Illness & Grief

In the face of a serious illness, we are often challenged by a range of reactions that can be unfamiliar and more intense than anything we have ever encountered. Receiving a diagnosis of life-threatening illness, such as cancer, is invariably life changing.

There are many dimensions of suffering caused by cancer – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The suffering can involve all aspects of the person, including one’s relationships, roles, identity, hopes and plans, and the meaning of one’s life.

Life threatening illness confronts us with the fact that we are vulnerable to disease and suffering, that we are mortal, and that our time is limited. When we are in good health, these realities often reside at the back of our minds; but when a serious illness strikes, they surge forward and challenge us. They challenge us especially with the question of whether we are using our time wisely. This question is linked to what our time is for – to what our life is all about. For many, these questions take on a central and compelling importance, which is why cancer is commonly referred to as a wake-up call.

From darkness to light by Robo Kocan

Given the uncertainty associated with the condition and the threats it can pose, as well as the physical symptoms that accompany both the disease and treatment, it is likely to produce a range of emotions. You may feel shocked and confused, or in denial. You may experience fear, anxiety and panic. You may feel helpless, sad and depressed. Or you may have feelings of anger, guilt and shame.

All these feelings are very real and frightening. There is only so much your mind can process at one time, so these feelings can quickly become overwhelming. In Temenos Psychotherapy & Counselling I will support you in this difficult journey of finding ways to cope with illness and ways to heal. We will work with Sandplay which will enable you to explore your feelings more deeply in a safe and profound way. Our work together will help you to find answers to the questions that illness raises, to find a way to manage the fears and pain that illness brings, and to learn how to find a sense of direction.

"Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings"

- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross -

If you are a relative of someone with a life-threatening illness, you might feel that you need some time to think about yourself and how you can cope. Being able to express your feelings may help you to support your relative more effectively. Or if you are someone who lost a loved one due to the illness, my therapeutic support may assist you to deal with your loss and grief, by gently exploring your feelings and finding resources within that will help you to recover and find new ways of being.

© 2020 by Temenos Psychotherapy & Counselling

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon