Support groups – a practical space for men and women and all cancer types
Carers’ group – a space to share and also be supported
Programs and workshops to address specific issues
Outreach initiatives including regional NSW
Collaboration with hospital treatment teams and other stakeholders in cancer care
In learning how to cope with and transform our feelings of fear, aloneness, hurt, anger, we have a precious gift - each other. Support groups offer an opportunity to overcome isolation through the sharing of feelings. In a safe and loving environment, healing can take place on many levels. The Groups are led by qualified professionals.
Weekly meetings are held in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Inner West and Northern Suburbs. In addition a separate group for carers (partners, family, significant others) is held weekly at Annandale.
“The type of therapy we use is an integrated form of therapy that goes beyond the usual idea of a support group. We combine “expressive / supportive” group therapy and counselling, with guided imagery and meditation. These groups are not just social meetings for a cup of tea and swapping information about treatments, it’s a place where people are helped to deal with big issues of life and death, where we are able to sit with very strong feelings.
Over the years I have witnessed much courage and strength of spirit in adversity. I have seen wonderful transformations in people’s lives as they go through the process of finding themselves and aligning their lives with their true natures, sometimes making enormous changes which require great courage, and embarking on life-affirming creative endeavours; surviving great trauma with humour and courage, and recovering and discovering a new zest for life and living.
I appreciate the role of group support and interaction as a means of enriching our lives, and giving us an opportunity to realise how fully we can live life in the present.”
When diagnosed with cancer the mind can race, or you might be deer in the headlights or numb.
Thoughts might be...
Shock, denial, disbelief, isolation, anger and fear. There may be body issues, concerns about finances, and the future or no future and grief.
Whatever you feel is normal - you’ve just had a shock. Joining the Life Force support group where everyone can share everything they feel with people going through a similar experience can be helpful for you to process everything. This then helps you get to a place of acceptance and begin to think about where you go from here.
There is a perception for those who are told after active treatment has finished that they can look forward to many more years of living that life will go back to how it was before cancer. Sadly, this often doesn’t happen, and you might hear about the “new normal”, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t go on to build a wonderful new life. Attending a support group can help you to look to the future and work out how you can make this enriching and rewarding.
Even those who have a terminal prognosis can be helped to come to terms with this in a support group and find ways to have the best quality of life that’s possible.
Patients & Survivors’ Life Force support groups are held weekly in the Eastern Suburbs and the Inner West.
Contact Caro: 0425 296 698 or Jane: 0412 643 751
For Regional Life Force support programs, please contact Jilly on 0408 610 362
Life Force Regional Supportive Care Programs bring access to these healing programs to patients and survivors across regional NSW. Promoting a sense of peace and wellbeing through healing and nurturing residential retreats and workshops.
An opportunity to reflect in a safe and understanding environment and share experiences with others, the programs feature practices such as meditation, yoga, art therapy and restorative massage to build resilience and enhance wellbeing.
Healing the Whole
Put new meaning and joy in your life, Lift your spirits, Renew your confidence and courage
These programs are designed to introduce a number of practices that can be helpful in achieving and maintaining a feeling of wellbeing.
One of the most positive outcomes is the establishment of a network of support and friendship amongst the participants that continues beyond the retreat.
Residential retreats are a unique way of providing supportive care that enhances what other health services can offer and reassures people that they do not need to manage alone. The retreats provide a safe, caring and nurturing environment in which they can express and explore the emotional impact that cancer has had on their lives, gain a new perspective, as well as introducing new strategies that bring an improvement in their quality of life.
The one-day workshops allow patients and health care providers to come together to talk about issues and needs from a patient’s point of view.
This opportunity fosters better communication between clinicians, health care team and their patients, linking hospital and community care, and aims to establish ongoing psychosocial care in the region.
Contact: Jilly Pascoe
[email protected] 0408 610 362