Psychological therapies, Dimbleby Cancer Care

A diagnosis of cancer and the experiences that follow understandably affect you and those close to you. In addition to your own support systems, accessing confidential psychological therapy can be helpful.

Our approaches can help:

  • with the management of cancer treatment and physical symptoms
  • explore the impact on key relationships
  • support decision making

Our service is an important part of good, personalised cancer care.

We appreciate it can be difficult to seek help and can feel overwhelming. We will:

  • talk with you to find out what your needs are
  • help you get the right support

Our expert team specialises in helping cancer patients and will listen to your concerns without judgment.

Types of psychological therapy

We offer:

  • cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
  • mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
  • compassion focused therapy (CFT)
  • acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • systemic and family or couple therapy
  • attachment based therapy
  • existential psychotherapy

You can find out more about some of these talking therapies on the NHS website.

We also provide psychiatry support. This helps you look at how cancer and its treatments may be interacting with medicines you're taking or impacting your mood.

Group programmes and workshops

We offer group-based programme and workshops for:

  • fear of cancer returning (at end of treatment)
  • bereavement (offered to people who've seen us for 1 to 1 bereavement therapy)
  • skills and educational workshops

We intend to build on our group programmes, please contact us for updates.

Specialist support

Family therapy

We provide a service for parents or guardians with life-limiting cancer and their children, 18 and under.

We always see the parents or guardians first. This may be a couple, individually, or include other adults who are close, connected, and important. It will depend on your particular situation. Together with the therapist, you will decide the next steps and how or if to invite your children to access therapy.

We work closely with the child's key systems. This can include& school or children's services.

We remain involved following the death of a parent or guardian. We work together with those living to agree and inform the way forward.

One-off parental consultations for those having cancer treatment with the aim of a complete remission (curative cancer) is also available.

We plan to provide workshops for parents in the future.

Therapy for sex and intimacy

Being diagnosed with cancer and managing treatment effects can impact your body, sex and intimate relationships.

It can feel difficult to discuss these aspects of cancer treatment with your medical team and those close to you.

We provide up to 8 sessions for couples or individuals with a specialist psychosexual pyschologist. This is a confidential space and a chance to explore how cancer has affected your intimate and sexual relationships.

We can help you with:

  • body image issues
  • loss of interest in sex and intimacy
  • treatment side effects such as erectile difficulties, painful/uncomfortable sex or menopausal symptoms
  • sexual and relationship issues with an existing partner or concerns around how it might be with a new partner

We can accept referrals up to 5 years after your treatment.

Bereavement support

Experiencing grief following the death of someone close and from cancer is an expected human response.

However, some people may get 'stuck'. We provide a service for adults experiencing a complicated grief response to a cancer related death.

This is often associated with the death itself or the relationship with the person who has died. We work with other professionals involved to make sure our service is the right one for you. We see those whose cancer was treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital within a year from the death.

We will also provide input before someone dies. This is often helpful.

We see people individually, as a couple, and with other adults close and connected to the person with cancer.

Bereavement group therapy is available after you've had 1-to-1 therapy from our team.

If you do not wish to have formal bereavement therapy but still want to speak to someone, please contact our palliative care social workers on 020 7188 4754.

Health information

There are lots of resources to help your mental health and wellbeing.

All London boroughs are working on improved access to psychological therapies (IAPT). You can speak to your GP or find out more on:

Mind is a national charity providing advice and support about mental health problems.

If you need to speak to someone about mental health issues, you can contact the Samaritans at any time.

Our consultants

Our service is led by Sue Smith, consultant clinical psychologist in cancer.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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