Deborah Cullinan was diagnosed autistic about 10 years ago. She is a psychotherapist in her early 60s, working in a busy CAMHS clinic (that’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) in Hertfordshire in the UK.
Deborah started her career as an artist and art teacher, before retraining and qualifying in Psychoanalytic Child Therapy in 1992, a very different time in terms of mental health. She has gone on to create a role for herself as an autism specialist in CAMHS.
In our conversation we talk about:
➡ Her experience of psychoanalytic therapy
➡ Growing up in a dysfunctional (and possibly autistic) family
➡ How autistic people are accommodated in schools and workplaces
➡ How autism is viewed by psychotherapists and psychologists – and how attitudes have changed in the last 30 years
➡ Her hopes for autistic young people now and in the future.
I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.
I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.
Deborah’s website: www.autism-psychology.co.uk
Article on trauma and autism – transformingautism.org
A Spectrum Girls Survival Guide – Siena Castellon
Autism in Heels – Jennifer O’Toole
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