My child is a bit different

Counselling

If your child or teenager has ‘something a bit more’ going on, then you are in the right place. They may or may not have a diagnosis, you might not quite know what you’re dealing with. But having a child with additional needs of any kind can be physically and mentally exhausting for the parents, and can really impact on family life.

If might be that your child has a medical condition and is undergoing treatment for an ongoing illness such as cancer. Or you might be a parent to a physically disabled child with highly intensive care needs.

Your child might be neuro-diverse and life might be presenting challenges as you come to understand the way they are wired. You may have just had a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD, or anxiety for your child, and be navigating the complex school SEN (Special Educational Needs) system. Looking for ways to support yourself as a parent of a child with any kind of special needs is essential, so that you can help them in the best way that you can, and avoid burnout yourself.

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Online Counselling from any location

Counselling

Online Counselling has become the norm for many people across the UK. No longer limited by geography you can choose a Counsellor that truly specialises in your situation. Face to face appointments are also available in Totnes, Devon.

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Counselling for SEN parents

Counselling

The support that I provide is for YOU as a Mum or Dad. What do we do when the penny drops that life is going to be different for our child? How can we equip ourselves to weather the inevitable storms and love our child exactly as they are, rather than the child we imagined we would have?

There is often an endless round of appointments, tests, meetings with professionals, sleepless nights, uncertainty over the future, anxiety over how to help your child and the sheer feeling of exhaustion. Relationships in the family might be strained or you might be coping alone. It can all feel overwhelming.

As a parent carer myself, for my son who has complex medical needs, I understand how relentless, frustrating and at times painful it can be to look after a child who has special needs. Your circumstances will be very different from mine, but I believe my lived experience helps me to understand in a more meaningful way.

My background and how I can help

Counselling

When my second child was born in 2009, it became quickly apparent that something was amiss with his health. The Paediatrician said he was ‘medically complex, which is not usually good news for the parents’ and I think he summed it up pretty well. It was shocking and unexpected news and a lot for us to process as a family. His ongoing conditions are thankfully well managed at the moment, following a liver transplant and various surgeries.

However, going through this made me realise that I wanted to provide emotional support to other parents going through difficult circumstances. I retrained to become a qualified counsellor, and  I now focus on working with parents who are dealing with various difficult situations with their children. For over 5 years I have also had the pleasure to help to run ‘Time for You’ groups for Mums who have children with special needs.

Each family’s story is unique. If you feel ready to share your story with me, I will hold your words tenderly. Together we will find ways to help you navigate your new pathway, and find ways to put yourself back into the picture.

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Counselling for Transplants

Important note

Counselling

It’s important to understand that I do not offer a ‘blue light’ emergency service, and am therefore only contactable within limited office hours. Session times are booked and planned in advance. If you are at a stage in your life where you think you need more urgent and frequent help, you might require a different type of support right now.

If you are experiencing severe depressive symptoms and/or suicidal thoughts, please discuss this with your doctor immediately. The kind of Counselling I offer is not suitable for supporting anyone in crisis or with severe Postnatal Depression or any psychotic illness.

I am based in Totnes, Devon. However, I can provide Counselling and support for Carers who are from anywhere in the UK via Zoom, if you don’t live locally or prefer Counselling online.

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Useful resources for SEN parents

Counselling

Mums4aChange ‘Time for You’ Groups for Mums who have a child with additional needs www.mums4achange.org

Affinity Hub Signposting emotional support for parent carers www.affinityhub.uk

“Life on the Other Side of Normal” A Mum’s blog about raising a special daughter with complex needs and her story of finding joy in that place

Counselling for Carers Totnes Carers Counselling offer lower-cost Counselling, for Carers in the Totnes area

Therapeutic Enabling The Therapy Tree in Devon offers independent Speech and Language Therapy, Complementary Therapies, and Enabling+ to help develop real life skills

Carers UK www.carersuk.org

Carers Trust www.carers.org

Devon Carers www.devoncarers.org.uk

DIAS – Devon Information Advice and Support for Special Educational Needs and Disability www.devonias.org.uk

Government Support & Benefits www.gov.uk/carers-uk

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