Being in the world. The psychotherapeutic process within a child with autism spectrum disorder

ARTICLESeurynck, Sigrid - 52–3 (2014)


This paper proposes a method that aims to unblock the typical stagnation in the relational contact between parents and a child with autism, and instead create relatedness. During the therapeutic process we try to keep the fundamental loneliness that both parents and child often suffer from contained as much as possible. We start from the premise that each individual (with or without autism) deserves a chance in attachment, identity growth, and resistance. It is expected that to create connections will have meaning for both the child and the parent, because mental space will grow for both, which leaves more chance for attachment, the development of a sense of self, and the experience of a felt sense by means of contact and relatedness. This is illustrated with a case history in which a family was able to grow back into its own strength, and from newly developed relatedness could move toward a shared experience in a shared world.


autism, person-centered parent child therapy

The tPeP (Journal Person-centered experiential Psychotherapy) is the scientific journal for Dutch and Flemish psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, that work from, or are interested in a client-centered perspective.