The Counselling Service at Cancer Help offers patients and their carers the opportunity to talk through the emotional and psychological difficulties which accompany the diagnosis of cancer. This process enables the individual to cope better with their circumstances and to feel more ‘in control’. Counselling is a form of helping and is very much a part of holistic care.
Counselling may be helpful in order to discuss the situation that has arisen and the implications, but also to view life more objectively; assess one’s own reaction to the situation and the contribution that this reaction makes.
The counselling is primarily person centred, which allows the patient/client to set the pace and to work through the presenting issue. It is a gentle approach which makes the exploration of feelings and emotions possible. This exploration often brings about feelings of release, and thus relief.
There are differing ways to approach counselling and different types within each approach. Cancer Help offers counselling for individuals/couples/families, and also a mixture of each, according to the individual circumstances. The Counselling Service is responsive to the needs of each individual case.
The number of sessions attended varies from person to person according to individual need and circumstances.
CancerHelp does keep patient notes but these are handled with the strictest confidence and stored in securely locked filing cabinets. These notes contain little information, primarily recording attendance. It is possible for notes not to be kept should the client so wish.
In exceptional circumstances information may be discussed with the Director of Nursing & Therapies – but this action would only be undertaken with the client’s consent.
The aims of counselling are to:
- Reduce stress and anxiety;
- Improve acceptance of the present situation;
- Increase the ability to cope with the disease and treatment;
- Encourage a state of well-being;
- Generate a feeling of self-worth;
- Improve quality of life.