Autistic-Affirmative Therapy for Allistic Providers

Presenter: Melissa Dellens, MA, AMFT

3 CEs

Recorded Webinar


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An Allistic person is someone who is not Autistic. An Allistic therapist may struggle to make connections with an Autistic client. What does it feel like to share space, time, and conversation with another person? When we fold in the complexities of Autism we have the opportunity to experience so much more sensory and non-verbal information. This can further impact assumptions and beliefs about an Autistic person’s sexuality or gender experience.  Frustrations with empathy, understanding, and relating can emerge in the therapeutic work; which can inadvertently evoke internalized shame in a client. Mental health struggles can be overlooked and presumed to be a part of an Autistic experience. The impact of the multiple minority stressors LGBTQIA+ Autistic people face can lead to masking: the conscious and unconscious suppression of natural Autistic responses, and adoption of alternative behaviors in exchange for social inclusion and “acceptance”. In this live virtual lecture, affirmative therapists will explore differences in communication and power dynamics that can lead to masking in and out of the clinical setting. Working in this way can support LGBTQIA+ Autistic clients to move toward a more authentic, safe, and connected expression with themselves and others. 

Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify the shared minority stressors experienced by Autistic and LGBTQIA+ clients

  2. Describe autistic masking and name two interventions to support a client to unmask 

  3. Describe at least 2 transference dynamics that can occur in a therapeutic relationship between an Allistic therapist and Autistic client. 

About the Presenter:

Melissa Dellens, M.A. is a genderfull person with curly hair, glasses, a pink top and a rainbow scarf.Melissa Dellens, MA is passionate about building strong, healthy communities both big and small. Melissa earned her Master of Arts in Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles with an emphasis in Applied Community Psychology. She is trained in looking at large scale trauma from a community level lens and supporting recovery and healing from empowered and preventative approaches





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$45 for pre-licensed (use code AAA2245)

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Most of this information was new to me.  And all of it will be useful on both personal and professional levels.

Course was clear, informative and concise

The research was so informative

I like hearing the questions from other people as they are usually extremely thought provoking and can challenge me to think outside of my own lens.

Great course I definitely recommend

Great Course I will recommend it to anyone.

Additional Information

Instruction Level

This course is meant for an intermediate to advanced audience.

Who should Attend

Psychologists, counselors, and marriage and family therapists and social workers.


Recorded webinar recorded in January 2022.

Completion Requirements

To get CE credit, you will need to take the post-test with at least 80% score to receive your certificate for the homestudy course.

Financial Support

The Affirmative Couch pays course presenters for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest

There is no reported conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.

Contact Information

For any inquiries related to subject matter, problem resolution, corrections, grievances, or anything else, please contact us.


The Affirmative Couch will work to accommodate reasonable accommodations requests. Requests can be emailed with “accommodation request” in the subject line. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Other Courses by Mellissa 

Text: “Spiritual Resilience with Christian LGBT Clients presented by Melissa Dellens, MA, AMFT, 3 CE course” with a rainbow cross depicting the intersection of Christian spirituality and LGBTQIA+ identity

Continuing Education Approvals

APA ApprovedThe Affirmative Couch, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Affirmative Couch, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Module 1 Module 1
Unit 1 Recorded Webinar and Course Materials  
Unit 2 Course Quiz  
Unit 3 Post Course Survey