Hi! I am Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht BA MSc ND RP.
I would like to tell you a bit about myself. I am a registered psychotherapist who is a certified autism clinical specialist. I received an autism diagnosis as an adult.
In addition, since 1996 I am a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine, and have been engaged in private clinical practice since that time. Throughout, I have gained significant experience in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with a variety of conditions, including those on the autism spectrum.
During my career as a doctor of naturopathic medicine, I have also pursued graduate and post-graduate studies, and have for many years worked as a licensed and registered psychotherapist. You can reach me through this website, my personal website, or through Psychology Today.
My educational background and qualifications include the following:
Certified Autism Spectrum
Specialist Intensive Training (ASDCS)
Professional Education Seminars
Incorporated (PESI), Evergreen Certifications
in medical practice
Masters in Science – Applied psychology with Distinction
Focus in: Psychology
Pre-med B.A. – Psychology
Major: Abnormal Psychology
Studied the DSM
In-person intensive practical
psychotherapy training programs
I have also pursued more specialized in-person intensive post-graduate training programs in the following:
Eye movement desensitization
and reprocessing (EMDR)
Level 2 EMDR
couples therapy (EFCT)
EFCT Certified Therapist
individual therapy (EFIT)
dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP)
ISTDP Certified Therapist
Workshop and practicum conducted virtually
Therapist, Level 3
Virtual training in screening and diagnosis
of autism spectrum disorders
Autism assessment and screening
In addition to the above experience, I have been invited to collaborate with leading psychiatric and psychological experts from CAMH and with other practitioners in Ontario and internationally on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of people on the autism spectrum. Such collaboration has included review and development of clinically validated psychometric assessment tools frequently applied to screen for and assess factors and characteristics consistent with autism spectrum disorders. This includes work with the ICHOM working board on improving outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders.
I also serve as an advisor to Autism Ontario, a community-based organization founded to promote education and a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders, the screening and assessment of autism as well as the integration of people with autism spectrum disorders within society. The focus is on eliminating stigma and misunderstanding associated with autism spectrum disorders and the social, emotional, and intellectual characteristics associated with these conditions and those who experience them. I have also served as an advisor to police forces in the UK and in Canada addressing concerns related to suicide prevention and intervention in the adult autism population.
More recently, I established Embrace Autism which is a multidisciplinary resource group that carries out a variety of functions including research, education, support, and counseling to people on the autism spectrum or to those who believe they may be on the spectrum. One element of our process includes the application of a clinically validated psychometric assessment tool with a view to screening and assessing factors and characteristics that may be suggestive of autism spectrum disorders. Should individuals chose to do so, we also will engage in clinically therapeutic relationships with clients in order to formally assess and diagnose people who may be on the autism spectrum.
I have a passion for helping people with autism reach their potential. I write a lot about autism, which inspired this website. My Masters in Science–Applied Psychology taught me how to do research—both qualitative (where we can listen to people share their lived experiences of autism) and quantitative (research-based).
We are real people behind virtual or real keyboards on real phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop PCs or Macs. Our regard and, for many of us, our love for you [Natalie] is real, too. Just knowing you’re there is enough—so when we do want to talk or listen (translation: write comments or read what you’ve written), we’re confident you’re there with us and for us. Thank you.
Helping people understand autism
Finding out I am autistic was a blessing and my whole life started to make sense. Since then I have helped other people understand if they have autism too.
The experience was excellent. It is nerve-wracking being so vulnerable, but you truly made me feel comfortable. I felt that I could open up to you because I knew you wouldn’t judge me. I liked that it wasn’t simply a question and answer session. I really appreciated the fact that you gave me tips and pointers, and that you noticed and gave me credit for skills that I didn’t realize I had.
The report is great. I especially liked the language you used. I had a hard time comprehending the ADHD report from my psychiatrist because of all the medical terminology and formal language, but yours was easy to understand. I also liked that the report isn’t just a list of diagnostic criteria. You took the time to list specific examples of my symptoms that fit the criteria.
The whole experience felt like the best gift I have ever received. Now that I know myself, I can be myself.
Working with patients
I have worked with patients for more than 25 years. I enjoy helping people with trauma overcome their limitations and reach their potential. This is a path I have had to navigate personally and have done so successfully. My patients find that I understand them.
I am trained in:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Emotion-focused therapy (EFT)
- Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFCT)
- Somatic therapy
- Positive psychology
And a lot more! My love of research keeps me up to date. Furthermore, I like to look into genetics and use the plasticity of the brain to help people with achieving their goals. For more information on the therapies I’m trained in, have a look at the credentials page of my personal website below, or download my CV.
Your [Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht’s] compassion is genuine. I didn’t feel like you were pretending, or putting on a show. Your kindness and freedom from judgment make you the best healthcare professional I’ve ever met. You didn’t make me feel crazy like everyone else I’ve ever seen. The consultation felt more like chatting with a friend rather than being evaluated by a doctor. I also love how animated you are. By being yourself you help others feel as if they can do the same.
For an autism assessment and/or
psychotherapy needs, contact me.
Read more about the benefits of
being an autistic therapist here: