counselling, works in weird ways!

I like many others, found that I wasn’t getting back to ‘normal’ as quick as I should, crying over daytime tv and the like, so signed up to counselling…much as I have never set much store in ‘that kind of thing’!
So I turn up for session 1,
Q1; What is it about having cancer thats making you upset?
Aghast, me answers, ‘that would be the dying’
Q2: What is about Dying that upsets you?
Even more Aghast, and wanting to run screaming from the building, 'That would be the not being here?
Has any one else had such a weak and uninspiring experience!
Actually, after the experience (which i kicked into touch after 3 sessions) did click me back, I remembered how strong I was and how silly some people are, I benefitted from the experience but not in the way, perhaps, I should!

This cancer business saps our confidence and our ability to be ourselves, but counselling, I hope others have had better experiences?


Mine has been a very positive experience. I’m having counselling at the moment. I was diagnosed in May and have been holding it all in (up until a month ago) and it was like a dam had burst and all this emotion came flooding out and I was in a terrible state and just wanted someone to talk to. I’ve seen my counsellor twice and she is fantastic and has never asked me anything about dying and why would that upset you! What a question to ask!! It sounds like it worked in the end .

She just lets me talk and talk and then sums up everything I have said and gets to the root of how I am feeling. I had my second session last week and said at the beginning that I didn’t think I had much to say and then an hour later I haven’t stopped talking again!


Hi Claire,

It sounds as if you have what I would call the stereo typical experience of counseling.

It is as if anyone could come up with a set of questions to promote communication on a subject.

Perhaps you might like to try counselling from a different source. If your doctor recommended it do you feel you could go back to him/her to explain how useless it was to you?
If it was an occupational health officer from work perhaps you could go to your GP an ask for another referral.

My experience from OH at work was worse than useless. I know that the essence of counselling is to help people come to there own conclusions but really, do we need them to ask the obvious? we already do this to ourselves.

Before I was diagnosed I once had a short spell of feeling low and phoned a helpline similar to the Samaritans. The helpline was extremely helpful as they explored my feelings without asking silly questions and in fact I talked myself out of the feeling low whilst on the line.

I think if we take each day as it comes and not try too hard to get back to ‘normal’ then things will get back, although slowly, to a stage of thinking about subjects not related to cancer, its prognosis and what hymns we want playing at our funeral!

Take care


Hi Clair

I too went to counseling, quite a while ago now, pre dx. Like you I wondered how it could help, but I went as the doctor had referred me. I got to a point when I didn’t know what else to say, so I told the counsellor I didn’t feel I had to go any more,
she just looked at me and said, ‘oh no we are just getting started, when you can talk about these issues without crying, the hurt will have gone’.

I remember feeling gobsmacked at the time, but how right she was, as 3 months down the line I could talk without it hurting, I had moved on in my life and now look back on it as a very positive experience. I do think she was a very good counsellor, and I am sure there are good ones and bad ones as in everything. Glad it helped you in a funny sort of way techy.


My experience of counselling, was:
counseller; what are you fightened off
response: dying
Counseller: have you thought of commiting suiced
response: yes
Counseller: why haven’t you
response: after much thought and tears, I can’t leave my kids
I can’t remember much about the rest of the conversation.
But I skipped out of that room, because I had found a reason to keep going, which was my kids, and focused on staying strong for them.

It worked for me, I also felt ashamed that I had those thoughts, when there are people much worse off and get on with life