We recognise that neurodivergent individuals face unique challenges in a society that often values neurotypical traits. That's why our approach focuses on helping you regain balance in a world that was not made for you.
Our therapy sessions are eclectic, client-led, and dynamically evolving. We offer a safe, supportive, and confidential environment in which we can explore your neurodivergence and move towards your desired goals.
Neurodiversity Support Groups
Our support groups are structured around education, reflection, mutual support, and evolve dynamically with group participants. They also provide a safe and welcoming space for you to connect with others who share similar experiences. We do not place expectations on communication or participation.
Neudle's director, Dr Joey Lawrence, has spent years hyperfocusing and developing this approach based on expert knowledge, the latest research, and her own lived experience. We're passionate about making our assessments accessible to as many people as possible, as we believe in the positive outcomes that come with deeply understanding one's neurodiversity.
Our therapeutic assessments are tailored to each client's unique needs. Whether you're seeking a diagnosis, support in navigating life with neurodivergence, or strategies for personal growth and development, we're here to help.
Please read our FAQs below for more information on what to expect from our therapeutic assessments and how to get started.
Please note that the following section aims to describe a conventional assessment process in a typical psychology practice. Neudle does things differently, read on to find out more about our innovative approach.
A conventional psychological assessment is a testing method that psychologists use to determine a diagnosis. A diagnosis can be used for many things, including by the client to form a greater understanding of themselves, by a psychologist to inform therapy and/or treatment, or to assist in accessing practical supports such as NDIS or DSP.
The psychologist will assess the client using a combination of standardised tests and questionnaires, structured interviews, evaluation of school or medical records, observational data, and the like. In many ways, this assessment process is similar to a medical test.
Conventional assessments usually work to diagnose only one condition at a time, such as ADHD or autism. Often, if multiple conditions were to be assessed, the client would have to undertake separate assessments and pay accordingly. Besides the additional cost, this assessment method is problematic as it does not use a holistic approach to acknowledge that many conditions are interlinked and/or co-occurring, or consider 'masked' neurodivergent profiles and people who don't fit neurotypical ideologies.
It is Neudle's opinion that conventional assessments and the testing methods used are not neurodiversity-affirming, and they do not consider the various ways in which neurodivergence can present itself in different people. As such, this traditional approach is quickly becoming outdated as the understanding of neurodivergence and affirming-practice evolves rapidly.
At Neudle, we use an assessment model called Collaborative / Therapeutic Assessment, or simply, Therapeutic Assessment. As the name suggests, our assessments are based on a therapeutic approach and collaboration with the client throughout the process. This approach is a legitimate method of assessment and is founded in contemporary research.
In contrast to the rigid approach of a conventional assessment, we use neurodiversity-affirming therapy sessions as the foundation of our assessment. The therapeutic relationship created in these sessions helps us form a comprehensive and holistic understanding of our clients, in addition to providing a therapeutic outcome to the client.
Following therapy sessions, our assessments do use standardised tests but often with increased flexibility in comparison to a conventional assessment. This is to better understand our clients, and help them identify alternative ways of approaching typical problem situations. In short, our clients' needs come first, and the tests come second.
Our goal is to understand our clients in all their complexity, rather than simply labelling them. All information gained in the assessment is considered a powerful tool to help our clients understand themselves, and the therapeutic process provides numerous opportunities for discussion about neurodivergence and the clients' particular situation.
At Neudle, we believe that our therapeutic assessment offers many benefits over a conventional assessment approach. While traditionally assessment focuses on diagnosis and categorisation, our therapeutic assessment emphasises understanding and collaboration. This approach puts clients in the driver's seat and empowers them to actively participate in the assessment process.
Research has shown that therapeutic assessment can lead to a range of positive outcomes for clients, such as decreased mental health symptoms, decreased distress, increased self-esteem, and improved relationship functioning. In addition, therapeutic assessment can help clients to better understand themselves, their strengths, and their challenges. By focusing on the individual needs of each client, therapeutic assessment can also lead to more personalised and effective treatment plans.
