Mariana Panayides Counselling & Psychotherapy in Hampstead, North London

Cancer & physical illness

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer or another serious physical illness can be a life-changing moment. Often it is a time of fear and uncertainty. There might be feelings of powerlessness, anger, despair or deep loneliness. Frequently, medical imperatives have to take precedence over all other considerations and this can be anxiety-provoking and alienating. 'Normal' life is interrupted and changes occur in all spheres of existence - practical, physical, emotional, psychological, relational, financial, spiritual. Treatments and medications can have temporary or permanent effects and day-to-day life can feel challenging both during and after treatment.

The impact of a diagnosis and the ongoing management of a physical illness, condition or disability can be profound whether you are a patient, a family member, close friend or carer.

Counselling can be helpful with:

  • Processing shock and expressing feelings
  • Talking in confidence about fears and sensitive issues
  • Exploring options and considering difficult decisions
  • Exploring impacts of physical illness on identity, sexuality, physicality, sense of self or confidence
  • Alleviating symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • Finding meaning and making sense of the experience of physical illness
  • Adjusting to a 'new normal'
  • Support with living with a terminal illness or with an impairment or disability
  • Coming to terms with a prognosis and contemplating death


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