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cancer palliative care support

Cancer, Palliative Illness, End of Life Psychological Support & Outreach

We are proud to be able to offer this specialist support service, providing emotional and psychological support (virtual and in-person) to patients with potentially life threatening, life changing or terminal illness and their families or carers.  We also offer outreach and education to communities, social care and healthcare services to help them to support people with illness, families and carers. 

Psychological Support

We offer evidence-based psychological interventions that aim to support people to reduce psychological, social, spiritual and existential distress, to find meaning, connection and enhance and promote well-being. 

We offer support to help people process grief, loss, existential distress and fear at all stages along the diagnostic and treatment pathway from the moment of diagnosis, during treatment, remission, recurrence, palliative prognosis and treatment, to end of life. 

We offer psychological support to the person with the illness as well as anyone in relations with them (e.g. their families, friends, partners, and carers).

 

Difficulties may include:

  • Adjusting to new diagnosis

  • Grief and loss

  • Treatment related concerns

  • Exploring personal issues

  • Body image issues

  • Anxiety & depression

  • Dealing with practical issues

  • Relationship and/or communication difficulties

  • Existential distress and/fear of death

  • Loss of meaning/purpose

  • Survivorship issues (including fear of recurrence and managing ‘scan-xiety’)

How can a psychologist help me and my family?

A psychologist can play a critical role in supporting individuals with cancer or terminal illness and their family members through the challenges arising from the diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. 

 

Emotional support: A cancer diagnosis or a diagnosis of terminal illness can be emotionally overwhelming for both the person with illness and their family. A psychologist can provide emotional support to help them cope with the stress, anxiety/fear, and depression associated with the diagnosis.

 

Coping strategies: A psychologist can help the person with illness and their to family develop coping strategies to manage the physical and emotional challenges of cancer. This may  include teaching relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and developing helpful thinking styles and perspectives.

 

Communication skills: Cancer and terminal illness can often interfere with communication in families and lead to communication breakdowns, leaving the person with the illness and their families feeling unsupported, struggling and alone. A psychologist can help them improve their communication skills, which can help reduce conflict and increase understanding.

What services do your psychologists provide?

Individual Therapy: Our psychologists provide one-on-one therapy to the person with the illness, to help them make sense of, and manage their emotional and existential distress (including anxiety, depression, grief, and fear of death), as well as providing support to family members and loved ones of a person with illness.

Our psychologists use various approaches, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Compassion focused therapy (CFT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), existential psychotherapy and mindfulness-based therapy (MBT), to support people to come to terms with and cope with the challenges of associated with their illness. Attending a support group may additionally be recommended to provide an opportunity to connect with others who are facing similar challenges.

 

Family therapy and support: A diagnosis of cancer or terminal illness can affect the entire family. Our psychologists provide family therapy to help family members understand each other's perspectives, work through conflicts, and support one-another. Our psychologists provide family support to facilitate communication, to cope emotional distress, and adjust to changes in family dynamics. 

 

End-of-life care: For individuals who have advanced or terminal illness, our psychologists  can provide support and guidance to help them and their family navigate end-of-life care, including managing pain, fear of death and grief.

 

Referral to Other Professionals: Our psychologists are part of a multidisciplinary network providing holistic care for individuals with cancer and terminal illness in London, UK, and can  refer the person with illness to other professionals to facilitate comprehensive care.

 

How do I arrange an initial appointment?

Our service works by self-referral or referral from primary care provider or oncology and palliative care team. You can contact us directly or click on the button below to arrange an initial consultation to discuss if we would be a good fit in providing care for you and/or your family, friend, partner or carer.

PLEASE NOTE- We do not offer a crisis service: If you are in need of urgent assistance please contact your primary care provider or emergency services. You can also see the crisis support hotline numbers on our resources page here.

Additional cancer and palliative care resource pages below:

Cancer Research UK  

Macmillan Cancer Support (UK)

Maggies (UK)

 

The Mulberry Centre (UK)

St Johns Hospice (London, UK)

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