Counselling and support for carers, family members or significant others who are affected by a loved-one’s serious illness.
Caring for a loved one with a diagnosis of serious/long term illness
For partners and family members of a person who has been diagnosed or is living with a serious/long term illness, their lives can often be changed too. It can be stressful and worrying, and in some cases your time may not be your own to the same extent anymore. In some situations it can feel as though everyone in the family is living with the illness, and to varying degrees, everyone may be affected by it. In all of this it can be easy to put your own needs last, not to take proper care of yourself and put yourself at risk of burnout. This can affect how well you are able to care for others, as well as putting yourself at higher risk of conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia. People in caring roles can feel guilt at taking time out to look after themselves, have breaks and enjoy fun and sociable experiences away from home. But breaks from the caring role are vitally important in order to recharge the batteries and ensure you are able to carry on.
Sharing your feelings with a counsellor in a completely safe and confidential space is an extremely valuable support for you. You will have the freedom to be completely honest without concern for hurting anyone else’s feelings or for being judged. You will be fully accepted for who you are and what you are feeling (there is no right or wrong way to feel in these situations.)
Counselling can offer a space for you to reflect on what has happened, how you are coping with it, the impact on you and your family, support in coming to terms with the diagnosis and offer ongoing support for you to take care of yourself. This offers you an opportunity to express how you feel in a completely safe and confidential environment - whether these are feelings of sadness, or other feelings such as anger, frustration or resentment which can often feel like ‘forbidden’ feelings that you may worry you might be judged for.