[88] S7, Ep8: Making art out of darkness: self acceptance, resilience and radical unmasking as an autistic counsellor
Topics in this episode: autism at work, autistic children, autistic parents, autistic therapists, counselling, intergenerational autism, masking, relationships, self employment, writing

Audrey Mitchell is a counsellor with a private practise in Idaho, USA. She was diagnosed autistic in 2020, around the same time as her teenage daughter, and the last two years have been a time of processing and learning to accept herself as she is, and unmask in both her personal and professional lives.

I first interviewed her two years ago, for the very first season of SquarePeg. Since that interview was recorded she has finished writing her first, soon-to-be-published memoir, Polishing Marbles, a book intended, in her words, for ‘all the generations of women who ever asked, “What am I doing here and why does everything hurt so much?”’

The book has been decades in the writing; she started writing it, she says, after she kept finding that telling people anecdotes about her life often ‘resulted in looks of shock and concern, followed with the cautious suggestion that I should perhaps consider writing a book about it.’

It was lovely to catch up and so interesting to get another snapshot in time of someone’s journey from diagnosis.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Processing her diagnosis as a counsellor, and recognising her autistic clients

➡ Unmasking at home, in relationships and as a business owner – and her ever-evolving relationship with her autistic teen

➡ Uncovering the impact of undiagnosed autism across generations of her family

➡ Returning to her book and discovering it was always a book about an autistic woman

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

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.


Audrey’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/audreypolishesmarbles/

Her book: https://www.polishingmarbles.com/

Her therapy practice: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/audreys-peace-of-mind-counseling-services-boise-id/331803

Her previous Squarepeg episode: https://squarepeg.community/9-s1-ep9-female-presentation-autistic-counsellors-and-dealing-with-depression/

Her bonus episode: https://squarepeg.community/25-audrey-mitchell-meeting-my-needs-with-family-and-friends-dating-again-and-advocating-for-my-daughter/


If you’d like to connect or get in touch with Squarepeg, you can find me on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/squarepeg.community/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/squarepegautism

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarepegautism/

Or on my website: https://squarepeg.community/


A HUGE thank you to my amazing patrons, who support my work on the podcast:

Abi Hunter, Abigail J Moore, Amy Adler, Amy-Beth Mellor, Anika Lacerte, Annette, Ben Davies, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Cindy Bailey, Clare Holmes, Corinne Cariad, Danielle Warby, Dawn Trevellion, Elizabeth Vezina, Elizabeth Williams, Felicia Libo, Galina, Gwyneth, Jackie Allen, Jeff Goldman, Jen Bartlett, Kate and Kathryn, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Kenneth Knowles, Laura Battley, Lea Li, Leo Ricketts, Lilli Simmons, Lyb, Mandy Allen, MN, Pete Burke, Rebecca Kemp, Sarah Cottrell, Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Ivinson, Sarah Swanton, Sioned Wynn, Stephanie Murray, Suzanna Chen, Suzanne, Tammie Fabien, Tessa Valyou, Tree Hall, Una Walkenhorst, Vic Wiener, Vicki Temple, Victoria Chang, Victoria Routledge, Wendy Walker, Zephyrine Craster and Zoe Lee.

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