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Parenting a disabled child: Coping or growing? Learning from research, context and lived experience

27 January 2021 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
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In this webinar counselling psychologists with lived experience will explore ways of supporting parents of disabled children and consider how integrative and flexible approaches can meet the clients' needs.

There are around 1 million disabled children under the age of 16 which equates to one child in 20.

The charity Contact suggest that ‘72% of families with disabled children experience mental ill health such as anxiety, depression or breakdown due to isolation’.  

It is well recognised that Parent carers experience greater risk to their mental health in terms of increased stress, anxiety, distress and depression.  Caring can also affect their physical health and often continues into adulthood.

The practical and emotional struggles for families with a disabled child can often be deeply intertwined.  Families with a disabled child have been disproportionately affected by austerity and poverty negatively impacts all areas of life.

Specialist services do exist but they are disparately spread over the UK and across sectors.  Some professionals work in special schools, CAMHS, wider-NHS or private practice. This makes it hard to network, receive appropriate peer supervision and find relevant CPD.

We will highlight the impact of the socio-political context, explore common emotions and difficulties, and discuss signposting to further information for supporting this client group. 

Target audience

Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors and others offering emotional support to this  this client group may be based in schools (special and mainstream), NHS (CAMHS and other teams), non-profit organisations or working independently.

As the webinar is a shorter session it may be better suited to early to mid-career professionals.  However, no fora exist for professionals working with this client group so even seasoned professionals may benefit.  

Please note, this webinar will not be recorded. To avoid disappointment please only book a place if you are able to attend the live webinar.

Learning Outcomes

Attendees will have a broader awareness of the socio-political landscape in which their clients find themselves.  They will be up to date on the research on this client group – challenges and strengths as well as helpful interventions.  Their work will therefore be enhanced in terms of understanding, awareness and evidence-based practice.

  1. Broader awareness of socio-political context
  2. Risks and challenges for parent carer mental health (e.g. behaviours that challenge)
  3. Background overview on relevant Attachment and Trauma literature
  4. Strengths of this client group (e.g. solution-focused, helping other parents)
  5. Evidence-based interventions including Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  6. Nurturing growth and flourishing in parent carers
  7. Planned future ongoing support for the network

Presenter: Joanna Griffin CPsychol AFBPsS

I qualified as a Counselling psychologist in 2005. I am also a Parent Carer with lived experience of parenting a disabled child.  I am currently researching ‘Emotional Wellbeing in Parents of Children with a Learning and/or Developmental Disability’ on the joint Middlesex University/Metanoia DPsych by Professional Studies.

I have delivered training on the Supervision module at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling as well as a number of trainings in various work settings – NHS, Hoffmann Foundation for Autism and Hemihelp. I have run Parent Carer support groups for Mencap and Scope.

I have a Professional Trainer certificate from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Presenter: Dr Lisa Greenspan CPsychol

I gained my Doctorate in counselling psychologist at City University in 2010. My thesis title was Counselling Psychology and Carers of Children with Learning Disabilities: Engaging the relational experience of Self. I trained in supervision skills at the UKCP registered Institute of Psychosynthesis course  2014-15.

I have delivered training programs to staff in the NHS and Social Services, and designed a Foster Grandparenting volunteer training for Age Concern. I have spoken about Disability in the Workplace as a guest lecturer in the MSc Organisational Psychology program at City University. I have also delivered trainings on Mindfulness for Professionals working with parents, children and adolescents through Parenting Partnership Suffolk.  I designed and facilitated a training program for Respond learning disability charity Circles of Support and Accountability program for volunteers and I currently run my own specialist professional training and supervision program in my role as Director of London Accessible Psychotherapy independent service (LAPIS), in Special Topics in Counselling and Psychotherapy with People with Disabilities. I am also an Accredited Training Volunteer for Epilepsy Action. 


Start- 11:00

Finish – 13:00

Price £80.00 (£ 66.67 + VAT)
Society member £48.50 (£40.42 + VAT)  

To register for the webinar you need to sign into your BPS user account or create a new account by clicking the ‘create an account’ button. When signed in, click the ‘register’ button to book onto the workshop.

There is a £15 cancellation fee.

Please note, this webinar will not be recorded. To avoid disappointment please only book a place if you are able to attend the live webinar.

Professional Development Centre
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