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Counselling & Psychotherapy

Every patient within the Living Well Service has the opportunity to access our counselling and psychotherapy service. Patients can arrange to use this service by talking with their key worker. There is also counselling available for those who are bereaved for those who feel they need additional help coping with a bereavement. More information on the bereavement counselling service is available here. 

Common issues 

For many patients, illness and treatment bring other, sometimes unexpected, difficulties into their lives. Some people find it hard to face uncertainty about the future. Some are searching for meaning in what has happened. Some find it hard to tolerate a loss of control in their lives. Sometimes patients feel the need to talk openly but they don't feel able to because they don't want to upset others, appear negative or hinder their chances of being treated fairly at work.

The stress of serious illness brings some families closer together but it can also drive a family apart. Some patients have people around them who provide emotional support but some are not so lucky. Sometimes difficulties arise in a patient's relationships. Physical effects of illness or treatment may cause a patient to feel differently about their body and lose a sense of wellbeing and confidence. Sometimes the body no longer works as it did and this can cause anxiety, depression and grief over what has been lost.

A chance to explore

"it was so helpful to be able to say whatever I needed to without fear of judgement"

Our patients often welcome a chance to explore these issues with someone other than friends and family. To be able to talk about it with someone who understands and doesn't make judgments can be an important part of learning to cope. They can then make sense of what is happening while keeping it all confidential.

The therapeutic relationship

"I have been helped to discover the real me"

Our patients usually work with their counsellor or psychotherapist for an hour a week over a period of time. This is a chance for our patients to talk openly about their feelings, thoughts, beliefs, plans and ways of coping. We help our patients to adjust to their situation, discover what they need and decide how to make changes that enable them to feel better about themselves. Sometimes patients can feel the benefit after only a few sessions and sometimes they want or need to use the service for a longer time.

A range of approaches

"supportive, acknowledging distress but not leaving me stuck in it"

When a patient is referred to us, we choose a counsellor or psychotherapist for them who uses an approach which we believe will meet their needs most effectively.

  • With a humanistic approach, patients are helped to become their best self, allowing them to draw on their own strengths and work out a way forward that feels right for them.
  • With a psychodynamic approach, patients are helped to become aware of what drives them and how their view of the present is affected by the past. They are then in a better position to make the changes that they need to.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy is another approach we use. Here, our patients learn how the way they think and their beliefs affect how they feel and the things they do. They can then change patterns of thinking that are not helpful. Sometimes they also learn useful practices such as mindful meditation. This helps them to develop a more self-healing and self-compassionate way of being.