Serious illness and living with its impact
"I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me "
- Dawna Markova
Serious illness usually feels devastating. We all have coping mechanisms, but sometimes they simply don't feel up to it when faced with something so big. After all, what do you do if you usually get busy when feeling anxious but your treatment has left you too bone-tired to get busy? However it is my experience that, given the right support, time and encouragement each person has an underlying sense of how to find the resilience they need in a new way, and that counselling can help in that process.
Do you experience any of the following?
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Get frustrated with yourself for not feeling better quickly enough, or being exhausted all the time
- Not sleeping properly
- Worried, or terrified about the future/ how the family will cope
- Racing mind
- Wondering how you'll cope if or when your partner dies
- Get snappy with the things people say to you
- Feeling like you don't recognise yourself any more
- Not wanting to look at your body
Dealing with a life changing diagnosis, difficult treatment, life after treatment, loss or bereavement is no easy matter, whether you are the one who is ill or the one supporting and witnessing it. Fortunately I am already familiar with the landscape and can offer to be a guide along the way. People who have gone through counselling at this time have frequently been surprised to find that they can regain their confidence, enjoy life again, and find a more settled place inside themselves.
If you choose to contact me, we will have an initial free telephone call to establish briefly what is concerning you, and whether it falls within my range of expertise. If so, the subsequent meeting will take place at one of the venues in which I work. This gives us an opportunity to see if you feel comfortable with me, and for me to hear your concerns and hopes in more detail. All being well, we would then arrange regular sessions. The timings and fees for these meetings are detailed below. The premises I use for counselling are in Adisham and Barham, within easy reach of Canterbury, Folkstone and Dover, both by road and by bus.
Individuals (50 minutes): £50 per session
Couples (75 minutes): £75 per session
Reduced fees available in 2018 for members of the Canterbury Cancer Care Club, both relatives and those who have been through treatment, for up to 12 sessions each. This reduced fee is £30 per session.
Sessions are usually confidential, but it is worth knowing that occasionally there are exceptions in order to make sure people are safe and that the counselling is being provided in line with professional good practice.. These include situations where I believe that someone may hurt themselves or someone else is in danger. This would generally involve contact with that person's GP, and wherever possible with the person's agreement.