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Unmasking with the Values Based Integration Process

Spoons In, Spoons Out

Photo by Jarosław Ceborski on Unsplash

So last week, I asked the moms in my parenting class to bring all of their clean spoons when they came.

I didn’t tell them why, but I specifically said, “don’t clean any spoons specially – just bring what you have”.

One person forgot entirely.

One person thought I just meant “bring a few”, so brought three.

One person had a rough morning, so there were only seven clean spoons.

And one person loves doing dishes and had eleven clean spoons!

I then said to them, if spoons are your energy, how many of your spoons did you use up this morning getting your kids out the door.

Only one person had a spoon left … and she only had one.

Mornings can be rough for a lot of us as parents. There’s a lot of motivation and encouragement and intervention and transitions and remembering that goes on behind any successful morning – and that doesn’t even take into account the hard mornings!

But we talked about the fact that living life with no spoons or low spoons is exhausting – that always feeling like you’re at your wits end or you have nothing left to give and a mountain of things or people to give it to.

Which led into a conversation about knowing ourselves and knowing our ‘peeps’ (the people in our family – partners, children, anyone else who makes up your family).

Drawing on research from a number of sources, but especially Dr. Karyn Purvis, I put together a number of sheets with questions to help us figure out who we (and our peeps) are and how we were best made to live.

It’s not about tackling all of these areas at once – that would be ridiculous, and we would go insane! Instead, it’s about looking for the low-lying fruit in terms of what little things we could do to change our spoon counts – and the spoon counts of the people around us – throughout the day.

Because little things add up to big things.

Do you feel like you’re low on spoons as well? Check out the first page of questions here, and then get in touch if you want to go deeper. 🙂


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About the program

In 2017 I was newly self-diagnosed with atypical autism, struggling with burnout, and striking out when it came to therapists who could address the issues I was facing. At the same time, I was building skills around life coaching, shame reduction, and trauma-informed therapy for work. Gradually I realized that what I needed – an embodied, autonomous, agency-driven coaching approach to unmasking – was not something I was going to find “out there”, but something I was going to need to create if I wanted to recover my life. This was the moment the Values Based Integration Process was born.

Having developed the program for myself – and having seen the incredible results it brought in my own life – I began to use it with coaching clients. The results were out of this world!

After conversations with Dr. Devon Price, the technique was featured in his book Unmasking Autism. With it, came interest in the technique and the decision was made to begin training coaches and therapists to help make this toolkit more readily available.


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