All Things Private Practice Podcast for Therapists

Episode 144: Enhancing Neurodiversity-Affirming Events and Inclusive Care [featuring Molly Herold & Reese Ramponi]

Show Notes

In this episode, Patrick Casale talks with Molly Herold and Reese Ramponi about the essential practices for creating neurodiversity-affirming environments in retreat and event settings as well as in clinical spaces.

Here are 3 key takeaways:

  1. Intentional Support Structures: Emphasized the importance of having dedicated support and decompression strategies at events to ensure sustainability and avoid burnout. Patrick shared how his neurotypical retreat co-host manages social interactions, creating a balanced dynamic.
  2. Neurodiversity-Affirming Practices: Molly and Reese detailed the creation of a neurodiversity-affirming training course for ADHD diagnosis and evaluation. They stressed the urgency to bridge gaps in understanding and support, offering comprehensive education to mental health professionals.
  3. Strategic Event Planning: From selecting event locations and vendors to providing sensory-friendly environments, intentionality plays a critical role in ensuring the comfort and security of neurodivergent individuals.

More about Molly and Reese:

Molly Herold is a white, nonbinary queer mental health therapist in private practice living on unceded Cherokee East land outside of Asheville, NC. As a therapist, Molly specializes in intersectional identity exploration, with a focus on trans/nonbinary folks, folks who’ve experienced trauma and neurodivergent people.

Reese Ramponi (they/them) is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner providing queer and neurodiversity-affirming evaluations, group therapy, and psychiatry to their clients in a community health setting for over 5 years. In addition to their full-time work, Reese supports the development, design, and implementation of multiple courses for NeuroAbundant, LLC, and is a ketamine-assisted therapist. Reese is dedicated to creating accessible, collaborative spaces where clients are given agency to make informed decisions about their health.

NeuroAbundant came from my desire to connect with and support neurodivergent people outside of the therapy room. It’s a true labor of love and it combines many of my nerdiest special interests including AuDHD coaching, writing, collective collaboration, social justice, art, teaching & facilitating, the magic of shared identity group work, well-organized travel and adventure!


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PATRICK CASALE: Hey, everyone. You are listening to another episode of the All Things Private Practice podcast. I'm your host Patrick Casale. I'm joined today by Molly Herold and Reese Ramponi. I hope I said that right, Reese. I'm sorry if I didn't.

Molly is a white non-binary queer mental health therapist in private practice, outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Molly specializes in intersectional identity exploration with a focus on trans non-binary folks and folks who have experienced trauma and neurodivergent people.

Reese, they/them is a psychiatric nurse practitioner providing queer and neurodiversity affirming evaluations, group therapy, and psychiatry to the clients and community health setting for over five years and have created together, Molly owns a company called NeuroAbundant where you're doing neurodiversion affirming retreats. You two are collaborating on courses, trainings, assessment trainings, deep dives into neurodivergence and neurodivergent affirming care.

I don't know if I just botched all that. But anyway, if there's anything either of you want to add to that, please feel free. But I'm happy to have you on here and happy to have this conversation.

REESE RAMPONI: I think you nailed it. Thanks, Patrick.

PATRICK CASALE: You're welcome. So, you two are kind of in the midst of being ready to host your second retreat. I think you have one in Alaska coming up right? In August. And I think it's fascinating, you know, as someone who hosts a lot of retreats to see retreats hosted by neurodivergent humans, and specifically, for neurodivergent people. And we can get to the assessments and the trainings, too. But I really think this is a really awesome thing to talk about.

So, can you both, just tell me a little bit about how this came to be. And how you two kind of started working together?

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, I'm [INDISCERNIBLE 00:02:47] on the internet, and a group that doesn't exist anymore, but some that have come to replace it for therapists supporting neurodiversity.

And Reese and I just have a lot in common. And I reached out to them and was like, "Hey, can you teach me about ADHD evaluations of assessment, this is something I've been curious about for a long time and want to offer to my clients." And they started just kind of consulting with me, and that friendship grew. And we kind of continued to want to collaborate on larger and larger projects.

