The Peter M. Friedman
Neurodiverse Couples Institute
Training and resources for neurodiverse couples and for the therapists who work with them.
AANE 25th Anniversary Snapshot Neurodiverse Couples Institute
Origin: Facilitating couples and spouses support groups at AANE since 2004, Grace Myhill saw the need for a new approach to treating couples in neurodiverse relationships. In a March 2015 article* Grace, who is now AANE’s Neurodiverse Couple’s Institute Director, and AANE Executive Director Dania Jekel laid out the Myhill-Jekel model for treating neurodiverse couples in therapy.
Program Development: The Neurodiverse Couples Institute was founded in 2016 through a generous grant from the Friedman family, which allowed for the development of online courses to train therapists. Based on the Myhill-Jekel method, online courses Training 101 and Certification 201 launched in Fall 2018. The courses train and certify therapists to recognize and work effectively with neurodiverse couples.
Growth: As of May 2021, 92 therapists have completed Training 101 and 63 have completed Certification 201. A new online course, 101 for Couples, launched in February 2021 and helps couples recognize and understand what it means to be in a neurodiverse relationship. By May 2021, 120 couples have taken the course.
*March 2015 Massachusetts Edition of the National Association of Social Workers newsletter “Focus”
Neurodiverse Couples Institute
Intimate relationships can be hard, but they are especially challenging for neurodiverse couples who have very different perspectives, communication techniques, approaches and skill sets than each other. We offer a variety of resources that take into account these differences, to help improve communication and connection.
A Warm Welcome from Peter M. Friedman
Welcome to the AANE community! We are so glad to have you join us! I am very excited to announce the launch of the Peter M. Friedman Neurodiverse Couples Institute at AANE. When my family and I found the AANE community, we felt like we'd found a home. AANE understands what it's like to be part of a neurodiverse relationship and has over 20 years of experience providing training and consultation to professionals. Having been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome since age 21 (now 51) and having suffered the social backlashes that often accompanies one with AS throughout every stage of my life, my relationship with my wife is incredibly important to me. Therefore, having a therapist who understands and can work effectively with neurodiverse couples (such as my wife and me) is critical to the health and well-being of our marriage. We hope you can find the “home” that my family has found with AANE.
Please feel free to share any feedback, comments and suggestions you may have, so that we can enhance this program to the maximum extent possible.
With love and hope!
Peter M. Friedman
The mission of the Peter M. Friedman Neurodiverse Couples Institute is to increase awareness, support, and resources for neurodiverse couples—in which one or both members has an Asperger/Autism spectrum profile—by providing specialized training for therapists to recognize, understand, and treat this unique population.
The Importance of Support for Neurodiverse Couples
Support for neurodiverse couples and partners is important to help validate and normalize their unique relationships. We offer a variety of different types of services and resources for neurodiverse couples together or for each partner separately.