Living With Chronic Illness/Disability
“The news falls neatly between one moment and another. You would not think there was a gap for such a thing”.
‘The Iceberg’ – (Marion Coutts) describing the moment when a serious illness is diagnosed.
A Personal Interest
I have a special personal interest in chronic health and have considerable experience supporting clients with chronic ill-health conditions and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lupus, MS, ME, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. I am very aware of the uniqueness and complexity of the grief and loss that surrounds chronic ill-health. In the counselling setting, it may not be the reason why a client enters therapy but perhaps acknowledging a client’s physicality could be of great therapeutic benefit.
As a society we freely speak of ‘not giving in’ and those who endure chronic ill-health are lauded as heroic and brave. I know many times I have put on a brave face for my loved ones then once out of sight, my tears streamed. The energy spent on being brave can be exhausting. Therapy provides a space in which you have the freedom to fully express the pain, feelings of frustration and fear often associated with chronic health conditions without judgement and without the fear of upsetting others.
How does counselling (therapy) support your chronic health condition?
I will be there to support you with the complexity of the adjustments required – emotionally, physically, behaviourally and socially. You may feel helpless, overwhelmed and fearful; you may have difficulties in concentrating and remembering things. Physical adaptations at home and work may be required and perhaps emotional adaptations within personal relationships, all of which can be very challenging at a time when your personal resources are already very low.
Counselling may also be beneficial for a family member who has taken on a new role as a carer. As well as having to adapt and perhaps deal with their own personal grief in relation to their loved one’s new change of circumstances, they have had to leave their employment in order to provide the care needed and may experience feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression.
I can provide a safe, non-judgemental environment in which we can explore together how your feelings, thoughts, past and current life circumstances interact with each other. My aim is to support your emotional wellbeing, help you to disentangle your difficulties in your environment and allow you to be truly heard in a way you may not have been before with your family and friends. We will work at your pace and in a way that works for you so that you can perhaps begin to find your own resources and resilience.