Mainly, we've been doing these courses, but I think it's also come to my attention that like, we need a place to play, and reset, and reconnect. And I think that's a big missing piece in like neurodivergent professional experience.

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah, and since I'm working in a community health setting, in my kind of day job meeting Molly was pretty inspiring to me because I was doing all these, like, trainings and things outside. And Molly's like, "Yeah, like you can make some of that your life. Like, you don't always have to work inside the system."

So, getting involved and getting to go to be a speaker at the first NeuroAbundant retreat last year was just such a cool experience.

And when Molly was like, "Let's do the next one in Alaska, let's collaborate on this." I was like, "Absolutely." Because I'm from Alaska. So, it's also kind of bringing it home for me.

PATRICK CASALE: I love that. Yeah, that's great. And I love when collaborations take place like this, where you didn't know each other, you have common interests, you start to, like, spend more time communicating and say like, wow, this is someone I really want to spend more time with, not just personally but professionally. And this can turn into a really fantastic partnership too. And we can create such cool things together. So, really awesome on that regard.

You have the Alaska one coming up. Talk to us a little bit about your first retreat experience and like, how and why did this develop into what it's developed, Molly?

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, I think there's a bit of a trouble with like, regular conference-type spaces. I'm sure you've been to lots of conferences that are like, kind of stuffy, like certain expectations. There's just like a lot of things that happen that I knew that I could offer a different space for people to explore and be authentic. Like, basically, just heavily masked experiences. Like, many places encourage people to kind of perpetuate neurotypical communication norms. And like, I just knew I can create an intentional space around conversations around unmasking and kind of, like, naming what we're experiencing in it.

Yeah, like group dynamics, transparency, those are other things we thought a lot about, especially, for this retreat. Thinking about like, folks who are attending before this last retreat, and then, are coming to the new one. And like wanting to integrate people and make sure that everyone feels comfortable getting to know each other. And kind of creating like long-term community that builds and builds over time. Sometimes you've experienced that, like, ADHD magic have just like you just click immediately. Sometimes it's, like, important to support that, right?

Yeah, I'm going to pass it over Reese. Maybe Reese can help me say a couple more of these things.

REESE RAMPONI: That just made me think, I think, there's so much like beauty in the, like, neurodivergent connection. Like, the similar communication patterns, all these things. And I even forget that sometimes it's still not easy, even with a neurotype to connect. And that it's going to feel awkward sometimes. And it's going to feel weird. And I'm really excited to build a space that's, like, intentional around, you know, we're having a virtual get-together beforehand so that folks who've been there before, and new folks can like get to know each other a little bit and to be really thoughtful about thinking about all the past retreat, conference experiences that me, and Molly, and the people we've spoken to have had and how we can, like, fine-tune things for our people to meet their needs.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I love that. I think the intentionality is huge, especially, when you're hosting events, and especially, when you're working with people with really sensitive sensory systems and systems, in general. And really making sure people feel comfortable and supported.

Yeah, Molly, like you said, I've been to several conferences, summits, trainings where I'm just so bored or like, so stir crazy, I can't sit still. I end up leaving 99% of the time. And it's more like this romanticized idea of, "Oh, yeah, I can participate in this." And then, I get there. And I'm like, "No, there's, there's absolutely no way I can just sit here for hours at a time and like, not get up and not pace, and not stim, and not move around." So, it just doesn't work for me.

And I think that, you know, with all the retreats that we are hosting, Jennifer and I, and myself, trying really hard to incorporate the best of both worlds in that regard because without giving permission to people to actually take care of their systems, that's where a lot of high masking comes into play, right? Where people are like sitting there, and they're like clenching their fists, and they're like, doing their best to try to like, make eye contact, and show up, and pay attention. And I'm like, this does not work for me. I cannot ask people to do the same thing.

So, I really love that you're intentionally creating that. I love the idea of having the Zoom call before the event so that people can kind of get acclimated, drop in, especially, for those who are returning guests because, for me, we have people who have come to six, seven, eight retreats now out of the last three years. It's become very tight-knit. But you have to find ways to integrate people who maybe this is their first experience, maybe this is their first travel experience by themselves, and are probably feeling quite overwhelmed. So, I love that.

