Reduced rate counselling for people with disabilities

Anyone who has feelings can benefit from counselling and psychotherapy, but people with disabilities are under represented in counselling. People with learning difficulties or disabilities and people who are not independent are often not referred for therapy. People with physical or mobility issues may find obstacles prevent them from attending or even looking for therapy. So I offer a discount for people in receipt of disability benefits*; for people who experience physical barriers/limitations, people with learning disabilities/difficulties or people who experience difficulties due to autistic spectrum conditions. All clients need a counsellor who can attune to their needs and work with them to find ways of expressing/exploring them. These are not a special needs, but typical, normal, general needs and I hope that a financial discount may help people facing barriers to inclusion to get in touch a therapy that might suit them.

I recognise that there may be concerns that are specific to a person’s condition or identity, that a client might want to find a person with appropriate experience of to talk to. For example a person with mobility issues may wish to talk with someone who also has mobility issues, in the hope that they will better understand each other. This makes sense, but it is also true that an experienced therapist can help a client find solutions without having to have faced the precise same issues.

I believe I am able to offer a creative, compassionate and empathic approach that will strive for appropriate solutions. I do this in collaboration with each client, and this is something I learned initially from making dance/movement with people with physical disabilities. While the range of available movements may differ from person to person, the benefits they may get from moving, exercising, expression, creation, play or reflection… is no less significant. When making performances with people with learning disabilities I realised that the goal was not to transmit my ideas, but to facilitate theirs. It doesn’t matter how good my ideas are or how inspiring I think they are… if we can’t share them. So I learned to begin with each person’s current ability/understanding and work from there. This allowed us both to communicate and meet on a practical and creative level, to find a way forward together.

In my life and various roles I have worked with many people with disabilities, impairments, injuries and difficulties. Now, as a counsellor I work for a charity that provides free counselling for people in the Greater Manchester area who are on the autistic spectrum or have learning disabilities. However, in my private practise, here in Todmorden, I have very few clients who would describe themselves as disabled. There may be several reasons for this, but I am proposing to reduce the financial barrier to therapy by offering 2 more reduced price slots (starting at £30).

*I offer several discounted slots so if you are not in receipt of benefits, but feel that cost is a barrier to seeking therapy, please feel free to enquire.