Is CBT good for Autistic people?

This is a question that until recently would have been a “yes!” from experts. Newer research has suggested that that may not be the case.

“We fundamentally need to ask ourselves: If it’s working, then whom is it working for?” says study lead Shivani Sharma, head of the psychology division at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. “Because it’s really odd that there’s such a difference between the clinician ratings, the parent ratings, and then the person themselves, their own rating.”

I have read in books, forums, and articles about CBT not being as effective for autistics but haven’t come across an easy to digest explanation. Now there is one! This is a great video about CBT and WHY it’s not always good for us, from someone I consider a great Actually Autistic advocate. Seriously go check out is youTube channel: Autism From The Inside


Not long ago I was contacted about AbleTo, an online mental health & coaching services my insurance is contracted with. I humored the woman on the line and let her go through her spiel while I did a little research. On their website I saw that it mainly utilizes CBT.

After explaining that I am recently diagnosed autistic and that CBT is not always helpful for us, I asked her if CBT was the only method employed. This was a question she was not prepared for. She put me on hold to talk to her supervisors and came back with the non-answer that the therapists were trained in multiple methods. Though she could not answer the question on if other modalities were actually employed. I thanked her for her time and said that I would do my own research and call back if I felt like AbleTo would be good for me.

For those interested, AbleTo does not seem to be any more effective than other online therapy services, like Better Help, but it is covered by some insurances. Nothing I saw in my very quick research suggested that it was good for autistics. I won’t be calling them back as I am more than satisfied with my current therapist. There do seem to be plenty of people out there who feel satisfied by virtual therapy and I am not against using these services. Especially if obtaining quality professional help in-person is challenging.

*Disclaimer* I have never used an online/virtual therapy service. I would be curious to hear from #actuallyautistic people that have used these services. If you have used them please share your experiences!