And it sounds like you all are really trying to be as intentional as you can be, in terms of everything that you're creating.

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah, and I love I love the opportunity to because I know I've gone to some retreats or things and I was confused because I'm like, "I feel like I'm missing something, like…" And then, I recognize, oh, they already know each other. They did this last year together. I'm coming in from the outside. I realized that on day three, and it's taken up so much of my mental energy. So, I'm excited to be able to be like, "Hey, folks, you are the new ones, that might feel a little bit weird. And welcome."

MOLLY HEROLD: Yep. Just naming it. Yeah, there's a lot of things that if you just name it suddenly becomes a lot easier to like, integrate, and work into things.

PATRICK CASALE: Oh, absolutely. I think it's a huge, crucial component, especially, when you're working with the neurodivergent community, like be transparent, disclose, be very intentional about your communication, and set expectations that way. And also, name, the awkwardness, and the uncomfortability, and the anxiety that comes with travel, and being in social groups and settings in situations where you are going to be out of your comfort zone a little bit, right?

Like, when I travel as much as I do, I'm still unbelievably uncomfortable. Like, with big transitions, with different environments, trying to fall asleep in new places, which, basically, doesn't happen. So, there are lots of ways to support each other in these environments where you can try as hard as you can to just name the stuff, support throughout, and offer that guidance and it sounds like you're creating something really unique and really special right now.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, absolutely. I think also just like offering more information, I think you, like, mentioned that earlier in this conversation, but just like having information available. I know that's been a big thing for me, like attending places far away, and like traveling or going to a conference, just like not knowing where to park, like, just like the regular small stuff that, like, really breaks a lot of our brains. If it's front-loaded and offered. And then, also, like continuously offering the opportunity to like, ask questions, check in, email me, that kind of thing, just being really readily available to support people.

And then, yeah, you mentioned like being bored. So, that's another thing we're trying to definitely solve. Like, being able to be able to move, encouraged, to move, and then, take sensory breaks. Like, we're definitely working that into the schedule the whole time, being really considerate about allowing for downtime and that nothing is mandatory that everything is an invitation. And that like, you're not going to miss out on something crucial if you need to go take some time in your room alone to reset.

And also, like, there's kind of a high expectation with neurodivergent people because like, we're all super nerds, right? So, like, that's the other thing I think our retreats are offering is just, like, this deep dive into whatever it is that Resse, and I, and the world kind of wants to get into, you know? This opportunity to, like get really, really close to material. Yeah, we're trying to, like, think about different themes we want to offer for different retreats. And I think, definitely, this year, a major focus has been kind of like decolonization of the work that we're doing, right? And how the neurodiversity movement intersects with tons and tons of other really important and necessary, like social movements. And yeah, just grateful to have speakers that are really excited about talking about that stuff.

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah, I actually had a thought on that, too. I feel like I've seen kind of like, a bit of a siloing of the neurodiversity movement, and sometimes a recreation of the wheel. And I think we can improve and like, efforts to be intersectional, and recognize what like values we share, and what methods have already been developed through frameworks of disability justice, anti-racism, decolonization, and healing justice instead of recreating these things, like where do they already exist? What other movements can we connect with?

So, I think for that reason, the retreats like a bit of a double focus, like how do you exist and thrive as a neurodivergent business builder? And how is that process intersectionally tied to like, our shared movement towards collective liberation, and all these other movements?

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, that's powerful stuff, for sure. And so many of us are so deeply involved with our values and the things that we find really important. So, I think being able to do those deep dives in a setting that feels unique, where you're having new stimulation, new environment, new things to take in and process with new people that can be really exciting, especially, for the AuDHD folks like ourselves, where it's like, "Oh, the ADHD part really loves all this." And then, the autistic part for me would be like, "Okay, but I do need all those decompression breaks, I do need like the structure, I do need to be able to, like, have certain expectations."

