Despite the NDIS scheme offering many services and support, counselling is often overlooked, yet very important. Experiencing feelings of anxiety and sadness is common, and acknowledging them can be challenging. However, therapists and counsellors are available to guide and assist in navigating the overwhelming nature of stress. Here’s a closer look at how counselling can fit into your NDIS plan.
What is Counselling?
Counselling is a form of therapy accredited professionals offer to help people with disability look after their mental health and improve personal skills. These counsellors are trained to listen to NDIS participants’ unique stories and feelings, help navigate emotions and develop strategies to help overcome problems. They also work at your pace and support you to create solutions that will work for you.
Types of Counselling Services
Counselling services covered in an NDIS plan vary according to individual needs and can include;
Psychological Counselling: Involves one-on-one sessions with a qualified psychologist to address mental health concerns and build coping strategies.
Behavioural Therapy: This form of counselling addresses behavioural challenges to help participants develop adaptive behaviours and coping mechanisms.
Counselling can include a wide range of topics:
- Anxiety and depression
- Grief and bereavement
- Anger management
- Pain and fatigue
- Emotional well-being
- Social isolation
- Sleep issues due to anxiety and depression
- Self-esteem, confidence and assertiveness issues
How to Get Started
NDIS participants requiring counselling must have ‘Improved Daily Living’ included in their NDIS plans. Improved Daily Living provides funds for accessing allied health professionals. People with disability can use part of or the entire Improved Daily Living budget for counselling if it relates to their short-term goals.
If you meet the eligibility criteria for counselling services in your NDIS plan, your first session with a counsellor is centred on learning more about you and establishing therapy goals. They will ask about your history, current situation, goals, struggles and interests.
The NDIS counsellor creates a secure and supportive environment for you during counselling sessions. These sessions encompass various approaches, allowing you to feel heard, process emotions, and take it a step at a time toward achieving your goals.
How Long Should NDIS Counselling Last?
The duration of your NDIS counselling is flexible and tailored to your personal preferences and available funding. During the initial sessions, the frequency of appointments will be determined, with the ultimate of empowering you with the necessary skills to achieve your goals.
Counselling provides a dedicated space to discuss and develop coping strategies in relationships, depression, anxiety, emotional regulation, behavioural issues and more.
Your goals will be periodically reviewed to assess your progress and identify opportunities for growth. If your goals no longer align with your needs or you are struggling to find a compatible counsellor, consider consulting with your GP or Support Coordinator for guidance and assistance.
Benefits of Including Counselling in Your NDIS Plan
Counselling can benefit certain NDIS participants in numerous ways, including:
- Mental Health Support NDIS counselling provides participants with a safe and supportive environment to discuss their emotions, fears, and anxieties. This helps in building resilience, coping with stress, and managing the emotional impact of a disability.
- Coping Strategies Fitting counselling in your NDIS plan may equip you with effective coping strategies to navigate both the physical and emotional challenges of living with a disability or, in general, with everyday life. A professional NDIS counsellor will teach you coping mechanisms that empower you to navigate difficult situations and build self-confidence.
- Improved Daily Living Skills Many NDIS participants may struggle with managing daily tasks and routines. A certified NDIS counsellor may incorporate life skills training such as time management, personal care, and household chores. Gaining independence in these areas enhances the quality of life to foster greater self-reliance.
- Addressing Social Isolation People with disability may face social isolation and, at times, can feel lonely or depressed. Social skills training through counselling can help to build meaningful relationships and connections within communities, which positively impacts one’s overall well-being and happiness.
- Family and Caregiver Support Counselling may involve family members and caregivers to foster better understanding and support for a participant’s needs and goals. NDIS counselling involving family and carers may also help address potential conflicts, enhance communication, and promote a more cohesive and supportive system for everyone involved.
- Navigating Transitions Major life transitions like moving from school to work or to independent/shared living can be challenging. Counselling provides valuable support in these critical periods to help participants adapt to change and confidently face new experiences and challenges.
- Personal Growth and Empowerment NDIS counselling fosters personal growth and empowerment for participants. It makes NDIS participants self-aware and empowers them to confidently advocate for their needs and make informed decisions about their lives. Gaining insight into your abilities and strengths helps develop a positive self-image and gives you a sense of purpose.
NDIS counselling can be vital for enhancing participants’ well-being and empowering a sense of independence. By addressing one’s mental health, goal setting, daily living skills, social isolation and more, counselling provides invaluable support that compliments other NDIS services. Moving forward with the NDIS, it is crucial to acknowledge and prioritise the importance of counselling in nurturing the potential of people with disability, allowing them to thrive and participate actively in the community.