What We Do
Aspergers Partners is a Couples Counseling practice specializing in helping those whose lives have been touched by Asperger’s and Autism. Sally Erickson and Tim Bennett offer both couples and individual counseling, approaching couples from a therapeutic perspective they call “attachment partnering.” Their practice is devoted to those who wish to sustain a long-term relationship, one that supports both partners to find fulfillment and satisfaction, both as individuals and as committed partners.
Sally and Tim are themselves an AS/NS (Aspergers,Autism Spectrum/Neurotypical, Non Spectrum) couple, who over the past fourteen years have figured out how to work as a deeply-connected team. Sally has been in the helping professions as a therapist, counselor, and consultant for over thirty years. She has a graduate degree in Child Development, Family Relations, and Counseling. Tim has been doing personal growth work for twenty-five years, including Landmark Forum seminars, individual therapy, community building, and dialogue training. He received his formal ASD diagnosis in December of 2015. Both are Affiliate Members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
While they happily work with neurotypical couples, they are uniquely suited and interested in helping those committed relationships in which one of the partners falls on the autism spectrum. They are intimately familiar with the ins-and-outs of how patterns of interaction can create disconnection, and how an autistic neurology can make those patterns feel even more difficult to discern and dismantle. When you’re feeling stuck, unsatisfied, overwhelmed, demoralized, helpless, or even ready to call it quits, they may be able to help.
How We Work
Humans are inherently social beings, deeply wired for connection and belonging. In fact, the single biggest predictor of happiness is the quality of a person’s relationships. Threats to our relationships feel like threats to our very survival, and yet relationships seem more difficult and challenging now than ever before. For those on the autism spectrum, the challenges often feel even greater, at times almost impossible.
Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we fail to communicate our needs in a vulnerable way that allows our partner to hear us. Sometimes we react out of old patterns and wounds. And eventually those missed cues, awkward moves, and mistaken communications coalesce into a habitual pattern of interaction, a pattern that pulls people further into disconnection, fear, anger, and blame.
In times of relationship pain, it is understandable that people are prone to put the blame on their partner, but in our experience the true source of the pain is the pattern of interaction itself. We work with couples to first notice, label, and stop the pattern, and then to create a new pattern, a pattern that creates safety rather than argument and defensiveness, a pattern the encourages ever greater levels of vulnerability, trust, and connection. Once reconnected, couples can then meet any new challenge together as true partners, and can begin to fully explore how their relationship can support who they each are, who they are as a couple, and what they are up to in the world.
Thank your for visiting our website. We know it can feel difficult to seek therapy or coaching, and to ask for help.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -Rumi