The Clinical and Consulting Psychologists at HeadwayHealth have particular experience in the care of individuals affected by cancer
We see patients, family members and carers at various points of the care journey; this may be around the time of a diagnosis, during treatment, or after the completion of treatment as people adjust to the impact of the disease on their life. Common concerns that clients seek assistance with include:
- Changes to health and lifestyle (eg. How do I cope with this news? How do I manage work and/or other responsibilities?)
- Anxiety, stress and fear of recurrence (eg. How do I minimise stress through treatment? How do I control my worries about possible symptoms?)
- Depression, fatigue and sleep difficulties (eg. How do I get a good night’s sleep? What can I do if I find myself getting low?)
- The impact on relationships and communication (eg. What to tell children? How can I deal with others’ comments? As a carer, how can I best provide support?)
- Intimacy and body image (eg. How do I manage this area of my life? What about future relationships?)
- Living with loss and grief (eg. How can I best adjust to these changes? What about future plans?); and
- After cancer (eg. What does life look like now? How do I live the life I want to?)
Research evidence supports the effectiveness of psychological interventions on the quality of life and well-being of those dealing with cancer (see ref.* below), and the provision of emotional support in addition to the delivery of medical interventions is now considered “best practice care”.
*Ref: National Breast Cancer Centre and National Cancer Control Initiative. 2003, Clinical practice guidelines for the psychosocial care of adults with cancer, NBCC, Camperdown.