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Counselling support for carers and families

The counselling service offers psychological and emotional support to families, carers and friends affected by the events and changes illness brings, through into bereavement.

How counsellors can help

Counselling sessions are confidential and counsellors will see people individually or together with other family members. They help by discussing the deepest concerns, difficulties and distress the person is experiencing, by supporting them to express their feelings, adjust and find ways of coping with what is happening. Counsellors are also experienced in helping to address the needs of children and young people at this difficult time and offering support and guidance to parents/carers.

The Counselling Service is provided by qualified counsellors, accredited through either the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy or the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.

How might you feel?

Living and coping with a serious illness can affect people in different ways. There may be periods of managing well and feeling hopeful, and periods of uncertainty, fear, anger, sadness or distress. Sometimes people feel alone, confused, hopeless or overwhelmed. Roles and close relationships, intimacy, confidence and sense of purpose can all be affected in various ways. Such feelings and changes are natural responses to what patients and people close to them go through at this vulnerable time. People may or may not experience any or all of these – everyone is different.

You may experience a range of emotions from fear and anxiety to physical symptoms. It can help to talk about to someone who is not personally involved.


Patient and family support groups

Run by counsellors and usually held on a monthly basis, the groups aim to bring people together with others in similar circumstances, to share experiences and gain information and support. When running, information about the groups is sent out to patients by post.

Counsellors are also involved in Carers Days, ‘Link Up’ Groups and Patient and Family Support Groups. An important part of our ethos is to support families during their bereavement and the counsellors coordinate sending information out to next of kin about the counselling and bereavement support groups available.


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