Jane, our Counselling and Bereavement Services Manager, tells us about a new service her team is offering from October 2017. 

“From Monday 2 October 2017 our psychological therapies service will be able to offer our patients, their family, and friends additional support out in the community, as well as at the hospice. This is thanks to the psychological therapies service developing and expanding over these last 12 months so that we now have a great team of volunteers who support the work of our staff counsellors and psychotherapists.

One thing I have known for a long time, is that if people can receive the emotional and psychological support they need prior to bereavement, it can really help them in their grief after their loved one dies, as well as give them the support and resources to manage the daily changes that can happen when living with a terminal illness.

Our patients and their family & friends in the community have been able to have access to this from our Social Worker and our Clinical Nurse Specialists. However, there are times when they need the knowledge, experience, and skills of a qualified counsellor, psychologist or psychotherapist.

This expanded service is open to those people who are receiving medical and nursing support from our Palliative Care Partnership at home. That can be the person living with a palliative illness, a member of their family, their children or a close friend. People often find talking confidentially to someone outside the family a relief and it can help them find a way to talk through some of their concerns, fears and perhaps some unresolved issues in their lives. Sometimes a one-off session is enough and other people may find meeting their counsellor regularly for a few sessions is what they need.

 

What is important is that we find a way to help each person get what they need and that is why we have a variety of ways of helping.  These range from talking therapies, to creative ways of exploring and expressing difficult and complex issues, play therapy for children and working together with couples and families.

 

A Mum fed back after her son had seen me for some counselling and play therapy: 

 ‘I am answering on my child’s behalf (8-year-old boy). Jane unlocked something in Harry’s head and he has been happier and less worried about things. It is still early days and I am hoping he continues to stay positive. Many thanks.’ 

Another client said their sessions: 

Gave me tools and skills to cope. Taught me how to live in the moment and not to race ahead. Allayed any fears of how I would cope in the future as help would be available for me. Helped me sleep better as I could offload. Invaluable to me, excellent service, thank you so much.’

If someone needs some psychological support they can either ask their doctor or nurse to refer them or alternatively they call telephone the Patient and Family Support Team to talk about what is available on 01273 273400.’’