On-Demand Course: Lost Connections: The Relationship Between Interoception and Masking

$79.00 USD

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This live course includes:

  • 2-hours live instruction with Kieran & Kelly (approximately 90 minutes of content + 30 minutes of Q&A)
  • 180 Days unlimited access to the recorded version
  • Access to 3 exclusive downloadable handouts
  • Personalized certificate of completion

Course Description:

If you want to learn about the important intersection of masking and interoception, this interactive course is a great place to start. Masking refers to a safety response in which a person is driven to project an acceptable version of who they are in order to survive the world. Once considered to be a conscious, purposeful process of doing things on purpose to ‘fit in’, latest science and lived experience proves that masking is an automatic trauma response to stigma, invalidation and marginalization. Masking is a human behavior. All humans behave a little differently dependent on contexts and experiences, but for marginalized groups, particularly those who experience stigma and a lack of safety for extended periods across the lifespan and from an early age, like with Autistic people; we see safety seeking behavior become embedded, meaning there is a significant impact on both identity development, bodily connection and mental health. From early in life, the ND child is often stigmatized, pathologized and punished for how they think, feel, communicate, move, behave, interpret sensory information, develop, play and even down to how and what they eat. Every aspect of being ND is invalidated by the world around them and often directly to their faces. There is hope! This course will cover the impact of masking on interoception and the felt experience; how we can begin to use affirming supports to cultivate felt safety and authentic expression of self; and how we can help clients to slowly (re) connect to their bodies via a process of exploration and validation. Several practical strategies for nurturing interoceptive awareness will be shared.

What you’ll learn:

  • What is masking? What is interoception? What is the intersection between these two topics?
  • The latest scientific research and lived experiences that shed light on masking as an automatic trauma response to stigma, invalidation, and marginalization, rather than a conscious choice.
  • Understand the relationship between masking and interoception, specifically how masking can lead to dissociation from one’s internal needs for safety, regulation, and comfort
  • The relationship between masking, interoception and alexithymia
  • Common outcomes of prolonged masking, such as burnout, alexithymia, self-harm, and poor mental health, and the need for inside-out, trauma-informed supports to address these experiences.
  • Explore affirming supports and strategies to cultivate felt safety and authentic self-expression, with a focus on reconnecting with their bodies and internal experiences.
  • Learn practical strategies for nurturing interoceptive awareness and supporting clients in the process of (re)connecting with their bodies and honoring their inner needs.

Who this course is for:

  • You are serving clients of any age that might be masking (or have a high probability of masking given their experience in the current world)
  • You are an Occupational Therapy Practitioner, Speech and Language Pathologist, Mental Health Provider, Educator or Caregiver who wants to help clients be better understood and supported
  • You want to remain on the cutting edge of practice and serve in ways that are in line with the most current science and lived experience
  • You want to feel empowered with information you can use to create buy-in for a modern, affirming approach that supports a person in being their authentic self
  • You are someone that masks or has in the past, who wants to understand the most current and affirming supports available in the field

So, who are we?:

KieranMore about Kieran: With a background in education, Kieran Rose is an Autistic international public speaker who provides consultancy to Autism-related organizations globally, advising on policy, services and practice. A faculty member for the US-based non-profit: The STAR Institute, a world-leading organization in Occupational Therapy practice and research; he is also an Honorary Research Associate with the University of Sunderland. Kieran delivers various specialist Autism training online and in-person to Autistic people, parents and carers, academics, and professionals across the world, focused on deconstructing and reframing the autism narrative. Specializing in the relationship between stigma, mental health and identity development in Autistic people, Kieran has co-authored ground-breaking academic papers on Autistic Masking, Interpersonal Victimisation, and Intimate Partner Violence; and is currently working on studies looking at monotropism; mental health practice; Autistic burnout; and suicidality. You can find out more about Kieran’s work and Kieran’s bestselling latest book here:

Kelly MahlerMore about Kelly Mahler: I earned a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University, Dallas, PA and have been an occupational therapist for 20 years, serving school-aged children and adults. I’m winner of multiple awards including the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Emerging and Innovative Practice Award & a Mom’s Choice Gold Medal. I am an international speaker and enjoy presenting on topics related to the twelve resources I’ve authored including:

Additional information

Course Credits:

AOTA Course, On-Demand