The NHS estimates that ‘1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime’.

Whether it’s yourself, a family member or a friend who’s diagnosed, finding out someone you care for has cancer can coincide with difficult, unsettling and often painful emotions. Shock, anxiety and anger may be a huge part of it and can be hard to process.

We provide counselling services in Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and, most recently, South Tyneside Hospital.

Kerry Rundle, our Manager of Counselling Services, said: “Some people prefer structured sessions with coping strategies and advice. Others want to offload and talk to someone who isn’t emotionally involved in their situation, it’s totally up to them.” The first session is about finding out what the client wants from counselling.

A goal is set for the eight sessions and is reviewed at the end. “Our aim is to get people to where they feel they’d like to be within the eight sessions. It’s regularly reviewed and worked on so the client can get what they need from counselling.”

Talking about your feelings with someone who isn’t directly involved can be very freeing and create some mental space. Family and friends often mean well, but we find clients often hold their feelings back so they don’t burden or upset their loved ones.

Counselling could also be about financial worries, employment, or how to talk to your loved ones. Sometimes, clients may have lots of questions about their situation.

The counsellors are guided if there’s a particularly difficult or pressing situation to deal with. “All our counsellors are supervised,” adds Kerry. “If they’re stuck, for example, me or Angela will offer guidance to help the sessions progress.”

Our counsellors are qualified and highly trained, with some of them working towards more CPD hours for accreditation.

Although doctors and nurses may help emotionally where they can, a counsellor is always the best option if you need more structured, regular support.