So, finding the best of both worlds has always been the thing that I'm trying to aim for as well. And trying to find that balance, especially, in event settings. And that brings me to a point where like, as hosts in general, how do you all experience that throughout? Because for me, I just got done hosting five retreats in five months, and that is way too much. I will never do that again to myself. Lesson learned, knew it going in.

But I noticed, you know, for myself, how often I need to step away as the host or co-host. And I mean that in the beginning. Like, I probably will not be involved in everything that we have on the schedule, I'm going to take breaks to reset my system, I'm going to take breaks to kind of sensory soothe, and I encourage you all to do the same. So, how has that been for you to, you know, in one setting so far and going into the second?

REESE RAMPONI: Can I go first?

MOLLY HEROLD: Okay, cool. Yeah, you can go first.

REESE RAMPONI: Going to Molly's retreat, like, last year as a speaker. And, like, the first thing I noticed was, like, how much you were doing, Molly. And then, so as soon as Molly was like, "Let's collaborate." I was like, "Okay, we need to have one person that is full-time there just to, like, help us out with some of the small things. And Molly was like, "Are you sure?" And I was like, "Absolutely. I'm 100% sure because I don't want to be doing as many things as you were doing."

And I'm so excited to have a friend of mine who's training to be a therapist, really dedicated to neurodiversity affirming care who's going to be there the whole week, like just as a like on the ground support person. And that I think has already helped reduce even just communication with participants, like getting this virtual get-together. So good to have that person.

MOLLY HEROLD: 100%. I think you've nailed it Reese. Like, the first retreat, it was really just like, "I want to do this thing. There's no way I'm going to do this thing." I was like, "Jump headfirst into it." And so, like that's what I did, and I just like cut through like five to six months of planning into this, like, one weekend experience. And it was really draining. It was really exhausting. It was wonderful. I loved connecting with people there but it did take a lot of energy.

I think the retreats appealed to me because of my like, system's energy, right? That kind of builds throughout time, and then, like kind of giving a lot in, like a weekend so good for me. But yeah, I think bringing Reese on board, and then, like recognizing that I might need more support [INDISCERNIBLE 00:15:30].

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, I can totally relate. And I think having a point person is crucial for some of this stuff. Like someone who can take some of the load off so you don't have to be front and center for everything as the co-host or host. A lot of the time you are like on from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. And I have found certain strategies that have really helped with that like booking speaker accommodations that are not in the same location as all the attendees so that you can go away, and you can decompress. I can unmask to the best of my abilities, I can sensory soothe, I don't have to talk to anybody, that is super helpful for me.

My business partner is neurotypical so she's quite extroverted too. And for me, I'm like, "Hey, I'm done for the day. Here's everything. Like, just take it all, like the socializing, the connecting, the answering questions." And she's always like on board for it. And that is super helpful for me because what I don't want is to come to these events and show up as, like, the worst version of myself. And if I don't take care of my needs, I don't take care of my sensory system, I don't take care of my sleep, then that's what people are going to get. And that's not the opportunity that I'm trying to create an offer. So, a lot of intentionality. And, you know, a lot of credit to you, Molly, because I know how much work goes on behind the scenes to make these things happen. And it's quite exhausting.

MOLLY HEROLD: It's a lot, it's a lot. It's definitely a labor of love. And I think even just thinking about this, I'm like, like the concept of the ADHD tax or the AuDHD tax, right? Like, we are making this intentional choice to get additional support. Like, we technically have like six helpers, right? Like, amidst our partners and the person we like are offering the space to assist us right. And that means we're taking less profit, but that's also kind of, like, sustainable in the long run. And that's a big thing for NeuroAbundant, in general, just encouraging people to think about sustainability and accessibility as long-run options and offers right? That you need to think about in the larger scale that you might burn out if you offer too much of yourself.

PATRICK CASALE: Yep, 100%. I mean, people are asking me what I have planned for 2026 right now. And I'm like, "I can't even get through 2024." So, for me, I'm doing six events a year. I have agreed to only do them in odd-numbered months because if I don't do that the ADHD side of me likes to say yes to all of the opportunities that come my way. And the autistic side of me likes to say like, what the fuck are you doing? We are beyond burnt out.

