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About me: Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht ND RP

Published: August 6, 2018
Last updated on June 13, 2024

Hi! I am Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht BA MSc ND RP.

I would like to tell you a bit about myself. I am a naturopathic doctor who has received extensive training in autism. I am also licensed as a registered psychotherapist. I received an autism diagnosis as an adult.

On October 17th, 2013, naturopathic doctors  in Ontario were granted the right to diagnose by the government (public knowledge is still catching up to this fact).

A portrait photo of Natalie.

In addition, since 1996, I have been engaged in private clinical practice. 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. In 2019, due to an overwhelming need for adult autism assessments for those without intellectual or language disability, I decided to work solely on adult autism assessments. One of the requirements of assessing adult autism, particularly for those with more subtle forms of the condition, is to have significant training and be familiar with the condition.

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 contact form, or through Psychology Today.

Educational background

My educational background and qualifications include the following:

Certified Autism Spectrum
Disorder Clinical

Specialist Intensive Training (ASDCS)
Professional Education Seminars
Incorporated (PESI), Evergreen Certifications

Completed: 2021

Pharmacological applications
in medical practice

University of Toronto

Completed: 2015

Masters in Science – Applied psychology with Distinction

University of Liverpool

Resourcefulness, Personal Responsibility and
Agency in Healing from PTSD and/or C-PTSD

Graduated: 2014

Naturopathic Doctor

Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine

Focus in: Psychology

Graduated: 1996

Pre-med B.A. – Psychology

McMaster University

Major: Abnormal Psychology
Minor: Chemistry

Studied the DSM

Graduated: 1992

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)

by Dr. Francine Shapiro PhD
EMDR Institute, Inc.

My designation:
Level 2 EMDR
trained clinician

Emotionally focused
couples therapy (EFCT)

by Dr. Sue Johnson PhD

My designation:
EFCT Certified Therapist

Emotionally focused
individual therapy (EFIT)

by Dr. Leslie Greenberg PhD

My designation:
Emotionally Focused
Certified Therapist

Intensive short-term
dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP)

by Dr. Allen Abbass PhD

My designation:
ISTDP Certified Therapist

Stabilization Treatment

by Dr. Janina Fisher PhD

Workshop and practicum conducted virtually

My designation:
Trauma-Informed Stabilization
Therapist, Level 3

Understanding Autism

by University of Kent

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 Master 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).

Christopher Sutton:

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

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.

Credentials | Curriculum Vitæ


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.

An illustration of a clipboard with a checklist or assessment.

For an autism assessment and/or
psychotherapy needs, contact me.

Read more about the benefits of
being an autistic therapist here:

An autistic therapist


This article
was written by:

Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht ND RP is a dually licensed naturopathic doctor and registered psychotherapist, and a Canadian leader in trauma, PTSD, and integrative medicine strictly informed by scientific research.

She was diagnosed at 46, and her autism plays a significant role in who she is as a doctor, and how she interacts with and cares for her patients and clients.

Want to know more about her? Read her About me page.


Although our content is generally well-researched
and substantiated, or based on personal experience,
note that it does not constitute medical advice.


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