Dear Past, Thanks for all the lessons.

Dear Future, I'm ready to kick ass.

FlowArt Therapy is a group collective practice established in 2016, and owned by Misty Gibson, PhD, LMHC, LCPC, LCPAT, ATR-BC, CST, ACS, ATCS, NCC, BC-TMH. FlowArt Therapy's focus is on serving the mental health needs of neurodivergent and queer folx, and Dr. Misty has a specialization in Sex Therapy (she is an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist!).

All therapists in our practice are trained and competent in working with folx who are in open relationships, polyamorous, and relationship anarchists, as well as folx in the BDSM community, under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Misty.

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Unmasking Neurodivergence in Adults: A Journey to Authentic Living

March 18, 20243 min read

Unmasking Neurodivergence in Adults: A Journey to Authentic Living

LAdy MAsk

Unmasking, the process of revealing one’s authentic self by shedding societal expectations and behaviors that hide true identity, is particularly resonant for neurodivergent adults. For many, years of camouflaging their neurodivergence—be it ADHD, autism, or another form of neurodiversity—have been a survival strategy in a world that often prioritizes conformity. This blog aims to guide neurodivergent individuals through the unmasking process, fostering a journey towards authentic living.

Understanding Unmasking

Unmasking is more than just stopping a behavior; it’s about embracing your true self and allowing your neurodivergent traits to be seen and valued. It involves recognizing the masks you’ve worn—perhaps being overly agreeable, suppressing stimming behaviors, or forcing yourself into uncomfortable social situations—and gently letting them go.

Why Unmask?

The decision to unmask is deeply personal but comes with several benefits. It can lead to increased self-esteem, better mental health, and more authentic relationships. When you stop expending energy on hiding your true self, you have more resources to invest in your passions, relationships, and personal growth.

Steps to Unmasking

  • Self-Reflection: Begin by identifying the ways you mask your neurodivergence. Understanding what you hide and why can help clarify what aspects of your authentic self you’d like to reclaim.

  • Educate Yourself and Others: Learning about neurodiversity can empower you and help others understand your journey. Education fosters empathy, making unmasking a shared experience rather than a solitary struggle.

  • Seek Support: Find communities, either online or in-person, where neurodivergence is understood and celebrated. Support from others who have gone through or are going through the unmasking process can be invaluable.

  • Set Boundaries: Learning to say no and setting boundaries are crucial aspects of unmasking. They protect your energy and create the space needed for you to be your authentic self.

  • Take Small Steps: Unmasking doesn’t happen overnight. Start with small changes in safe environments and gradually extend these to more challenging contexts.

  • Embrace Self-Care: Unmasking can be emotionally taxing. Prioritize self-care practices that replenish your energy and reinforce your sense of self.

  • Celebrate Your Neurodivergence: Find joy in the traits and perspectives that your neurodivergence brings. Embracing your unique way of interacting with the world is at the heart of unmasking.

Challenges and Considerations

While unmasking can be liberating, it’s not without its challenges. Social stigma, misunderstanding, and the potential for rejection are real concerns. It’s important to weigh the benefits and risks in different areas of your life, like work, family, and social circles. Remember, unmasking is a personal choice and journey; it’s okay to choose when, where, and with whom to share your authentic self.

Intersectionality and Unmasking

For neurodivergent individuals within the LGBTQIA+, polyamorous, and kink communities, unmasking can intersect with other aspects of identity. The process may involve navigating multiple layers of self-discovery and acceptance. Embracing your full identity, including neurodivergence and sexual or relationship orientations, is a powerful step toward living authentically.


Unmasking neurodivergence is a courageous step towards living authentically. It’s a deeply personal journey that can enhance your quality of life, relationships, and sense of self. By embracing your neurodivergent traits and removing the masks you’ve worn, you open the door to a life where you can be truly seen and valued for who you are. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and there’s a vibrant community ready to support you every step of the way.

Misty Gibson, PhD

Dr. Misty Gibson holds a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, and LMHC and LCPC as practicing licenses, as well as the certifications of ATR-BC, ATCS, ACS, and CST.

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About Dr. Misty Gibson

Dr. Misty began the practice as a solo venture in 2016. Over the years of working solo, she realized that the niche population that she serves needed more specialized mental health care than Dr. Misty could provide alone. In 2018 Dr. Misty made the decision to expand the practice into a group collective, inviting interns and associates to join her in practicing clinical mental health and sex therapy for humans who are neurodivergent, queer, polyamorous, and kinky.

Over the years, Dr. Misty has trained many students, interns, and associates in competent, compassionate, and consent-based therapy, using a relational-cultural approach to therapy. To be included as a therapist at FlowArt Therapy, It is imperative that all therapists are sex-positive and neurodivergent informed, and are willing to continue to further their education in sex-positive, consent-based, and neurodivergent friendly methods. Dr. Misty has evolved her practice into a collectively operating teaching practice, where she models and trains the therapists closely in these focused methods.

Together with her colleague and business partner, Michell Brockman, Dr. Misty is working on expanding the reach of FlowArt. They're working on bringing on-demand learning opportunities to the general public and to clinical mental health practitioners about the intersection of neurodivergence and queer identities, through FlowArt Academy and the Neurosparkly podcast.

What's On

Check out the things we are working on within FlowArt and beyond!

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Listen to Our Podcast!

Our podcast is funny, insightful, and genuine, and we'd love it if you check it out! Neurosparkly publishes a new episode every week where we share our thoughts and have great conversations & guests!

On Demand Courses

The courses on FlowArt Academy are focused on topics for neurodivergent and queer folx and the people who love them. We provide great learning to bring awareness and support for neurodivergent/queer/adjacent identities.

Baby Therapists


Dr. Misty's pet project, Baby Therapists provides training for therapists interested in starting their own private practices with special focus on neurodivergent therapists from grad school and beyond.

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