So, I've realized, like having to reshape, and re-shift, and re-categorize the things that are important to me. And a lot of those are going to be the things that regenerate, and recharge, and soothe opposed to the things that take and take and take despite how exciting the opportunity may seem at the time.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, yeah, it's a hard thing to rein in, right? That desire to do all the things all the time. But there is a cost to it if, you know, yeah, if you're doing it all the time, for sure.


REESE RAMPONI: As you two were talking I'm just reflecting a little bit on how the fact that this is happening, like an hour from where I grew up on, on land that I know, with the climate patterns and like a humidity I know, I know exactly how my how my sensory system will feel in this environment. And that, like, dramatically increases my capacity to, like, run this as opposed to being me and Molly both going to a brand new space where we're also dealing with the newness. And I think this brings so much comfort to me. It was so great. Last summer my partner and I got to, like, drive around in the like RV we're borrowing to the different potential retreat sites. And that feels good.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, I think the newness is definitely like its own kind of challenge, right? That's why I choose to Colorado the first time because my family has been there for many years. And so, I've been visiting. And so, I kind of had that, like, okay, I already have a foot on the ground, so my autistic parts that are not going to freak out completely, this is an entirely new environment. And having you on the ground in Alaska is just this similar kind of step in that direction. I'm excited to do international things, eventually. But I'm kind of like baby-stepping my way to it.

I'm also just like, so like going to Alaska is expensive in every situation. And I'm just so excited to, like, build something that's like legitimately like, at about the same or cheaper than if you were to like, go up on your on your own. Like, I'm just so proud of that because [CROSSTALK 00:20:49].

REESE RAMPONI: It's part of [INDISCERNIBLE 00:20:48] Alaska. We did a good job.


PATRICK CASALE: You should be proud because, I, again, know how much work and effort and energy goes into making something where you really want people to get the value out of it. And really being intentional about location selection, and vendor selection, and speaker selection, and everything that goes into every detail of the event. So, I hope you both can absorb some of that and take that in because it's a huge deal to create this stuff and put it on and actually sell spots because, you know, I see a lot of the opposite, unfortunately, which is like the real struggle to just get the idea off the ground, even if it's a great idea.

And that's a bummer because I know how much emotional energy goes into creation. And I like what you said, Reese about your sensory system is already going to know what it's like to experience this environment. And that gives you more capacity. And that's something I've had to be really aware of because my heat and tolerance is basically like non-existent. So, I really can't do events in environments that are more than like 70, 75 degrees tops because I will shut down so quickly.

We were in southern Spain in April, we got a cold wave, which was 90 degrees. And it was just so challenging. And I want to take it in, I want to be present, I want to, like, do the things but I'm like, I think I just need to sit in my air-conditioned room for the day. And like Just be still because it's so challenging.

So, I go to Ireland every March, I've done that, this will be my fourth year in a row in March. And despite the weather maybe not being, I don't know, ideal for most people, the idea of like 50 to 60 degrees, and rain, and like overcast feels pretty good to me. So, I look forward to that quite a bit in the same way.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah. I'm really looking forward to experiencing like 18 to 20 hours of sunlight. That's not something that I've ever experienced in my life. And most of us that haven't spent time in like, closer to the poles have. I'm also a little concerned, like, I don't know how my body's going to react to this, it's going to be totally different. Sleep might get really hard and weird, you know.

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah. And that's probably something that we want to, like, talk about in our like virtual get-together, too. because I think it'll be new for new for a lot of people and neurodivergent people are definitely sensitive to those types of changes.

And you know, I call myself like, I'm a asleep hero, I can sleep anywhere, anytime I attribute that to growing up in Alaska, where it's like, light start streaming in the window, and I'm just like snoring, so…

PATRICK CASALE: That makes me so jealous.


PATRICK CASALE: I'm like, I think I slept an hour last night. And it was just, like, torturous, honestly.

