Paraplegia creates social, sexual and emotional problems, and the impact of these was investigated in an interview study of 22 male and female paraplegics. Of particular concern was the way in which individuals were coping with the difficulties confronting them. People used a number of strategies for dealing with other people and their attitudes, and for readjusting sexually. In dealing with their own personal feelings about their disability, ways of coping were varied and included suppression, denial and repression, resignation and acceptance, positive thinking and independence and assertiveness. No specific recommendations can be made about ways of coping that will be most adaptive, since these will depend upon the individual and his or her circumstances. What is important for counselling, however, is to recognise the range of coping strategies that are available, and to be able to guide the individual toward those which effect the best match between their needs and the demands of the situation.