We specialise in counselling for adults with a physical disability and their partners, parents and carers. This includes those with congenital and acquired disabilities, long term health conditions and life limiting illnesses.
Having a disability* or being the partner or parent of someone with a disability does not automatically mean you need counselling. However, we at Spokz have noticed that there is a lack of physically accessible counselling services and Spokz People aims to provide a counselling service which does not exclude people with disabilities (* 'Disabled people', 'people with disabilities' or 'people with an impairment’: we understand that people differ on what they prefer . We prefer to see the person first, but acknowledge both the impairment and the disability. So people can find us on the internet, we use the term ‘people with disabilities’).
Also, many clients with disabilities and their partners who have been able to access counselling have had negative experiences: everybody in society is subject to stereotypes and prejudices about disability and counsellors are not excluded from this. It is Spokz’s aim that our experience of disability will enable us to provide an accessible service where clients with a disability, as well as their friends, partners, family members and enablers can work through any issues, whether associated to disability or not.
We support a modern take on the social model of disability which looks both at the person’s impairment as well as all the relevant factors that affect their ability to be a full and equal participant in society. Many difficulties result from the oppression people experience as a result of society’s exclusion and prejudices. However, everybody’s experiences differ and we respect different viewpoints: you are in charge of your own counselling process.
And if my issue is about disability?
Disability can impact on many facets of your life: your housing situation, finances, relationships, sex, fertility, work, lifestyle and family life. Daily living can be frustrating when society does not accommodate for your needs. Often you are surrounded by non-disabled people so there is less support, fewer role-models and it is easy to feel excluded and different. You may feel anger, frustration, resentment, sadness, guilt, loss, fear, anxiety and loneliness or have depression, low mood or low self-esteem. It is entirely normal to feel these things, but if you feel stuck and want things to change, this is when counselling may be beneficial.
If you have just acquired a disability, this can be a scary time as your whole world has been turned upside down and everything is uncertain. Most people struggle with major changes, but what can be particularly hard about disability is that besides the impact of the physical impairment on your body functioning, body image, thoughts, emotions and behaviours, it also impacts on other aspects of your life. Everybody has to find new roles and new ways of relating: you, your partner, children, parents, friends and colleagues.
If you are the partner or parent of someone with a disability, you may also be experiencing difficulties around communication or feelings of sadness, loss, anger, guilt and resentment. These are all perfectly natural things to be feeling, especially if the change is recent. If care tasks are involved in your new role then this can be an added hurdle to negotiate. If you feel stuck in your situation, you and your partner can find help with processing these feelings and looking at ways to maintain and improve your relationship.
If you were born with a disability then you may be able to relate to the issues above, such as finding and keeping relationships, feelings of anger, guilt and sadness. You may go through times where you feel ok about yourself and times where you don't. There may perhaps be issues around relationships with parents and family, identity, gaining independence and confidence or you may just feel it's time for a change and you could do with some support to help achieve that.
Whether you are just going through a temporary patch of struggling to cope, whether you need some support in the transition, whether you would like to explore different thoughts and beliefs or get more satisfaction out of life, counselling can give you and those around you the opportunity to look at those things you want to change and help motivate you to find new strength for the future.
Please take a look at our resources list (under info in the navigation menu bar) where you can find additional support and recommended reading.
Do you offer home visits, online or telephone counselling?
Yes we do!
Home visits are available in the Birmingham and Lichfield area. Please contact us for more information.
Telephone counselling is available if face-to-face or online counselling is not a suitable option.
What if I need assistance in order to attend counselling?
If you need assistance in any way or have any concerns about access, please check this with us before attending your session. We will do our best to provide for you. Please see the questions section for information about access and facilities.