Our confidential and professional counselling service aims to support the emotional needs of vision impaired people under the age of 30 and their families.
Our counselling service is designed to encourage and enable vision impaired children, young adults and caregivers of vision impaired people to develop and enhance skills, strategies, self-awareness, confidence and resilience, so that they are better equipped to respond to, cope with and manage the issues and challenges that affect their lives.
The BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) defines counselling as:
Counselling takes place when a counsellor sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be ‘sent’ for counselling. By listening attentively and patiently the counsellor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client’s point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counselling is a way of enabling choice or change or of reducing confusion. Â It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action. Counsellors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way. In the counselling sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. The counsellor will encourage the expression of feelings and as a result of their training will be able to accept and reflect the client’s problems without becoming burdened by them. Acceptance and respect for the client are essentials for a counsellor and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between the counsellor and client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and themselves which they may not have considered or been able to face before. The counsellor may help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome and to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start. The counsellor may help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for the
We pride ourselves in being able to offer this vital service, delivered by our highly skilled and qualified counsellors. We believe their specialist knowledge of visual impairment, combined with many years of experience working with vision impaired people and their families, enables greater insight into our client’s needs.
After we’ve received your application, or you have been referred to us by another organisation, one of our counsellors will get in touch with you within two weeks, with an assessment being offered within six weeks of the date of referral.
After an assessment has taken place, a counselling agreement that outlines the expectations, boundaries and limitations of our counselling service will be discussed between you and one of our counsellors. Children who are under the age of 16 require a parent or guardian to read and sign the agreement on their behalf. To meet the logistical needs of children and parents/guardians, we can arrange counselling sessions to be held either at our offices in Hove or within schools.
One to one counselling sessions are provided for up to one year including an initial six week assessment period, with regular reviews to assess ongoing need. This gives the client and counsellor the opportunity to reflect upon and identify any issues that still need attention. At this point goals can be set and agreed upon by the client, counsellor and parent/guardian when required. Any additional work required after a year will be assessed by the counsellor and discussed and agreed with a parent/guardian when necessary. This is to reflect the unique and complex needs of each individual.
In addition to one to one counselling sessions, advocacy support is also offered to clients to enable and support effective communication with other services and agencies, such as schools, social services, GPs and other health professionals. Advocacy support can also include attending meetings, report and letter writing and any other communications that are beneficial.
Our counsellors attend regular professional supervision and are members of and work within the ethical framework and guidelines set out by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
David has Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) and is formally a client of Blatchington Court Trust. In 2000, David graduated from Chichester University with a BA honours degree in Humanistic Counselling and soon after founded our counselling service. Since then David has provided counselling and advocacy support to hundreds of our clients and their families.
Barbara has Macular Dystrophy and is registered blind; two of her three children also having the same eye condition. Her first-hand experience of living with sight loss and parenting visually impaired children, combined with many years as a professional counsellor, provides invaluable experience to our counselling team.
A counselling agreement outlines the expectations, boundaries and limitations of our counselling service and is discussed between you and the counsellor prior to your first session. Children who are under the age of 16 require a parent or guardian to read and sign the agreement on their behalf. Please use the links below to download a copy of our counselling agreement.
If you feel that our counselling service may be of benefit to you, your child or somebody who you care for, please complete our online referral form. Alternatively, please contact us to speak with somebody who can assist you.
For general enquiries and to find out more about our counselling service, please email email@example.com or call 01273 727222 and ask to speak with David.
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