But, Molly, that's a great point. And I'm glad that you all just name that because you can bring that to the attention of your welcome, like, virtual event because I was in Iceland, a couple of years ago, I think it was in May, it was light out 24 hours a day. And it was a situation where I've never experienced that. And it was so disorienting, where your body is like, "Hey, you're tired."

But it is completely bright out at two in the morning. And you're like, "I don't think I should be asleep right now." So, it was challenging. So, that's great thing to bring up, and to, like you said, the more communication and the more support you can offer to your guests before, during, and after, I think the better. And I think that just really goes a long way in terms of planning some of this stuff, too.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, yeah. You mentioned also like in some of your posts about just like the difficulties of jetlag, I think for folks coming from the East Coast, like Alaska might be the furthest they've actually been, and there's quite the same jetlag as going international, but it is a lot of travel, it is going pretty far.

For some folks, we've definitely encouraged like stopping in the middle if they can, if they have the ability to take that time off and spend a little bit of extra money staying in a city in the middle. Just kind of breaking up that travel because also just, like, long travel dates can be really hard on our bodies and just encouraging people to think about that. And that doesn't have to be done this one way because it's the way that people usually do it, right?

PATRICK CASALE: Exactly. And that's like the epitome of creating something that feels really ND-affirming. Because, ultimately, that's what you're saying is like, yeah, this might cost you more in some ways, but in reality, it's actually going to save you more energetically, mentally, physiologically, etc.

And that's what I'll do. Like, if I go to Alaska, if I go to Hawaii, California, Seattle, etc., for a night or two to just orient, and just like get off a plane because the travel can be so exhausting. And I just feel disgusting in airports, and on airplanes, and my sensory stuff is in like hell. So, the first thing I want to do is like, clean, hot shower, immediately, get out of these clothes, get prepared to go on the next journey. And that can be really helpful to break that stuff up.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, I knew we had a cool crew the first retreat when one of the participants who had never met before, had never really talked online, but was coming to this thing, right? All the way in Colorado, took a picture of the sensory room in the Seattle airport, and was like, "This should be everywhere." And I'm like, "Yes, it should. Also, I'm so happy you're coming."

PATRICK CASALE: Yep. And those are the things that you all can do, right? Is like, for certain airports, taking videos, taking videos and photos of like where transportation gets set up, layout, et cetera, hell, I'll do that for the Asheville airport because the Asheville airport is a nightmare. And despite it being very tiny, it's always under construction. So, like, anytime I do events here, just like videos of where to arrive, videos of where to get lifts and Ubers. Like, lots of things like that, videos of meeting points, and putting those in the group settings and chats because just trying to help people feel as prepared and secure as possible in some of these experiences that create a lot of anxiety for really anyone, let alone someone who is neurodivergent, in general.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, I'm remembering going to your New Orleans retreat, and you making this comment of like, "Okay, everyone's here, I can breathe now." And I didn't understand it then, but now I totally do because there's this like, heightened experience of like, okay, everyone's got to land, everyone's got to get to the venue, I got to make sure everyone is safe in here and [INDISCERNIBLE 00:27:00].

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah. I cannot settle in until every single person gets to like the welcome, check-in, whatever. Because travel is so messy, in general. And I'm always concerned like flight delays, cancellations, interruptions, all the things that can go wrong. So, until that happens, I am like on 10. And then, I can settle down a little bit. And then, I resume my normal like, eight anxiety instead of a 10, but it's a lot.

So, you know, again, as the host, giving yourself permission to take care of your systems. And that way, you're also supporting your attendees. And it sounds like you're really creating something that's really well thought out, really intentionally done, really unique. So, I give you both a lot of credit for embarking on this.

I want to pivot quickly to some of the other stuff that you're doing together. Because I think that's also equally important in a lot of ways, too. So, talk about some of the trainings that you're doing. And why those feels so important to NeuroAbundant right now.

MOLLY HEROLD: For sure. You want me to tackle this Reese or you want to take it?

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah, go ahead.

