A New Home
Updated: 2 days ago
You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much for a while there's been lots of reasons for this, but I realised I was looking for another way to share my writing. With that in mind, I've made the decision to move my blogs over to substack. I've been hanging out there for a few weeks now and I'm liking the vibe and invitation to do some deeper dives, while still having a sense of community.
I may occasionally cross post some of my writing here, but if you want to keep up with my writing you can subscribe on substack and recieve each new post in your inbox, or read it online or via their app. If you do come over, please say hi and let me know if you're sharing anything there too!
Here's the first post I published over there.
Why Curiosity Spot?
I’m Louise, I’m a queer, neurodivergent therapist working online in the UK. My hair is generally some mixture of pink, purple and blue, but can change frequently. As well as seeing clients, I supervise other therapists and deliver training. I mostly work with other neurodivergent and/or LGBTQIA+ folks who are interested in exploring their identities and working towards a curated life that works for them.
Curiosity Spot started as a wondering during a drive home from a conference on compassionate approaches to mental health, when a colleague asked me what I would really like to do if I had no constraints. I responded that I’d love a space where I could explore different ways of working that made space for all of the parts of me. I knew I wanted this to include 1:1 therapy and supervision, but also group workshops and training. I wanted it to be a place where it was ok not to have all the answer, or even know what the questions was. A place to get creative and be curious about ourselves and the world.
It was a lovely dream, but work, study and parenting took up most of my energy and it felt like that was where it was going to stay. Fast forward to 2020, the first lockdown had just begun, one of my work contracts had come to and I was a couple of months away from receiving confirmation that I was autistic. I was in my house with time on my hands while everything I knew seemed to be changing. One of my favourite quotes was never far from my mind and I decided to have a go at embracing it.
In the waves of change we find our true direction.
The extra space and time I found myself with (along with the support of my wife) gave me the chance to revisit my dream for what Curiosity Spot could be, just as a virtual rather than physical space.
With my new found awareness of my autistic identity and the greater understanding of my needs, I began to pull together the elements of what a sustainable life meant for me. I would love to say that it was an easy and straightforward journey, but it required a lot of unlearning of old beliefs and behaviours to make space for more helpful ones. A lot of this happened with the support of therapists and supervisors who helped me to process my new knowledge and integrate it into my sense of self.
Then just when I thought I was getting the hang of it I developed long covid and had to slow everything down as I learnt to manage my fatigue. In some ways, this more than anything meant I had to find a new way of working (and living) because I simply didn’t have the energy to carry on as I was. It was the final permission I needed to overhaul how and when I worked. One of the biggest challenges of my recovery is to not let myself be dragged back into those old days of working.
Three years on and I have learnt lots of lessons from my own experiences as well as from the people I support. The importance of acknowledging the context in which we exist and how it impacts us (things like levels of privilege and access to resources) is something that I am passionate about and it is a key part of my work along with self compassion. It is a running theme in much of the work I do that patriarchy and capitalism are at the root of many difficulties and compassion and kindness are often the answer.
Self-compassion is what has allowed me to create a business that supports my needs and to give myself permission to attend to them. Sometimes that means an early night (probably most of the time) but it can also mean trying a really good imperial stout, or going to a yoga class, visiting the sea or curling up under my weighted blanket, listening to Terry Pratchett books or playing with Lego. Five years ago most of those things would have felt indulgent and I wouldn’t have done them, let along talk about them, but the most important thing I’ve learnt since then is that I’m ok and I don’t have to be ashamed of who I am any more.
I can show up as my queer autistic self and tell you about my special interests and the new thing I’ve found that makes life easier. I don’t have to be the person I thought the world wanted me to be, I’m fine as I am and I want to help other people to know that too.