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Counseling Disabled People

We all carry distresses about disabilities. For some of us, this means confusing health issues with disabilities. Simplistically: a health issue implies treatment and improvement, whereas a disability is permanent. I’ve experienced health issues, and I am also disabled.

When I first meet people I am going to Co-Counsel with, I usually ask, “What, if anything, do you need to be physically comfortable?” I may also ask, “Is there anything you want to share with me?” If they talk about a health issue or a disability, I maintain a relaxed interest and sometimes ask them to “give it to me,” or I ask them, “How would I feel if I had X—?” This often leads to much laughter.

When working with a new disabled Co-Counselor, I have found it useful to research information, and part of that is to actually talk to people with disabilities about their needs.

Kath Silard

Rosewater, South Australia, Australia

Excerpted from the newsletter of the Western Adelaide, South Australia, RC Community

(Present Time 171, April 2013)

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00