Oftentimes, it has been observed that individuals who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities experience pain, not necessarily from their disability, but from depression, anxiety, or relationship issues in response to their disability. While there are outstanding resources for the ID/DD population to assist them with challenges faced because of their disability, my goal is to address mental health issues often experienced apart from the disability. This is the purpose for incorporating Cognitive Behavior Therapy as part of the treatment plan .
- A group of disorders characterized by a limited mental capacity and difficulty with adaptive behaviors such as managing money, schedules and routines, or social interactions.
- Originates before the age of 18 and may result from physical causes, such as autism or cerebral palsy, or from nonphysical causes, such as lack of stimulation and adult responsiveness.
- Severe, long term disability that can affect cognitive ability, physical functioning, or both.
- Appears before age 22 and are likely to be life-long.
- The term “developmental disability” encompasses intellectual disability but also includes physical disabilities.
- Some developmental disabilities may be solely physical, such as blindness from birth. Others involve both physical and intellectual disabilities stemming from genetic or other causes, such as Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome for example.
Goal of Counseling:
- To assist clients in developing a sense of self-empowerment in practical, emotional and social areas.
- Coordination of care and networking with client’s various support systems because most of us know it takes a team!
We as a society have come a long way thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) passed by Congress in 1990, however, individuals with “Different Abilities” often continue to face challenges and are misunderstood by society.
As a parent of a daughter born with Spina bifida who is now 30 years old. I am thankful to have personally developed a sense of awareness in regards to individuals with disabilities by witnessing struggles she has faced, as well as various other individuals we have interacted with throughout the years.
The “language” of therapists is also an important factor to consider when seeking counseling for individuals with ID/DD and their families. For example, we often continue to hear the term “wheelchair bound” even among some professionals. Individuals who use wheelchairs would rather be referred to as just that. Someone who “uses a wheelchair” is a much more acceptable term and defines a person as an independent individual rather than being “bound” to an object. This is just one example of the importance of choosing a therapist who is multiculturally sensitive to the needs of individuals with “different abilities”.
Feel free to contact me today to schedule a session.
If you’ve experienced an extremely stressful or disturbing event that’s left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control, you may have been traumatized. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again.
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.
Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by:
One-time events, such as an accident, injury, natural disaster, or violent attack
Ongoing, relentless stress, such as living in a crime-ridden neighborhood or battling a life-threatening illness
Commonly overlooked causes, such as surgery (especially in the first 3 years of life), the sudden death of someone close, the breakup of a significant relationship, or a humiliating or deeply disappointing experience
- It happened unexpectedly.
- You were unprepared for it.
- You felt powerless to prevent it.
- It happened repeatedly.
- Someone was intentionally cruel.
- It happened in childhood
Counseling and therapy for parents can be beneficial in various ways. Some parents may become stressed by a particular parenting challenge, be it a one-time event or recurring situation. When a child faces a mental health concern, or behavioral issue, a parent may find help for the children leaving their own emotions, and feelings, unaddressed.
This can be harmful in some cases as stress may accumulate, and leave the parent feeling overwhelmed. In therapy, a parent can address their feelings about certain issues, find support and guidance, and seek professional help for parenting issues and concerns.
Being proactive is a great way to avoid the raised stressed levels of parenting with avoiding your own emotional support. However, if you find yourself matching any or all of these simple indicators we encourage you to reach out and contact us so we can help you.
Parent Counseling Need Indicators:
- Shortened Temper
- Emotional Outburst
- Experiencing Depression on someone else’s behalf
It is good to recognize that while some of the indicators of needing parenting counseling may seem obvious there are multiple indicators that may be unique to you and you’re personality. If you feel there has been a large change in your behavior or emotional state stemming from becoming a parent or would like to develop better methods of responding to your child/children by utilizing positive parenting techniques, please contact us today to schedule the initial session.
Background experience consists of assisting parents in learning and developing parenting techniques through a local child abuse prevention agency. Positive outcomes are evidence of my passion for working with children and their families.
Additional Recommended Resources: