Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Dorset woman with muscle-wasting and weakening condition facilitates support groups

A Dorset counsellor is on a mission to help provide mental health support for the muscle-wasting and weakening community.

Louise Halling, 45, from Poole, Dorset, a professional counsellor and psychotherapist with over 15 years’ experience, knows first-hand the challenges people face living with a life-limiting condition.

Louise was diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) 25 years ago aged 20. At the same time, her mum was also diagnosed with the condition having been misdiagnosed previously.

Louise has joined forces with Muscular Dystrophy UK, the leading charity for more than 110,000 children and adults in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions, to launch a series of therapeutic support groups.

The free sessions are for partners and spouses of people with muscular dystrophy, newly diagnosed individuals and parents of children with a condition to have deep and emotional discussions about living with a muscle-wasting condition.

Louise’s hard work supporting Muscular Dystrophy UK and the muscle wasting and weakening community was recently recognised at the Muscular Dystrophy UK President’s Awards, where she was highly commended for the Richard Attenborough Award for Outstanding Achievement, presented by Michael Attenborough CBE.

The awards, hosted by the charity’s Gabby Logan MBE, recognised heroes within the muscle-wasting and weakening community who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference.

Louise said:

“The emotional impact of having lived with this condition for half of my life is now immense. It’s a life-long, ongoing, ever-changing process of grief and loss. All the emotions associated with grief are involved in learning to live with it – shock, sadness, anger, fear, depression, and acceptance. It is a cycle, which ebbs and flows like the ocean.

“My condition is partly what has shaped my career. It’s the ideal job for someone with a significant, life-limiting disability. The disabled community wants a counsellor with a lived experience. I love that I’m able to help make a difference. It gives me such a sense of purpose.

“Muscular dystrophy can be such a challenging and lonely condition to live with at times. We all deserve to have an outlet for our emotions. I hope these therapeutic support groups help improve the mental health of many more people going forward. I’d encourage people to sign up and join me.”

Learn more about Louise’s story at: and sign up for Muscular Dystrophy UK’s therapeutic support groups, please visit:

For more information about Muscular Dystrophy UK visit or call our free helpline on 0800 652 6352 (open Mon – Thu 10am – 2pm).


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