As a counsellor I seek to understand your unique experience of the worries and challenges that are of impact to you. Whether you have a formal diagnosis, are on the diagnostic pathway or self-identify as neurodivergent; we can talk about:
If your specific issue is not listed; then please ask. Counselling can help you to understand what is happening for you, support you to accept and embrace who you are, and discover your solutions to living a more fulfilled life.
You may have only just discovered your diagnosis, or perhaps you have felt 'different' for quite some time. It can be hard to deal with Autism or ADHD in your teenage years and the people around you might not understand what you are going through. It is not uncommon for teenagers to feel alone or confused; what does this mean, does it change who I am, what will happen now? Together we can help you to make sense of your thoughts and feelings. We can discover your own answers and solutions. Some of the things we can talk about include:
It is normal to feel nervous about meeting your counsellor for the first time. I would like you to know that you can simply turn up as you are. In your sessions you can talk about what is important to you and tell me about the issues that are bothering you, without being judged. It would be great if you could tell me something about your own interests and passions so we can incorporate them in our time together.
When looking after a young person with additional needs, there is often little time to process and tend to our own thoughts and feelings. In the mix of the many things we need to tend do, we can come to realise that we have gradually lost ourselves or are on the brink of burn out.
Processing a diagnosis can bring up all sorts of feelings, from relief to guilt and acknowledgement to grief. Thinking about the future might feel daunting and it can be painful to come to terms with a changed view of what we had anticipated family life would be.
You might see your child struggle, again and again, with situations that other children take in their stride. Intense anxiety, sensory overload and meltdowns are not only hard to witness, they demand a lot in terms of support and co-regulation.
Then there can be confusion as we try to make sense of the reasons underpinning ever changing responses and behaviour; whether they are linked to ASD, PDA, ADHD, sensory processing needs or a combination.
Then to top it off, many face the challenges of misunderstanding and judgement from those around use; it being family, friends, school staff or parents at the school gate. It might feel like everything is a battle.
Have you reached a point of overwhelm or exhaustion? Do you need a safe place to sift through your thoughts? Or could you benefit from some time to just off-load and be heard; somewhere to take all of your thoughts and feelings without judgement. Talking therapy can help; it being in the form of individual counselling or therapeutic group support for parents and carers.
As a sibling of a young person with additional needs, you perhaps find that is hard to find a space in which you can talk openly about all your thoughts and experiences. People often just don't understand or they might be very busy and you do not want to add to their load.
Counselling can be a place in which you can voice and express your story; in the exact way that you are experiencing it and without needing to worry about what others might think. Even a small number of sessions can help you to feel lighter or more at ease with your thoughts and feelings.