During the COVID-19 pandemic the psychological and emotional care team are still accepting referrals for patients, and their family members and carers, (see details below about how you can be referred for psychological support). All of the appointments are currently telephone consultations.

Cancer diagnosis and treatment affects many aspects of life – both for a patient and their loved ones.

Psychological care is highly effective in helping patients deal with the diagnosis as well as physical and emotional side effects of cancer.

Everyone will experience their illness differently, but its psychological impact is reflected in the following four key areas:

  • Thoughts
    You may have unpleasant thoughts that you cannot easily put out of your mind.
  • Behavioural changes
    These may include disturbed sleep, irritability or changes in eating habits.
  • Bodily changes
    These may include breathlessness, palpitations, nausea and dizziness.
  • Feelings
    These may include shock, disbelief, denial, fear, anxiety, anger, irritability, guilt, depression, hopelessness and helplessness.

Our psychologists and counsellors are here to help you deal with the emotional side effects of cancer and provide information, support and practical help. Based on your assessment, they will offer you a range of therapy types, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based therapy, narrative therapy, existential therapy, systemic therapy, specialised cancer-related interventions and counselling.

You will also have the opportunity to:

  • talk about how you are feeling
  • apply proven self-help techniques to minimise side effects of treatment and enhance your quality of life – both during and after treatment.

A series of sessions may be offered on an individual, couple or group therapy basis. Our service is free and confidential to people living with cancer.

How do I access the service?

Referrals are generally made by your clinical team but specialist staff within the Macmillan Support and Information Service can also refer you.

Your first appointment will include an assessment of your needs and the type of support you may need. Following that, we will offer you the most appropriate psychological support sessions for you. These will be available either on a ward if you are an inpatient or, most commonly, as outpatient appointments.

Please note that we work in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Practice of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Psychology work is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council.

All clinical psychologists are members of the British Psychological Society, Division of Clinical Psychology and Faculty for Oncology and Palliative Care.