Counselling for parents: Is your child different?

5482147630_d089637b2fI have a passion for providing counselling for parents who have children who are, for lack of a better term, ‘different’.  What does different mean in this context?  It can mean anything, from finding out that your child has Down Syndrome, Autism or any other kind of special need.  It can mean that the doctors are unsure what sex to assign your newborn child, because of ambiguous genitalia.  It can mean that your male child wishes to be a female, and seems adamant that he was supposed to be a she. It can mean that your child is, or will be, physically disfigured.  These are all very different issues, but the common denominator is that these parents go through a sense of shock, often accompanied by a sense of loss.

During these hard times, friends and other family members can be great support structures, so are parents with children similar to yours, if you are lucky enough to find them. These support structures frequently  help parents and families see a brighter future for their own, and help create a positive outlook for the future.  However, there are very few places where parents have a safe space to express the crappy feelings that they sometimes feel.

Most parents, older siblings, or even the family as a whole, need a space to mourn the ‘perfect’ child which everyone was expecting.  No-one goes through a pregnancy expecting these kinds of differences. As the baby grows in utero, we create wonderful fantasies of how we will grow up together, as a family. Of the things you would like to do together. When parents find out that their child is ‘different’, it may feel like these fantasies and wishes for the future are shattered. That they are no longer possible because of this difference.  Even if their child has a fantastic future ahead of them, this feeling of difference can be emotionally crippling for some parents.

Through counselling, I offer parents a safe space to mourn their expected child. These sessions sometimes focus on letting go of the ‘perfect’ child that was originally anticipated, mourning the ideal child that they had hoped for.  Sometimes these sessions focus on brainstorming ways to try and handle their child’s difference within their social circles, for a wider sense of acceptance for their child.  Sometimes these sessions just provide the parents with some breathing room, to be the human beings that they are, without having to do anything else for the hour.

These counselling process all work towards helping parents to be the best they can be for their specific families.  Counselling for parents with different children

For the next few months, I am offering a special price of R150 for the first session, for parents who fit into the above description. This offer allows you to meet me, and see if my counselling process will work for you. If I am the counsellor for you, then great! If not, I will try help find a counsellor or therapist better suited to you.

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