Kate Welsh – Disability Affirming Counselor
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M.Ed - Social Justice Education
As a disabled person who has worked in the mental health and the social service sector for over ten years, I know that there is a lack of mental health support for sick/disabled folks and the general care that does exist is not disability competent. Ableism is a profound barrier to accessing the life we want as disabled and sick folks, ableism runs through all parts of our lives – medical ableism from doctors, lack of support for our hopes and dreams from family because “you’re too disabled to do that,” physical barriers to our classrooms or workplaces and internalized ableism that comes from ourselves when we start believing what society is telling us. Internalized ableism can make us feel not worthy of love, support, work, school, relationships, pets, friends and a purpose in life.
I offer mental health support to people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. As we all know our wellbeing is a combination of all parts of our lives including our mental health. Often mental health takes a backseat when managing chronic illness or disability, but it needs attention too.
I work with a healing justice and trauma informed approach. I acknowledge how various oppressions and identities intersect and can affect our wellbeing. I see my role as a counselor as an ally in supporting you in your own work. I am here to witness your growth, to help you notice your own behaviors and patterns and to hold space for you to feel and process. I want you to be able to connect to your own values and dreams, to be empowered to know what is you and what society is “expecting” of you.
In addition to supporting disabled and/or chronically ill folks I work with parents, siblings and caretakers. As an adult, I understand the amount of stress that having a sick child can put on parents, as well as siblings. I offer a listening and empathic place where you can get support for your unique needs as well. Disability doesn’t just affect the individual, it can affect folks around us too.
All of the counseling is done over video chat. I offer a free 20 minute “meet and greet” to see if we would be a good fit. Sessions are sliding scale $50-75. I work outside of the medical model and therefore do not qualify for insurance reimbursements.