Therapeutic Groups

The ‘NICE Factor’ Confidence Building

An experience of cancer, other life limiting illness, extended caring, or bereavement can make you feel vulnerable. For a long time your world will have revolved around hospital appointments, tests and treatments, and time at home. Stress, uncertainty and fatigue might leave you feeling you have little control over your life. It is likely that your former activities, work and social life will have taken a back seat, and less contact with friends or colleagues, and other changes to your life might also affect your confidence. If you feel like this, you are not alone.

If you……

  • Apologize even when you’ve done nothing wrong
  • Worry about what other people think, even if you don’t know them
  • Find it impossible to say, ‘No’
  • Find it hard to stick up for yourself
  • Feel too shy to express your opinions

…you might be too ‘nice’ for your own good!

‘The Nice Factor’ is a confidence building course open to Centre clients offering new skills in boosting self confidence and how to interact with others.

**4 Week course**

“I have enjoyed every bit of the course. It has helped me so much. I know I still have areas to work on but I am happy with the results already”.

HOPE course

(Helping Overcome Problems Effectively)  For people who have finished their treatment or are in remission.

Living with and after cancer is anything but plain sailing. Going through cancer can be physically and emotionally tough, and adjusting to life    beyond cancer can be difficult with new challenges to face. The HOPE course provides a supportive, friendly group setting which will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to cope with many of the fears,   frustrations, and sense of isolation that living with, and surviving cancer can bring.

**6 week course**

“It’s been beneficial on so many levels. I now appreciate what I have now, rather than worry about what may or may not happen.”

Mindfulness Meditation

Most of us are rarely mindful – we spend much of our time on auto pilot, preoccupied in dwelling on past events or about what we need to do next, or worrying about what might happen in the future. 

Mindfulness meditation is a particular type of meditation that has been well researched and tested in therapeutic settings. Many studies have shown that Mindfulness meditation reduces, stress, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness boosts concentration, energy and overall sense of wellbeing. It can also help people cope with chronic pain and other uncomfortable sensations. Although the aim of mindfulness is not relaxation, it nevertheless can be relaxing.

How does Mindfulness Work?

When upsetting things happen to us we tend to experience unpleasant or distressing thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations as a result. The upshot is that we not only experience the original difficulties but we can also feel distressed by our unwelcome reactions to them.

For example, when we experience pain, we quite naturally want to block that pain out. Our body will tense and we will probably experience thoughts and feelings like, “I’m frightened about why the pain has come,” “I can’t bear this pain,” or, “The pain stops me doing what I want to do.” These associated thoughts and feelings are a second layer of distress on top of the discomfort from the pain itself.

Mindfulness offers simple approaches that change how we relate to what we find difficult. This way we don’t exhaust ourselves by struggling against our reactions to what is happening. This is not about sorting out the original difficulty – there are other services that focus on that. This is about discovering our innate ability to find a restful way to cope with the difficulties we may be facing. Spending even short periods in this more restful state can have profound effects on our overall wellbeing, as we are more able to access our inner strengths, resources and creativity.

**5 week course**

“I have really enjoyed this course. I believe it’s essential in getting ‘well-ness’.”
“This course has taught me how to put off anxieties and to relax”

Relaxation

Relaxation calms anxiety, helps the mind and body recover from everyday stress, and can aid restful sleep. Listening to music, a long soak in the bath, or a walk in the park might do the trick, but sometimes it’s harder to relax.

Our friendly and informal relaxation sessions form part of our weekly new client programme.  Clients are encouraged to practice relaxation at home to find the ways that suit them best, to reduce stress and nervous tension, manage worries, relieve fatigue and improve sleep.

**8 week course**

“Gave me confidence being with others with similar conditions”
“Made me feel more self worth”

Carers Course (Friends & Family)

Serious illness not only affects the person diagnosed, but also has a huge impact on the lives of the people close to them, family and friends (carers). Our experience at The Centre tells us that carers can also benefit from support, information, and the opportunity to meet other people in a similar situation. This course offers carers time and space for themselves; strategies, hints and tips; time to listen; time to talk if we want to; and time to relax.

**6 week course**

“It was very reassuring to hear that other people were struggling with similar problems, and the course gave me a more helpful perspective.”

Fatigue Management

Fatigue is a problem that is often reported to us by cancer patients. Cancer related fatigue (CRF) can have a devastating effect on a person’s quality of life including physical, psychological and occupational aspects. Fatigue has been proven to be one of the most distressing symptoms linked to cancer and its’ treatments, and beyond.

In the Fatigue Management groups we run at the Centre, we discuss ways and techniques of coping with fatigue – covering sleep; relaxation; diet; exercise; complementary therapies and talking to others in a similar situation. The group is run by the Specialist Occupational Therapist, and guest speakers from other health professions are invited, for example a dietician, physiotherapist, and complementary therapist.

As well as learning ways of managing fatigue, our clients have reported many other benefits.

  • Feelings of being less isolated
  • Being able to express inner feelings without judgement from others
  • Being able to identify with other people in the group which can create special bonds
  • A safe space to explore feelings

**4 week course**

Singing

Melody Macs

Singing is a real tonic for the body, heart, mind and soul.  More and more people are realising that singing can have a huge effect on one’s wellbeing and mood.

Our singing group – the Melody Macs, was formed a few years ago and is run by Carol Donaldson.  Carol is a composer and musical director with an extra – ordinary talent.  Carol has many years experience in composing bespoke music for television film, radio and theatre and leads several choirs (large and small) around the North West.

The group is open to anyone connected with our Centre – patients, carers, staff and volunteers, and no previous singing experience is required.

Sessions are every other Thursday lunchtime – please ring the Centre for further details.

“Participating in a group gave me more encouragement than when I was alone. I feel motivated to continue more than before”