Our Values

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Amy, founder of Newglade Counselling – Neurodivergent services, explores what the company’s values mean to her and the reasons behind highlighting them.

I have been passionate about neurodivergence since the moment the words autism and ADHD became commonplace in our family. As a counsellor and a neurodivergent person myself, I saw first hand the negative impact that a well meaning but ill informed counsellor could have on a neurodivergent client and found my approach to therapy resonated with many. There are many benefits to seeing a neurodivergent therapist when you are neurodivergent yourself, and I wanted to be able to help people on a bigger scale
When starting to grow Newglade’s team of counsellors, I gave a lot of thought to what I wanted to achieve and how I could expand whilst still maintaining the same ethos of my individual work. Newglade Counselling Core Values were what came out of that and below is a little bit more information about what these values mean to us.

1. Neurodivergent Affirming

Rainbow infinity symbol for neurodivergence

An obvious one probably, but also the one I have the most to say on!

So what is neurodivergent (ND) affirming? It’s probably easier to explain what isn’t ND affirming. Ableism, stigma and stereotypes are what we all face in general society. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard comments such as “we’re all on the spectrum aren’t we?” or “you can’t have ADHD, everyone gets distracted from time to time”. These might seem like harmless comments or even a way of showing solidarity with someone, but when an autistic person is told that “everyone is a little bit autistic”, it can completely dismiss their experiences as an autistic person in a world that’s largely not built for them. These comments tend to come from a lack of education around neurodivergence as well as years of stigma and ableism that a lot of us have internalised.

These comments and harmful stereotypes are what a lot of ND people face everyday so for our clients we want to provide a safe space where you can explore your neurodivergence with someone who, not only is not going to judge you, but also understands the way you think and a little of what you might have experienced growing up in this neurotypical world.

Instilling the value of ‘Neurodivergent affirming’ in our team means we put this front and centre across all our work whether this is within 1-1 settings (counselling, parent support or supervision services) or via our training packages delivered to other professionals and individuals. It also extends to my development of therapy resources, trying to make them as affirming as possible to the ND community.

This means continuously learning from other neurodivergent voices, and realising that systemic change can start with us. It means being accepting of difference and being aware of intersectionality. It means rejecting all forms of behaviour therapy and instead helping a client to integrate and embrace their neurodivergent selves whilst providing coping strategies to enable them to live a more fulfilling life.

White text with a list of neurodivergent affirming therapy practices on a real background
ND affirming Therapy

All our counsellors within Newglade are neurodivergent themselves. Being Neurodivergent affirming therefore also very much applies to me and my team and I strive to provide a safe community for neurodivergent professionals to be themselves. This is as important to me as the services to clients because I want to be an employer that not only recognises the talents of the ND community but also recognises the power of a truly inclusive team.

2. Integrity

The word Integrity spelled out in scrabble tiles

Integrity is defined as being honest and having strong moral principles. In business, integrity isn’t about doing the right thing because it looks good, it is doing the right thing regardless of whether your actions are public or not.

Integrity has always been something I have valued in people and I wanted to ensure that with any expansion of the team, we could create an environment where integrity is prized.

In addition to this as counsellors we are all members of either the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) or the National Counselling Society (NCS). Both these membership bodies publish their own ethical frameworks which, as their members, we have agreed to uphold. (You can read their ethical frameworks here – BACP or NCS.)

Of course this doesn’t mean we never get things wrong but it means you can be sure that, if we do, we will be open about any mistakes, our next steps and what we’ve learned as a result. Much of therapy hinges on a good, trusting relationship between you and your therapist. So if we can uphold the value of integrity in our practice as a whole, then we can ensure all our interactions (our clients, colleagues and business partners) ultimately improve the service we offer.

3. Connection

An image of a rope coiled into the shape of a heart

As therapists, our job is to connect with people. It seemed fitting therefore that Connection is one of our core values.

Connection brings security, safety and a sense of belonging (something that neurodivergent people have often found to be elusive).

What we find is that neurodivergent people tend to gravitate towards others who are also ND. With our services at a Newglade Counselling we are connecting neurodivergent clients to neurodivergent therapists.

Connection also extends beyond the client/counsellor dynamic. It extends to the way we network and collaborate with other professionals, how we share our resources, how we teach our training partners and how we reflect on our work as a team, Connection is at the heart of what we do and highlighting this value allows us to provide a better service to our clients and colleagues.

Amy is the founder of Newglade Counselling – a collaborative team of neurodivergent counsellors specialising in providing therapy to autistic, ADHD and otherwise neurodivergent children and adults across the UK. For details of all our services or to learn more please contact us here.

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