Overall, therapeutic assessment offers a more client-centered and holistic approach to assessment, and can lead to improved outcomes and a better overall experience for clients. These benefits and more are presented in the book "Collaborative / Therapeutic Assessment: A Casebook and Guide" by Stephen E. Finn, Constance T. Fischer, and Leonard Handler.
Yes, our therapeutic assessment can provide an official diagnosis. Our process includes all of the necessary steps for arriving at a diagnosis, but with a greater focus on therapeutic outcomes and the client's experience.
In traditional assessments, the emphasis may be on identifying a specific diagnosis and providing recommendations based solely on that diagnosis. In contrast, in a therapeutic assessment, clients are actively involved in the process and are seen as experts on their own experiences. The focus is on understanding the client's unique needs and developing a collaborative plan that takes into account their strengths and challenges. This can result in a more accurate and useful diagnosis, as well as providing the client with a greater sense of agency and ownership in the process.
Neudle's therapeutic assessment provides clients with the opportunity to engage in a therapeutic process that aims to improve their well-being. This helps clients navigate and explore their neurodivergence, provides specific strategies and guidance to manage related challenges, and assists clients in integrating an understanding of themselves in a way that supports their overall mental health. This approach acknowledges our clients' unique experiences and perspectives, and empowers them to take an active role in the assessment and therapeutic process.
Neudle's director, Dr Joey Lawrence, developed this method of therapeutic assessment following her experience working with clients who had undergone traditional neuropsychological assessments for acquired brain injury. She identified that the assessment process had the potential to be transformative, allowing clients to process trauma and integrate new information into their identity. This inspired her to explore new models of assessment that could be therapeutic, leading her to discover CTA (collaborative / therapeutic assessment) which she has now been successfully working with for a number of years.
Dr Joey's personal experience of receiving assessments for ADHD, autism, and giftedness has also informed Neudle's therapeutic assessment approach. To provide a more supportive and empowering assessment experience for neurodivergent individuals, Dr Joey has integrated her lived experience perspective and what would have helped during her own assessments. Additionally, Dr Joey has recognised the high rates of trauma in neurodivergent people, especially in high-masking adults, and found that many of her neurodivergent clients needed a therapeutic model to stabilise them before assessment.
Neudle's therapeutic assessment is essentially therapy with optional assessment and documentation. Whether the assessment process is undertaken in addition to therapy is dependent on the client and what their goals are, which are discussed and determined with us from the beginning.
The therapy sessions are essential, they are a standalone service and there is no obligation to engage the formal assessment process. Therapy sessions may be sufficient for those clients who, for example, wish to form an understanding of themselves, work through potential neurodivergence-related trauma, and develop support strategies to help them move forward. Through sessions alone, we may be able to provide an indication for whether the criteria is met for a range of neurodivergent conditions.
The formal assessment process is reliant on the therapy sessions, and can only be undertaken once an adequate number of sessions are completed and a comprehensive understanding of the client has been formed by the clinician. The assessment process is what provides an official diagnosis, along with documentation that can be used to help advocate and access practical supports.
Our assessment process is designed to be collaborative and tailored to your individual needs. It begins with an initial meeting where we get to know you and your goals for the assessment. From there, we work together to create a plan that outlines the number of sessions you may need, if formal assessment is required, and what documentation may be beneficial.
Throughout the assessment process, we aim to create a safe and supportive space where you can explore your neurodivergent experiences and any related challenges you may be facing. We use a variety of assessment tools to measure factors such as masking, adaptive functioning, social functioning, executive functioning, and mental health, among others.
We understand that this can be a sensitive issue, so we make sure to take things at a pace that feels comfortable for you. You are under no obligation to continue with us after any number of sessions, and you are free to stop at any time. If you need formal documentation of your diagnosis, we can provide this on request and can also correspond with other health professionals to confirm your diagnosis if needed.
As a general guide, we suggest a minimum of three therapy sessions are required. However, our assessment process is tailored to your unique needs and circumstances, so the number of sessions required may vary.
During the first session, we will discuss your goals and work collaboratively to develop a plan that accommodates your needs. This may include identifying the number sessions for assessment, along with any ongoing sessions you may require, or providing you with appropriate referrals for ongoing support if necessary.