MOLLY HEROLD: Cool. Yeah, I think so we have, like, one primary flagship kind of course that has done really well because I think it's a really high-need area. And that's masters level diagnosing, and evaluating for ADHD, right? Because I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about that as an even option for master's level providers, which is actually like a big reason why Reese and I met because it's something that I wanted to offer to my clients. And Reese was like, "You can do that that's not illegal. And here's how you can do it ethically, and in a neurodiversity-affirming way."

And so, we built this course out of that kind of concept because it's a misunderstood thing. And also, something that has a lot of material around it, right? Doing it in a truly neurodiversity-affirming way and not a 15-minute appointment or, you know, a battery of tests that takes like, two weeks and eight weeks to get your information and results, right? So, somewhere in the middle that really accounts for people's experience and like honors and validates that. Yeah, we've met therapists from all over the country. It's been really cool experience to share this knowledge with folks.

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah, thanks for… that got me thinking. I think I am in an interesting position because I'm a master's level provider. I'm a psychiatric nurse practitioner, with a master's degree in nursing. My scope of practice in the state of Connecticut is the same as a psychiatrist. There's like two very specific things that I can't do.

So, I often work with therapists who are like, "Oh, I'm going to send this client to you for an ADHD evaluation." And I'm like, "You can do that, you're allowed to do that." And I started noticing this gap in care even just within the state. And I was like, "I think I want to start, like, you know, training on this."

And that was like years ago. And now it's developed so beautifully into this project with Molly. It's awesome.

PATRICK CASALE: I love that.

MOLLY HEROLD: And it's foundational, but it's also just like the beginning. I think of a lot of neurodiversity affirming education, in general, right? Because it's a major gap for mental health providers, but also just like the community in general, right? And like, we are at the, like, crest of this wave of like people really talking about it and getting excited about it. And it's a cool thing to be a part of.

Also, like, there's a lot of misinformation and like, potential for harm, and still just like tons of gatekeeping, right? And so, I think that using our position of power, we have the opportunity to encourage people to really get into this stuff in a positive way.

PATRICK CASALE: Yeah, now that's well said. We could deep dive that all day. I mean, hell, some of the threads in my Facebook group about who can and can't do this stuff. I'm like, "You all, if you want to be accessible and affirming a two-year waitlist is not that. Like, the ability to say only one license type can do this thing is not that."

So, there's just so much misinformation out there. And it's nice to see so many people showing up and really putting themselves out there to say, "Hey, this is what can be done. This is how you can do it ethically. This is how you can do it in an affirming way. This is how you can do it accessibly."

And I think that is really what matters. And especially, for so many people, like, diagnosis can be life-altering and life-saving. And for so many people who are going with the unknown of like, feeling like what the hell's going on here for me? I don't understand myself, I don't understand life in a lot of ways, or why things feel so challenging so often, the lens that you can have shifted and perspective change when you have an affirming diagnosis process can be so empowering in a lot of ways, too. So, just want to say like, again, big shout-out and congrats on doing this stuff. Because it's really, really valuable. And it's super important right now.

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah, thank you. I'm really excited about, Molly, I feel like, I like first started being, like, looking into all the scope of practice for every therapist type in every state. So, I started getting excited about that. And I thought I was excited. But then Molly, like went all in and is creating, like, this interactive map where you can, like, click on the state, and it'll show you like whether you can like diagnose based on your license in that state. And I'm so excited for that resource for folks.


MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, it's been the nerdiest deep dive I think I've ever had just because it's like legal use, you know? And this stuff is just like, not easy to find. I like tried to enroll the help of like ChatGPT and ChatGPT broke on me. And I was like, "Cool. That's why this is genuinely hard material to find." So, yeah, I'm super excited. It's like so close to being done. And yet within this week, I think it should be out there in the world so that people can use it.

PATRICK CASALE: That's amazing. Congrats on that because that's huge. And you're right, it's really challenging to find this information. And I think it's challenging intentionally done for a lot of reasons. Same thing with like, people trying to find insurance fee rates, and people are being like, "You can't talk about that."

