As a parent carer to a disabled child who is also autistic, I found out first-hand the of the lack of support, resources and understanding available at the time I needed it most. After giving up my career in the city after my son was born and caring for him until he started school, I finally followed my passion and retrained as a psychotherapist in order to be able to help and support as many people as possible feeling similar to how I did.
I use my personal lived experience of caring for someone with special needs and autism to support my work with my parent carer clients
Being a carer means providing care and support to someone who needs more care over and beyond the normal relationship.
This may be someone who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without your support.
Being a carer to a family member can, for some people, be draining both physically and mentally, and this 'dual' relationship can take its toll on one's emotional health. Oftentimes, people feel guilty discussing the added burden of caring for a loved one and counselling is a safe and confidential space to explore your feelings and emotions.
I can help you to achieve more resilience, better emotional health and well-being and help you find your self-identity again. One of the common themes I hear when working with clients who are carers, is that they feel they have lost their own identity, and need more time for themselves.
Being a parent to a child with special needs or a disability (SEND) can exacerbate the emotional roller coaster many parents already experience. Whilst undertaking a research project (as part of my qualification in Therapeutic Counselling) I investigated the impact to the mental health of parents of children with all forms of special needs. I found that of the parents in the research group, 78% of parents reported high levels of anxiety, 65% reported feeling sad and fatigued and 56% reported feelings of social isolation, fear and of being overwhelmed.
Maybe you recognise some of these symptoms yourself or you feel burnout, or have lost your self identity? If you are a parent of a child with special needs and would like to talk to a trained counsellor who is also a parent of a child with special needs, I can offer you the added understanding of some of the mixed feelings you may be experiencing. Please take 5 minutes and read the Blog on counselling for SEND parents on my blog page.
I also have special interest in PDA, Pathological Demand Avoidance. I have both lived experience and a qualification in awareness and understanding of PDA. Maybe you have a child who youbsuspect has PDA and you are struggling to adapt to the challenges this brings you both.
Chelmsford, Essex, England, United Kingdom