Many of us find that cancer causes all kinds of disruption in our lives and feeling stressed can be our first response, whether we have cancer ourselves or are close to someone who does.
There are many ways of reducing our stress response. One of the most effective that we have found is the Coping with Cancer Stress course, which teaches a variety of methods for feeling more in control and learning to relax. Most people greatly benefit from the opportunity to meet weekly with others going through similar difficulties, to learn different coping strategies under the guidance of experienced course leaders. Practising the stress control methods at home is key in the impact the course has.
The course is arranged in two levels – a four week introduction and an eight week course about developing your self care skills. You can decide after level 1 whether this way of working is for you.
Further levels follow for those who are looking for more.
The course is for anyone who has or has had cancer. We also encourage partners or other family members to attend so they can provide support to the person with cancer and learn to deal with their own stress.
The course has two leaders. Catherine Chadwick is an experienced hypnotherapist who teaches relaxation & visualisation at Paul’s Cancer Support Centre. Joss Harrel is an experienced counsellor who also practises at Paul’s. One of our co-leaders always has experience of cancer in their lives.
Among the topics covered on the course are: • how self-help activities can make you feel more in control of your life • how to recognise sources of stress and deal with them • how to develop feelings of deep relaxation in your body • how to stop anxious thoughts from taking over • how use of imagery enables you to influence your life and health • the importance of seeking support from your friends and family • how to decide what your priorities really are.
The programme has been offered for over 30 years at Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto. Its impact on quality of life has been extensively researched by Professor Alastair Cunningham and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto.
In words of past course participants:
“Now, I feel I can better acknowledge my thoughts or feelings. They are sad but not overwhelming. Now I am better equipped for the journey.”
“The course has helped me feel less alone and more understood. Seeing changes and improvements in others has helped me realise the cumulative effect of the course.”
“It was a life changing experience which has made me feel more confident. The group was so enriching and extremely helpful.”
“The course helped me to feel calmer and more in control.”
“I have seen everyone by the end of course calmer, more self assured and most importantly happier than when they came at Level 1.”
“A great experience & ongoing positive resource at what has been a very difficult time.”
“The course has been invaluable for me in terms of support – I always look forward to it every week and I know I was a different, much more difficult & stressed person before I started it. I have been taught many things that help me in my daily life & also help me deal with my experience of cancer.”
To find more details and to book visit http://www.paulscancersupport.org.uk/cwcs1/. Advanced booking is important for this course.