Dear All,

I am a Counsellor of 28 years post qualification experience. Since ov. ca., I have had a small private practice to 'keep my hand in' - but my real passion now lies with the community of people coping with cancers.

I just want to dip a toe in the water to ask if you think there is any need for me to provide an online counselling service for those people unwilling to meet with a therapist, but who still need support and understanding?

Please be honest - if you think not I shall not be offended.


16 Replies

  • Hi Isadora

    I have found the counsellor at my treatment centre absolutely wonderful at times when I've had major wobbles, so I would think that for anyone who does not have easy access to a therapist, or who would rather not see someone in person, the service you are thinking of offering might be very welcome indeed.

    Good luck with this venture.

    Love Patsy x

  • Hi Isadora,

    I am sure there would be a number of ladies who would love to chat. You know how difficult it is dealing with o/c and some people do find it hard to cope with, particularly when things don't go well with treatment etc.,

    Some of us are stronger than others, but even the stronger ones crack and need to talk.

    I am sure your services would be more than welcome.

    Love Anna xx

  • Dear Isadora

    I would imagine that there are many cancer patients who would welcome your services and find counselling beneficial. It should not be forgotten that the familiy of a cancer patient is often in need of counselling too and this tends to recede into the background when the cancer sufferer becomes the main focus of attention. In this respect, there is a need to widen the scope of counselling services.

    In direct response to your posting, my only hesitation is on a personal note. You have already experienced a cancer diagnosis yourself and although in one sense this has possibly made you stronger, you will be communicating with patients who will inevitably cause you to re-live your own experiences. I, too, deal with cancer patients, but in a different capacity, and at times I find it overwhelming as it all feels so very real and brings back vivid memories.

    In the first instance, I think that you would find it helpful to talk to Macmillan Cancer Services and float your idea to them. They would be able to give you some guidance about how to proceed with setting up this service.

    I wish you luck with this venture. It is a courageous idea.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Isadora

    I think it is a wonderful idea especially as in my case, nobody has even mentioned counselling or support, I was diagnosed, and just see the onc whenever my appointments are, its a very 'clinical' way to deal with this and saddens me that more isnt done. All they do is throw the macmillan website address at you and send you away with a 'you've got cancer' flea in your ear. If I didnt have such good friends and family Id have cracked by now. Im on my own with 2 kids yet the oncs etc dont know this and I do think that counselling should be offered as part of the care plan. Ive got my surgery in a week yet theres nobody to talk to apart from others that have been through it.

    Go for it, if you think it wont drag up your own emotions in a negative way as Isabelle just mentioned. I think you are amazing

    Kate x

  • I think this is a fantastic idea - bring it on!!!

    Tina xxxx

  • Hi Isadora

    Yes I think there is a need for this sort of service. I had some counselling at the very beginning of this journey. Whilst it was helpful I found that after a while the anticipation of travelling to a particular place, waiting in the reception and going into a particular room to spend a fixed amount of time talking about my illness and how it made me feel was just too intrusive. It was time consuming and I resented the way it made me feel. Not sure if this makes sense.

    Anyway the other aspect that us women have to deal with is our priorities. Ordinarily we try to put others before ourselves - our children, husbands and elderly parents. So it is a challenge to know how to deal with the advice 'look after yourself' when this creates conflicts of interest. In particular the emotional demands that others usually place on you that can prove to be the most difficult. Well I am beginning to sound like your first patient so I will shut up!


  • Hi Isadora

    I looked into this about 10 years ago after I had Breast cancer and Macmillan did at that time run training courses for Counsellers. I did the first stage and met Peter Barlow off Coronation street who was also on the course. Might be worth enquiring as they try to prepare you so you do not take too much on board and re-live your own journey.

    Wendy x

  • Hi Isadora, I think its a great idea, I havent been offered any help at all ,I rang macmillan, who gave me this web site address,ages ago, I also rang this week again as I really feel I need to talk to someone other than my husband to be told there is no help in my area. so I'd love you to set it up. Love Sue x

  • Hi Isadora what a wonderful idea!! Just would like to know if the counselling would be at your office or on the Ovacome website? Would you be charging a fee? Would love to chat as ive never had counselling before but if its in your office then its a bit too far for me to come LOL Love Lynn XXX

  • It would be online, by email, Lynn.

    I would need to charg a small fee - but as small as possible.


  • Hi Isadora,

    You're giving a lot of people a lot of help at the moment, and I'm sure every one is very grateful. I agree with everyone else that says the hospital don't give you much, you have to go out and find help for yourself, which is very stressful when you are unsure of the way forward. Wendy's reply that you contact Macmillan for advise is probably the best as it would let you know what you might be in for. I would hate to feel you had started a ball rolling and couldn't stop it! It is a wonderful idea, just hope you are not to close to it all.



  • I'm sure there is a great need for this, Isadora. Good Luck!



  • Isadora

    That sounds wonderful I always read your posts with great anticipation as they are always helpful and informative. I for one would be interested in your service xx

  • Thank you everyone, for your kind replies - and for giving thought to my own health. As a therapist I have regular support from an independent 'supervisor' (another therapist there to explore where I am with my work). My Supervisor and I have explored the possibility of my own deterioration and managing it - and staying close to that possibility through work, and how that might feel and affect me. We both feel it is worth going ahead with awareness of the dangers.

    Thank you for your answers. I'm starting a course, and will be posting when there is a service to offer.


  • Hi Isadora. It sounds like a great idea to me. You always make such positive, calm, measured comments on here, I'm sure it would be good for those who cannot get out easily or who do not want to go through their hospital or GP services

    Good Luck

    Love, Wendy xx

  • Isadora,

    Your answers are always sympathetic and to the point. I would say Go for it. I, for one have great faith in you.

    On a slightly different subject. My oncologist put me on the list of a therapist attached to my hospital. It took a while to be seen but I liked her very well. I have a daughter in law who is doing a masters and when I told her about it she asked how widespread this provision is. She thought it would be an interesting subject for her dissertation, but i was not able to tell her how many hospitals have a similar service. From the above it sounds like a patchy provision. Do you know anything about this?

    I'm glad you are starting a course. You are a very positive force on this website. I always sit up and take notice when i see your name.

    All the best, Liz

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