April 3, 2023

A Different Type of ABCs: Adjustment-to-Blindness Counseling (ABC)

- Sarah Huckabee

graphic with Social Worker, Sarah Huckabee's photo that reads "Adjustment-to-Blindness Counseling with Social Worker Sarah Huckabee"

Vision loss can be a very difficult experience. Adjustment-to-Blindness Counseling offers support to individuals who are just beginning their journey with vision loss as well as those who may have started their journey some time ago.


Receiving a diagnosis of vision loss is often a traumatic experience. It’s important to note that grief is a natural response to a significant loss and the initial reaction to news that you are losing your sight can be similar to the loss of a loved one. While each person’s experience will be different, there are seven phases of adjustment that tend to be shared.


Adjustment Phases

Phase 1: Trauma

Phase 2: Shock & Denial

Phase 3: Mourning & Withdrawal

Phase 4: Succumbing & Depression

Phase 5: Reassessment & Reaffirmation

Phase 6: Coping & Mobilization

Phase 7: Self-Acceptance & Self-Esteem


Adjustment-to-Blindness Counseling (ABC) can help people process the trauma of a diagnosis. Understanding the feelings that go along with the grief experience will help ease fears and facilitate the adjustment process to promote skills building and development of tools to manage these emotions.

Therapists work one-on-one with clients to ensure they can achieve their goals. ABC offers the opportunity to explore and problem solve perceived and actual losses associated with loss of sight. ABC also reinforces that you can still do many things, just in different ways to support confidence and self-esteem. During this process, clients receive emotional support and encouragement while gaining information for living well with vision loss.


It’s important to keep in mind that adjustment is not a linear process.  It often looks more like this: colorful lines and squiggles going in all directions  than

this: . ABC therapists are here to help clients with their experience as individuals by offering emotional support and education to learn new skills related to emotions, communication, lifestyle, and goals.


If you or a loved one could benefit from adjustment-to-blindness counseling, please call us at 603-224-4039 or email us at [email protected].

About the Author: Sarah Huckabee is a Social Worker at Future In Sight. Sarah provides Adjustment-to-Blindness counseling to adults experiencing vision loss.