Everyone’s experience of cancer and treatment is different.
On receiving a cancer diagnosis, most people respond with shock, fear and anxiety, particularly at first. Many feel as though life is put on hold. Some feel numb. Others say having cancer hardly fazes them at all. Most people diagnosed with cancer will find themselves facing various new experiences and challenges – some are physical, but many are mental, emotional and social. When cancer comes, it often affects not just the person diagnosed but also their family, friends, work life and other inter-personal relationships.
High-quality and holistic psycho-social support for those diagnosed with cancer, and for the post-treatment phase is clearly identified as crucial to long-term recovery and wellbeing of cancer patients.* However, despite the fact many cancer patients report significant changes in their lives as a result of cancer and treatment, health professionals and clinicians grapple to deal with the various complex social and emotional issues faced during and beyond a cancer experience, whatever the health outcomes promise to be.
Cancer coaching and survivorship navigation are tailored programs designed to support, empower and encourage you as you journey through cancer and treatment, and beyond into survivorship. One-on-one and group programs are suitable for both those diagnosed with cancer, and their carers.
Please play the video clip to hear Jo discuss some Frequently Asked Questions.
Frequently Asked Questions about cancer coaching.
What exactly is cancer coaching?
Cancer coaching is a one-on-one supportive relationship between the cancer coach and the coachee (client/cancer patient/survivor/carer/caregiver). Your cancer coach listens to, encourages, informs and in some cases refers you on various psycho-social, emotional, spiritual, relational and lifestyle issues relating directly to your own cancer journey. It’s less like counselling, and more like a support group for one person.
How is it different from counselling or a session with a psychologist?
In coaching, what we do is more centred on a peer support approach than a health professional-client relationship. Unlike most health professionals and clinicians, as a cancer survivor I’ve walked the same path you’re journeying now. I’ve experienced personally many of the issues you suspect are “just you”, or else I’ve walked beside someone who has experienced them. I know what it’s like to have those thoughts and emotions, fears and anxieties, and I’ve actively sought and assimilated various methods and approaches to help myself and others with them, both personally and professionally. In cancer coaching, we don’t work from the assumption you’re broken and need fixing - we operate from a place of knowing you are wise, you are strong, and you intuitively know what you want and need to do next. I’m not the expert on you - you are. I’m simply here to facilitate a space for you to think, talk, express yourself, tell your story, explore all your options, and provide focussed support for you as you walk through this part of your journey.
So, what will we actually do?
We’ll talk – talk about you. Just you and me. We’ll chat about your life before cancer and about your actual cancer experience so far. We’ll explore some of the ways you learn, your personality and motivations, and also identify some of your dreams, goals and hopes for the future. We’ll look compassionately at the people you have around you, and we’ll sift through the various complexities cancer can bring to relationships and social interactions. Together, we will orientate you within, then begin to navigate our way around your cancer experience, with a balance between things for you to do, and ways for you to be, in light of the new information you have about the world, yourself, and other people.
I don’t live in Newcastle. Can I still access this service?
Yes, you can. Cancer coaching is available online via Skype.
- Email me now – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call me (within Australia) 0412 710754
- Leave an enquiry on my Contact page
- Or send me a message via my page on Facebook
Click on a link below to learn more about cancer coaching -
About Jo Hilder
I’m a cancer survivor, speaker and author with extensive experience in advocacy, program facilitation and cancer supportive care. After achieving remission from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2004, I began volunteering for the Cancer Council NSW in advocacy and events as a way of empowering myself in the fight against cancer. I was subsequently employed as Regional Programs Coordinator and Events Relationship Manager with the Cancer Council NSW. I then went on to facilitate the Cancer Councils’ Living Well After Cancer Program across NSW, also training as a support group facilitator. I’ve spent several years speaking at major events, conferences and with support groups specifically concerning psycho-social issues surrounding survivorship and the post-treatment phase of cancer.
Recently, I published Things Not To say To Someone Who Has Cancer – A Beginners Guide, written to inform and support carers and those with a loved one diagnosed with cancer. I live, write and coach in Newcastle.
*Read more about the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Psycho-Social Care of Adults With cancer. http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/cp90.pdf