A free counselling service for those affected by cancer, whether patients, carers, family members or children, is offered by Isle charity Team Verrico.
Led by integrative counsellor Fleur Binnington, who lost her own husband to cancer, the service relates to all issues, both practical and emotional, that surface once a cancer diagnosis is made.
Fleur said: “I see my job as to very much be by the client’s side. Sometimes the sessions are about dealing with the practical side of a cancer diagnosis; money worries, hospital appointments, navigating work commitments etc. Sometimes the referred person has been bereaved and needs support as they grieve and come to terms with their loss. Sometimes it’s about helping a patient who is in remission return to the world and start to feel safe again.”
She explained: “For children I offer play therapy sessions where play is the main tool of communication. This allows the child a safe space to explore the cancer diagnosis, as we work through their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Other times sessions are about letting out the many conflicting emotions. There is a lot of therapeutic healing that takes place in silence, in a wordless place. It’s about just being there, letting the person in the client’s chair know they are not alone.”
Counselling can even be given via Skype, if distance is a problem.
Head of counselling, Fleur, was counselled herself after diagnosis of her husband’s cancer in 2013. She added: “It was in the confines of Carol’s safe counselling room I went through the many stages of grief; disbelief, despair, bargaining, searching, anger, confusion, until finally arriving at acceptance.” To be referred for counselling email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.teamverrico.org to find out how to donate.