Here’s how our story began…
In 2017, we attended an autism conference where a speaker shared research elucidating the difference between families that succeeded and those that faltered with an autistic child.
What was the ingredient shared by the success stories? Hope.
The speaker added that parents had to feel like they were capable. They had to feel empowered enough to have faith that they could weather whatever storms came on any given day.
That was when Nurtured Hope was born because every spark of motivation and capability boils down to that willingness to believe in ourselves… that we can make something happen… that we can make a change. For every step back, we regroup, resource, and go forward again.
We understand that hope is the hard part.
It gets drowned out and beaten down every day by the things we all go through in our human experience. And as a parent of a neurodivergent child, it’s even harder to nurture that spark when juggling so much.
We know the difficulties and never-ending list of worries that parents of neurodivergent children face because we’ve faced them ourselves. The worry about their speech or how they’re doing in school. The lack of friends. How hard it can seem to go out or plan activities. Battling schools to advocate for reasonable accommodations when they just don’t seem to care. The fears about the future.
Hope is the light. Hope is having your child surprise you by doing something completely unexpected. By getting on a plane, handling a crowd, or trying new food.
Hope is what pushes through the darkness when you agonize you’re not doing enough. Hope is believing your child WILL do it their own way; it’s the belief that drowns out the fears that they can’t do it everyone else’s way.
It’s time to find healing, joy, and self-acceptance!
You remember when exhaustion, hurt, and worry didn’t consume you.
But those moments feel like distant memories.
You want to mindfully and expediently pursue your goals with school, work, and relationships, but instead, you feel stuck, overwhelmed, and unsure of where to begin.
Maybe you feel lost, as though you’re spinning in circles, trying to figure out how the end of the day keeps coming, but you never feel as though you’ve gotten anything finished or even started.
Or you feel burned out, sinking, and panicked but unable to catch a breath with everyone’s demands and expectations that always seem to come before your own.
You might feel frustrated, hopeless, and sad, as though all you ever hear are complaints and corrections. You could have a hard time getting other people’s words out of your head for how you’re “supposed” to be and what you “should” feel. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we’ve absorbed them.
Perhaps it goes even further, and you feel alone, awkward, anxious, and empty, putting so much effort into attempted friendships or relationships, only to feel misjudged or misinterpreted.
It wasn’t meant to be this way.
Do you want the tools to change the challenges you’re facing?
You’re in the right place.
We are Patricia and Mark, and we help neurodivergent children, teens, and adults just like you.
You have it within you to assert your authentic voice, quiet the never-ending motor of anxious thoughts, and celebrate your inner self with unconditional acceptance and appreciation. But maybe you could use a little support to get there.
It’s important to know that neurodivergence isn’t only autism or ADHD. It can also represent those struggling with depression, anxiety, high sensitivity, and trauma.
We are honored to support all who think a little left of center or outside the box. We passionately believe all clients must inclusively have access to compassion, empathy, and mutual respect in any therapy they pursue.
At Nurtured Hope, we can help you find calm, happiness, and empowerment.
We equip you with the tools you need to chase your passions, contain the feelings of chaos, soothe your worries, and assert the boundaries that get your needs met!
We specialize in parent-child connection (for infants, children, and teens), neurodivergent-affirming skills, support across the lifespan, anxiety, depression, and trauma. We don’t just enjoy working with these groups, though we genuinely do!
We are both Certified Autplay Practitioners and are EMDR trained, while Patricia is also a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S). We strive to provide a balance of lived experience and affirming professional approaches that make a difference.
Many of today’s solutions for neurodivergent support are compliance-based, unfamiliar with the autistic advocacy movement, designed to encourage “masking behaviors,” and/or reliant on external reinforcers over collaboration.
Therapy for neurodivergent children can involve corrections on everything from how they speak to how they hold their bodies to make them seem more neurotypical. This often leads them to have shattered self-esteem and lots of big feelings about going to a therapist, making families feel apprehensive about seeking therapeutic support.
We respect the neurodivergent experience.
We are neurodivergent therapists with neurodivergent tweens who understand this world from multiple directions. We listen to autistic voices, research the most up-to-date therapy approaches, assess for necessary modifications for neurodivergent populations, and trust our clients to tell us their goals and what steps they choose to achieve them.
Generalized approaches for children and teens can include planned ignoring, time-outs, reward and punishment systems, and other strategic methods for demanding obedience without first focusing on the critical importance of a regulated relationship between parent and child that fosters communication, collaboration, and mutual respect.
As Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and Certified Autplay practitioners, we have spent hundreds of hours studying various ways to communicate through a child’s first language of play. Autplay is a form of play therapy dedicated to neurodivergent acceptance, focusing on the same language of play with an understanding and appreciation of neurodivergent individuals. We don’t just enjoy working within these interests, though we genuinely do. We’ve taken the time to advance our training and become certified in our areas of focus.
We believe in self-determination.