And it's like, come on, like, this is so intentionally done to keep people from having any sort of unification process so that you can get paid more, and it's bull shit. You'll sign an insurance contract, you won't even get the fee schedule until a month later you don't even know what you just signed.

MOLLY HEROLD: In what other like employment sector would that be okay, right? Allowed? It wouldn't.

PATRICK CASALE: I can feel myself getting amped up on this.

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, yeah. I could go off on that. That's a whole other…

PATRICK CASALE: That's a whole nother episode. So, as we get ready to wrap this up, we're going to push this episode because I think you all still have spots for this retreat that comes out soon. So, tell the audience if you do have spots what they're getting into?

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, yeah, we definitely do have spots. We have a handful left. We're stopping registration on July 4th just so that we can make sure we focus on, like, building a really good program for everyone that will be attending. So, that's like the hard deadline.

We're going to spend a week in Alaska. We're going to do all of the like, really awesome Alaska things, we're going to be kayaking, we're going to be hiking, we're going to be checking out bears, and otters, and whales, just like all of the best animals that you don't get to experience when you don't live in a place like that.

We also just have like a fuckton of educational material that is really incredible and deep. And so, that's going to be all interspersed throughout the week, while also just allowing for time to like sit out on the beach, and like collect shells, and just like listen to the ocean, you know?

So, it's not going to be crazy fast-paced, but there is going to be a lot of offerings and a lot of potential to do things. Yeah, and it's a really great community. Like, you're just going to connect with really amazing neurodivergent professionals from all across the country.

PATRICK CASALE: Love it. What are the dates and where is it [CROSSTALK 00:34:36] for those who might be interested?

MOLLY HEROLD: Sorry, can say that again?

PATRICK CASALE: What are the dates and where is it exactly for those who might be interested?

MOLLY HEROLD: Yeah, it's August 6th through 13th in Homer, Alaska. Yeah, it's all-inclusive. We provide transportation and everything within getting to Alaska.

PATRICK CASALE: Reese, what you got? It was like you wanted to jump in on that.

REESE RAMPONI: Yeah, like we're coming up to the airport in Anchorage to pick people up and driving them all the way down to Homer. I think I had another thought, but it has escaped me.

PATRICK CASALE: That's okay.

REESE RAMPONI: If there's one thing I'm really excited about is, you know, my dad is a jazz musician. He moved from Boston to Alaska back in the 70s. And he's a neurodivergent entrepreneur. And we're a running a retreat for neurodivergent entrepreneurs. And I've been singing with my dad since I was a teenager. And like, we're going to do a little jazz show, so we get to have like our neurodivergent Alaska jazz dad that come down come back for a little thing. So, that's something I'm excited about.

PATRICK CASALE: I love that. That's awesome. That sounds really wonderful, and a really incredibly intentionally curated experience. So, we will get this out fairly quickly so that it can come out before that July 4th hard stop registration deadline. And, you know, best of luck on this event, and all your trainings, and future events that are going to be coming up. It's really cool to witness and to watch transpire, and it's really, really awesome. So, appreciate you both coming on. Can you share with the audience where they can find more of you if they want you on social media or in general?

MOLLY HEROLD: Yes, definitely, has all of the things. We're also NeuroAbundant on Facebook and Instagram. Instagram's a little quieter. I don't post as much there but you'll still get information. And it's neuro like neurology and abundant like abundance, all one word. Come hang out. We'd love to have you.

PATRICK CASALE: We'll have that in the show notes for everyone too so you have easy access to the NeuroAbundant following, the links for the retreat in Alaska, and the trainings that Reese and Molly also offer.

Thank you both so much for coming on, and making the time, and having this conversation. And yeah, really appreciate it.

MOLLY HEROLD: Thank you.

REESE RAMPONI: Thank you so much.

PATRICK CASALE: Awkward goodbyes are the worst part of the podcast. To everyone listening to All Things Private Practice, all new episodes are out on Saturdays on all major podcast platforms and YouTube. You can like, download, subscribe, and share. Doubt yourself, do it anyway, we'll see you next week.


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