Spotlight on Aaron

“Hi, I’m Aaron. I started my placement with the AoC Trust in Dudley within the admin department in December 2019, but I’m now a qualified therapist.

Before I started at the AoC, I wanted to be a plumber, as in my mind, this job meant that I could be handy, and it wouldn’t matter if I struggled to talk to people. But after working at the AoC for a while, talking to people as part of my admin role, I was offered the opportunity to study as a therapist.

Becoming a therapist  

As I began level one, the training explored speaking to people, so I found it interesting, and it helped me to talk to people and work on eye contact, which I struggled with. At this point, I thought, if this can help me so much, maybe there’s more to it – maybe I could help other people like me. I wanted to learn more.

My studies were so interesting that any thoughts of being a plumber disappeared as my confidence grew and knowledge increased, so I progressed to levels two, three, and four – finally graduating in January 2022.

Therapy for those with autism

When training to be a therapist, you have work placements to understand how therapy can help people and the professional standards you must uphold. And it was my work with people with autism that decided my specialist areas to study further, those attached to autism, like eating disorders.

Eating disorders are prevalent for those living with autism, and it’s often overlooked. It could be things like anorexia or bulimia, but sometimes, disordered eating can occur because of sensory issues in the textures they can have. But it’s sometimes psychological, like, maybe there’s rigidity around how much they need to weigh or how many calories they take in because they are more rigid thinkers anyway. It can be more challenging to treat and change the way of thinking.

I’ve also decided to specialise in compulsive sexual behaviour, which is sometimes seen with autism. Compulsive sexual behaviour is characterised by having compulsions to act out sexually and an inability to stop or reduce the behaviour and the continuing into behaviour even when it’s not pleasurable, so you’re still compelled to do it, even when there’s not a reward.

I’m studying for another diploma in neurodiversity, eating disorders, and disordered eating. And when I’m not studying, I enjoy Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.”

Call 01384211168 if you would like to discuss a therapy session with Aaron. Aaron uses many techniques, including talking therapy (CBT) and art-based methods.