Autism as a Mode of Being

Contemporary Clinical Approaches to Autism

This workshop introduces a new perspective on autism. This perspective— promoted by many high-functioning autistic people today—describes autism as a unique mode of being in the world rather than a disorder. Viewing autism in this way provides us with a chance to be more sensitive to the wants and needs expressed by autistic people and offers a more effective position from where communication can be established. In the workshop, participants will be granted a glimpse into the world of autistic people through the art and writings created by them. In doing so, a clear distinction between the scientific approach and the actually-autistic approach to autism will be drawn. The goal is to initiate a dialogue revolving around the question of the treatment of autism, discussing a transition from the framework of “curing” to a framework of “caring”. Contemporary clinical approaches to autism will be presented from within a psychoanalytic framework that focuses on the autistic use of language.

Key Outcomes

Participants  will be able  to…

• Establish an understanding of the intricacies of autism.
• Acquire a new perspective on autism, as a mode of being rather than a disorder.
• Engage with art and texts made by autistic people and discussing the ethic and politics of the movement of Neurodiversity.
• Study a facilitative approach that is sensitive to the uniqueness of autistic life.
• Recognize and utilize the strengths of this perspective in the care for autistic children and adults in a clinical, institutional and domestic setting


Many disability caretakers today engage in work with autistic people. Work with autistic children and adults is sometimes very difficult due to communication difficulties and slow therapeutic development. Due to these difficulties, it is very important to acquire a deeper understanding of autism that is sensitive to their perspective. Research shows that caretakers that work with autistic people and have established a deeper and more human understanding of this condition are more successful in facilitating their suffering and enduring the course of treatment. This workshop comes to provides such a perspective based on seven years of academic research on autistic subjectivity. Accordingly, it is relevant for professional caretakers but also to parents and peers of autistic people.

Target Audience

Psychologists, psychotherapists, disability caregivers, practitioners, early childhood teachers, school teachers, parents, high functioning autistic people


  • Brenner, L. S. (2020). The autistic subject: on the threshold of language. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Grandin, T. (2006). Thinking in pictures: my life with autism. New-York: Vintage.
  • Sinclair, J. (1993). Don’t Mourn for us. Our Voice. Autism Network International. Retrieved from


Dr. Leon S. Brenner (Ph.D.) is a psychoanalytic theorist and psychoanalyst from Berlin. Brenner’s work draws from the Freudian and Lacanian traditions of psychoanalysis, and his interest lies in the understanding of the relationship between culture and psychopathology. His book The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language, is a bestseller in psychology in Palgrave/Springer publishing in 2021. He has published several academic papers about autism and promotes a novel approach to the treatment of autism today in many training institutes around the world and online.

Dates and program

November 10 and 11, 2023
November 24 and 25, 2023

The dates are not individually bookable.


Until the end of the 14th day before the start of the event, participation can be canceled by sending an informal e-mail to forbildung(at) In this case the fee will be refunded without deduction. After this date, cancellation is no longer possible.


Participation fees

Standard participation fee including coffee breaks: 600€.

Candidates, students and staff of the IPU Outpatient Clinic 280€.

The above price includes all 4 dates. 

To ensure a good working atmosphere, the number of participants is limited to 25.


Please register by October 27 using the form below:

Registration Form

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at the following e-mail address: fortbildung(at)

Cancellation must be made in writing by the end of the 14th day before the start of the event. Until then, you can cancel your participation free of charge and receive a full refund of the participation fees you have already paid. After the end of the 14th day, a refund is excluded. However, you may nominate a substitute person with the required qualifications to take your place.

We look forward to your participation!