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.”
A cancer diagnosis is a devastating experience for patients but it is also extremely stressful for the people who later become the primary source of support and care – usually families and loved ones. Carers' wellbeing may have an impact on the wellbeing of the people they are supporting.
More than 130,000 Australians have been diagnosed with cancer in 2016 so far and this has a flow-on effect through the entire community. Taking care of a loved one diagnosed with cancer is extremely demanding and can place a heavy burden on the emotional and physical resources of partners, family members and friends.
Life Force recognises that caring for the physical and emotional needs of carers is an essential part of caring for cancer patients. Attending a support group can help to reduce the distress of carers and enable them to give the best possible support to someone diagnosed with cancer.
Research conducted by Sydney University and the Cancer Council NSW revealed that depression and anxiety are widespread among carers, at an even higher level than that experienced by cancer patients. The impact this has on the quality of life of carers can then also affect the quality of care they are able to provide to a loved one with cancer. It is vital for carers to find support for themselves to help them through these difficult times.
By attending a carers’ support group both men and women can find non-judgmental assistance from other people going through a similar experience.
The Life Force Carer’s group meets weekly in the Inner West.
Call us to find out more: Caro: 0425 296 698 or Jane: 0412 643 751
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