Adjusting to Vision Loss Counseling

Adjusting to Vision Loss Counseling

Losing one’s sight can initially feel devastating and overwhelming. People experiencing vision loss often fear they will lose their independence, and they may feel anxiety, depression, anger, grief, and isolation. Many times people struggle with the impact of their vision loss on their marriage, family, or other personal relationships, as well as on socialization, recreation, work, or education.

Our Adjustment Counselors can help you understand and work through the process of grief associated with vision loss and develop strategies for coping with the physiological and emotional challenges. The Adjustment Counselor will work with you to build your own personal toolbox for adjusting to the new ways to accomplish your daily living goals.

First steps toward coping and living well with vision loss

When someone is first faced with vision loss, it can seem like an insurmountable blow, the person can feel hopeless, as if life could never get back to being as good as when they had sight. It may be hard for the person to imagine at first, but piece by piece, they can begin to adjust, to re-build their ability to do things in a new way, to gain confidence for independence and more.

Adjustment counseling helps people learn to manage these feelings and break the seemingly insurmountable into small, steps according to their individual goals. Once people find they can accomplish one small task at a time, they begin piecing their successes together into a skill-set for living life to the fullest in a new, happier way.

If you are having difficulty coping with vision loss, we invite you to sign up for MABVI’s counseling service to help you move forward on your journey of living well with vision loss. This service may be provided by one of MABVI’s licensed social workers or an affiliated provider. This service is not available in all areas of the state. If it is not available in your area, however, MABVI may be able to assist you with locating appropriate community resources.

Michael Foran, LICSW is a graduate of Simmons College of Social Work. He provides therapy to adolescents, adults, families and older adults struggling with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, and adjustment issues. Michael has a special interest in vision loss. He also provides support for families and caregivers. Michael can see patients in Brookline.


Sandra Burgess, MSW, LCSW spent 10 years coordinating the Community Volunteer Program here at MABVI, after which she returned to college to obtain a Master’s degree in Social Work. Since graduating in 2007, she has continued to work in community mental health, seeing children, adults, and couples and helping clients cope with anxiety, depression, blended families, sight loss, and traumatic brain injury. She sees patients in Springfield, MA at the Center for Human Development's Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic. To contact please call 508-854-0700.

IlanaRei Goss, MSW, LICSW is a graduate of the Smith College School of Social Work who has been working in the field for over 15 years. She provides psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, including couples. Her main clinical focuses are working with people who identify with a gender or sexual minority (LGBTQIA), as well as people with disabilities, especially visual impairment.

As someone who has experienced vision loss herself, she believes that her empathy and understanding make her uniquely qualified to provide therapy for others experiencing vision loss and their loved ones. Her office is located in Jamaica Plain, two blocks from the Orange Line, and her building is handicapped accessible. She can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (preferred) or by phone at 508-854-0700. She takes Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tufts, Beacon Health Strategies and Medicare.

Selma Mirsky, MSW, LICSW holds degrees from Boston University and UMass Amherst and has worked with many clients coping with vision loss over the years, including people blind since birth, adults who have been blind for a number of years, and elders first losing vision as a result of age-related eye diseases.

Selma performs individual, couples, and group therapy and prefers to work with people in their homes. While her office is in Brookline, she provides in-home counseling in Brookline and the surrounding areas (including Dedham, Needham, Newton, West Roxbury, etc.)

She accepts the following insurances: Medicare, MassHealth, BCBS, Tufts, Aetna, AARP, Optum. To book an appointment, call 508-854-0700.

Marcia Smith-Hutton MSW, LICSW, BCD has over 25 years of experience helping people with depression, anxiety, grief, panic disorders and vision loss. Blind from birth and having grown up in France she is bicultural and bilingual. Before becoming a therapist, she studied music, graduating from a Paris conservatory and moving to Boston for a master's in piano. Before starting her private therapy practice, she worked in several hospitals and mental health centers.

Marcia is able to see consumers in Brookline and is conveniently located on the Green “C” Line. She is also able to provide appointments to people over the telephone if they are unable to access her locality. She takes Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Medicare, Tufts and United. To enquire call 508-854-0700.

To enquire about this service, call 508-854-0700, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or complete our Service Referral Form.