We understand the importance of a formal diagnosis for some individuals, and we are happy to provide diagnosis via assessment if applicable. It's important to note that we cannot guarantee a specific outcome before engaging in the therapeutic assessment, as every individual's situation and needs are unique.
However, we also respect and validate the choice to self-diagnose and will work through this with our clients during therapy sessions. We believe in a collaborative assessment process and will always prioritise our clients' needs and preferences.
The usefulness of a formal diagnosis can vary from person to person. For some, having a comprehensive report can make it easier to understand and come to terms with their neurodivergent experience. Others may need a formal diagnosis in order to advocate for specific supports or accommodations, such as disability accommodations or specialised therapy. Diagnosis can also be validating, as it may help others acknowledge and understand.
It's important to consider that a formal diagnosis may also lead to discrimination in some situations, so it's important to weigh the potential risks and benefits. We are here to help our clients work through the options and make the best decision for their individual situation.
Yes, after undergoing the full assessment process, it may be possible to access NDIS or other practical supports.
Access to NDIS requires meeting the eligibility criteria and having appropriate supporting documentation. Neudle can assist with this process by providing a functional capacity assessment to inform the NDIS of any disability impacts and support needs. We can also help our clients prepare for the planning meeting, assist with deciding what supports are needed, and obtaining and reviewing those supports.
In addition to the NDIS, there may be other supports available. We can help explore and access these supports, such as counselling, therapy, and other resources. It's important to note that support needs vary from person to person, so we work with each individual to identify their unique needs and tailor our services accordingly.
We understand that cost is an important consideration for most of our clients. And we recognise that mental health care is underfunded in Australia, which results in appropriate supports being difficult to access. Neudle endeavours to keep our costs to a minimum where possible, in addition to providing flexible service options that can be tailored to suit specific needs and financial capacities.
The base cost is attending a minimum of three therapy sessions with us. You may require or want more, which can be determined during the intake session. All assessment-specific documentation is charged separately to therapy sessions. For example this includes documentation such as a report to provide a formal diagnosis, or a letter to support an NDIS application.
We believe in being transparent about our pricing, and you can find more information about our fees on our pricing page. We can provide more information on the costs of these services during your initial consultation, or please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Yes, if you have a Mental Health Care Plan, you may be eligible for rebates on up to 10 therapy sessions per calendar year. This is available through Medicare and can reduce the cost of sessions significantly.
If you have private health insurance, you may also be eligible for rebates. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to confirm what you are covered for.
Our team at Neudle can help you navigate these options to ensure you are receiving the maximum support available to you.
We offer a range of assessment documentation to support you in better understanding your neurodivergence and to help you access appropriate services and support.
Our diagnostic documentation includes a letter confirming your diagnoses, recommendations, and suggested accommodations, as well as the results from all measures completed. This is signed by Dr Joey Lawrence and can be used as formal evidence of diagnosis.
Functional capacity documentation is suitable for clients who have an identified disability and are seeking access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), or need an NDIS review. This documentation evaluates your functional capacity and provides evidence of your disability and support needs. It includes a report to support your NDIS application, and like our diagnostic documentation, includes the results from all measures completed.
If you're looking for more personalised information beyond our diagnostic and functional capacity assessments, we offer a Personalised Report service. We will qualitatively describe your experience of neurodivergence and can comment on any construct you're interested in learning more about. This report may cover concepts not covered in the DSM / medical model such as monotropism, double empathy, giftedness, PDA (persistent drive for autonomy), RSD (rejection sensitive dysphoria), over-excitabilities, and positive disintegration. This report is intended for your own understanding and is not required for diagnosis recognition.
Additionally, we can provide additional documentation upon request, such as Disability Support Pension letters or documentation, letters for your employer or education provider, and other advocacy letters.
A psychiatrist will need to conduct an assessment and prescribe medication. Unfortunately, as a psychology practice, we are unable to provide ADHD medication, and our assessments will not grant access to ADHD medication.
Besides our Support Groups, we are unable to provide our services to those who reside outside of Australia.