After a cancer diagnosis, you may experience all sorts of difficult and painful emotions. You may be feeling sad and tearful at times due to the losses you have experienced through illness. Perhaps you find yourself struggling to cope with feelings of anxiety and have worries about your future. Or maybe you are dealing with body image issues due to changes experienced through surgery or treatment.

How counselling can help

Whatever difficulties you are experiencing, talking things through may help you to work through painful feelings and emotions, in order for you to begin to emotionally heal. Counselling can also help to normalise some of your feelings, help you to gain more perspective on your situation, as well as to assist you in exploring and identifying different coping strategies to help you to find a way forward.

The ripples of a cancer diagnosis can reach far and wide and may affect the whole family. Sometimes relationship difficulties may emerge and you might find it helpful to talk to a counsellor together.


Talking to children about a diagnosis of cancer can be one of the most difficult conversations to have. We can provide counselling and support to help you through this, as well as to provide educational literature to help you to feel more prepared.

Although the counselling service is based at Forest Holme hospice, we recognise that emotional support maybe needed when cancer is first diagnosed, or at end of treatment and so we offer counselling and support to the many patients, partners and families who are, or have been treated at The Dorset Cancer Centre, or who are under a consultant there, as well as the patients and families who are under the care of Forest Holme who are living with a cancer diagnosis.

We offer counselling for all our palliative care patients

We also extend this service to palliative patients who are living with other complex illnesses who are currently under a consultant at Forest Holme or who are being cared for by our community palliative care team.

Talking to a counsellor may feel daunting for some, many who access our counselling service may have never considered counselling before now, only finding themselves at our door due to the difficult situations that they find themselves in.

If you feel that you would benefit from talking to a counsellor, take the first step by calling 0300 019 8096 or 0300 019 8514 where you will be guaranteed a warm welcome.

There is no charge for the counselling sessions.

The General and palliative care counsellor is funded by Forest Holme Hospice Charity