Around 25% of adults will have a stroke in their lifetime. And around one-third of stroke survivors will be left with damage to the part of their brain that decodes and organises language – leaving them with a disability known as aphasia. Aphasia can affect speaking and understanding as well as reading and writing abilities, but does not affect intelligence. It can vary in severity from getting a few words mixed up, to being unable to say any words.
Aphasia can be a difficult and frustrating disability to live with, and can disrupt many aspects of a person’s life – including relationships, holding down a job, and social activities. As such, depression is common, affecting an estimated two-thirds of people with aphasia. Yet many people with aphasia struggle to access the psychological support they need – psychological therapies, or “talk therapies”, can feel inaccessible to someone with a language disability.