We don’t believe in anyone having therapy “done to them” or getting “fixed” by a cookie-cutter, prescribed treatment they have no investment in.
As a client, you must be empowered with the knowledge of your options for a meaningful journey. We know that clients have the answers within themselves. Any healing or change can remain externalized and fragmented if you are not collaborating on your pace, interventions, and goals (regardless of age). When clients embrace their own path, they integrate the strength, courage, joy, and relief they need to make their desired changes last.
You’ve already gotten this far. You know your strengths, and you know your will. We will seek to single out your strong areas, the exceptions to the challenges you struggle with, and what feels right before anything else.
When we feel heard, felt, and seen for who we authentically are, especially our strengths, we see huge differences in how well things go in therapy. You know yourself better than anyone else, and that knowledge is integral to how we proceed.
We believe in therapy in steps.
The idea of therapy can feel uncomfortable or even overwhelming, especially if you haven’t worked with anyone before. New experiences, in general, tend to create some adrenaline or anxiety. For most, sharing your personal thoughts, feelings, and past with a stranger is daunting. It takes trust and a whole lot of bravery to sit in that chair, and we fully recognize that.
That’s part of why we believe therapy comes in steps at Nurtured Hope.
We always start where you are. We listen to understand with curiosity and an open mind. We take our time. We want you to feel comfortable and safe; we want the space we share to feel safe.
When you feel comfortable, we start building resources and strategies. Once you’re feeling anchored, you can tackle anything you set your thoughts to.
When you’re ready, we can flesh out goals and explore options for therapeutic approaches. We invite you to consider approaches that may align with your desires for future change, and you choose what you consent to. It’s your path, and you know where you need to be.
It’s about your goals… not a therapist’s agenda.
You don’t need a therapist who comes in with prescribed or rigid approaches and plans that dictate YOUR healing journey. Clients know what they need when they are witnessed and seen.
You’re this boat’s captain, and we’re just the guide. Sure, we’ll have some ideas and offer a menu, but we follow your lead and pace. We go where you want to go and always respect your will.
When we work together, you’ll always get these three things…
We believe that what we call the 3 C’s are critical elements to any therapy a person receives, whether with us or for other members of your therapeutic team. We understand Connection, Consent, and Collaboration as the foundation of individual therapeutic empowerment.
Connection is seeing, hearing, and genuinely noticing the other person. It is the doorway to coregulation. For as we are calm, we invite calm.
In fact, the underlying root of so many behaviors is a basic human need for connection. Without connection, we have no coregulation, and without being seen and helped to calm by another early on, we don’t fully achieve the ability to self-regulate. We learn to self-regulate through our experience and practice with coregulation with our earliest caregivers. Consequently, connection (and the repair of lost opportunities for it) is the foundation of any therapy work you may seek to do.
The underlying drive for most behaviors is connection.
There are so many ways with words; without that, we can give or deny consent. Being seen and when we say no with our cues and bodies, we can feel safety and trust.
A therapist must be mindful and alert to readiness cues, as they can be as simple as freezing, becoming quiet, or redirecting the conversation. We are noticing your language, through words and body, so that you know that you are safe and in charge of the pace of any steps we take. No matter what problem you’re trying to solve, whether you’re an adult, teen, or child, you choose what, when, and how fast we proceed.
Everything we will do in therapy is collaborative. It is your space and your visit. As we hear your story and goals, we will develop a bit of a roadmap, and you will decide what, where, and when all the stops will be.
We are all about that felt sense of safety. If you don’t feel safe, you won’t be able to think. And we don’t feel safe when we feel we may be pressured or coerced into doing things we don’t emotionally feel ready for. We will know and explore ideas together when you’re ready to take different steps. All that we do in therapy is a collaborative process.
We utilize your unique strengths, talents, and capabilities for optimal outcomes. With a strong therapeutic alliance, we can overcome any challenges you face, and we believe in doing that together.
Share options for what you want and then collaborate on the best ways to incorporate those approaches. We work together on the steps you feel comfortable with, the path that’s yours, and we offer the invitation.
We want you to feel safe, seen, and heard.
You have to feel that way before any therapeutic action can take place.
You must know that you’re in a safe space – that you can completely trust your therapist and that no harm will come to you. You can’t be open and honest if you don’t feel safe.
We want to get to know you – to see and hear what is meaningful, joyful, and challenging for you. We want to know when you’ve felt successful and where you’ve struggled. We want to know how your work, family, and children intersect with your goals.
We’re not here to judge. We want to know all there is to know about your story. Whether it comes in parts, over some time, in between long pauses and tears, or flooding in all at once, we are here to share that space with you if you’ll let us.
This journey is yours. We offer the invitation…
At Nurtured Hope, we will always see you.
We will always hear you.
We will hold this safe place for you until you feel strong enough to build, stand up, and take that safety with you when you leave.
We look forward to meeting you!
Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation. Let’s see how we can help: (786) 401-5603.