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Patient & Family Counselling

Counselling is part of an integrated team approach to treating the needs of the whole person.
I thought I was handling everything pretty well considering. But when I couldn't sleep anymore and just looking at my wife would make me feel like crying, I knew I needed more than just thinking positive   

The experience of cancer can add another layer to a person’s life. Any difficulties or stressors that were there before still need to be dealt with. In addition, cancer diagnosis and treatment have their own set of challenges. We can help you cope with your emotions and assist with practical concerns. 

All our counsellors are masters and doctorate trained with expertise in understanding the physical and biological aspects of cancer treatment and their impact on your well-being. Counsellors can talk to you in person or over the phone. We work with individuals, couples and families throughout cancer treatment and beyond. We also lead support programs.

Counselors can provide support in the following areas:

  • Practical and financial (what do I need, when and who do I contact) 

  • Emotional and mental health (sadness, anger, depression, anxiety, grief and loss) 

  • Social (relationships with family, healthcare providers and others) 

  • Spiritual (beliefs, faith and hope)

 
Someone receiving a diagnosis of cancer and receiving cancer treatment can feel intense emotions.  We know that between 35-45% of all cancer patients experience significant emotional distress at some point.  This is also true for family, friends and caregivers. 

We also know that patients who receive support are better able to manage such things as:

  • Fear, anxiety and depression 
  • Family tensions 
  • Relationship problems 
  • Lifestyle changes 
  • Financial stressors 
 
Every cancer centre has Patient & Family Counselling Services as well as various support programs.  You are welcome to contact your local centre and make an appointment. There are no fees for services since costs are covered under your BC healthcare plan. 

Our role is to support you in:

  • Assessing your emotional/mental health 
  • Providing feedback 
  • Defining what supports will be useful to improve your coping 
  • Creating a plan to increase your coping skills and to reduce the impact on your overall health 
  • Reviewing the plan to see if it worked 
  • Looking for more solutions
  • Our counsellors also lead support programs

A Patient & Family Counsellor can refer you to supports in your community. Or you can go directly to a community support such as a counselling agency or information line and ask for help. 

 


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