHD children
  • Manage barriers to EMDR therapy through making environmental accommodations aligned with the needs of Autistic and/or ADHD children
  • Integrate storytelling work with EMDR therapy to help Neurodivergent children understand how their brain works in affirming ways
  • Help Autistic/ADHD children maintain interest and focus during EMDR therapy
  • Use present/future targets to install adaptive coping skills at school and other environments

Child Focus November 10 2023
Treacy centre

Register Child Focus

All workshops conducted in accord with our Terms and Conditions

About the Presenter

Anna Clarke (They/Them)

Anna Clarke

Anna is a Psychologist, Play Therapist, and EMDRAA Accredited Consultant. They are passionate about integrating principles of trauma-informed and Neurodiversity-Affirming practise to provide holistic support for Autistic and ADHD people. Anna was invited to write the chapter on Neurodiversity for the Oxford handbook on EMDR. They  are proudly Autistic/ADHD and have conducted workshops on  Neurodiversity-Affirming education and training for therapists in Australia and New Zealand.

Anna has a background supporting children in the Victorian Out of Home Care system and has worked predominantly with survivors of family violence and sexual assault across various roles. They currently work for the Tasmanian Department of Justice as a Witness Intermediary, providing communication support for children who have experienced sexual abuse. They also work in private practise with both children and adults presenting with complex trauma and dissociation, addiction, aggression, depression, anxiety, and more. Anna is experienced working alongside parents, carers, the child safety system, schools, and other stakeholders as part of collaborative model of support for Autistic and ADHD people.


Clarke, A., Cox, R., Simpson, A., Bergmeier, H., Bruce, L., Savaglio, M., Pizzirani, B., O’Donnell, R., Smales, M., & Skouteris, H. (2019). Understanding problematic eating in out-of-home care: The role of attachment and emotion regulation. Appetite, 135, 33–42.

Darker-Smith, S. & Clarke, A. (in press). Neurodiversity-Affirming EMDR Therapy with Autism and ADHD. In D. Farrell, S. Schubert & M. Kiernan (Eds). The Oxford Handbook of EMDR. Oxford University Press.

Darker-Smith, S. & Clarke, A. (in press). Coping with “difference”: Neurodiversity-affirming EMDR therapy for Autistic and ADHD clients with eating disorders. In Trauma-Informed Approaches to Eating Disorders (2nd ed). A. Seubert & P Virdi (Eds). Springer Publishing Company.

References cited above:

  1. Maenner, M et al., (2023). Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2018. MMWR. Surveillance Summaries, 70.
  2. McCrossin R. Finding the True Number of Females with Autistic Spectrum Disorder by Estimating the Biases in Initial Recognition and Clinical Diagnosis. Children. 2022; 9(2):272.
  3. Adams, D., & Young, K. (2021). A Systematic Review of the Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to accessing Psychological Treatment for Mental Health Problems in Individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 8(4), 436–453.
  4. El Ayoubi, H., Brunault, P., Barrault, S., Maugé, D., Baudin, G., Ballon, N., & El-Hage, W. (2021). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Is Highly Comorbid With Adult ADHD in Alcohol Use Disorder Inpatients. Journal of Attention Disorders, 25(11), 1594–1602.
  5. Rumball, F., Brook, L., Happé, F., & Karl, A. (2021). Heightened risk of posttraumatic stress disorder in adults with autism spectrum disorder: The role of cumulative trauma and memory deficits. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 110, 103848.