Hope for Cancer Survivors

You are in remission. Great. Now what?

Picking up your life after cancer treatment is sometimes uneasy. There may be pressure from work, families and friends to “get over it”. And for some of you, it will be easy to get right back to your life and fit into your previous routine. But for some of you, things may not be so straightforward. In fact, for some people, the real problems are only starting.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but is this really true? The fact is you may have survived, but at what cost?

If this sounds like you, know that you don’t have to face it alone. In fact, getting help to re-invent yourself, find again (or the first time) your place in society and building inner peace and self-confidence may be the best choice you could make right now.

The coaching model.

Life coaching is a way to achieve all this. It is a new discipline which has started to emerge in the 1990’s and helps people to achieve their goals and live a better life. Life coaches are thought partners, do not give advice and trust that each person is best place to discover their own solution.

Anchored in reality and in the client’s model of the world, life coaching has been found to significantly improve quality of life and to decrease stress and depressive symptoms (study). It is also helpful to rebuild self-confidence after cancer treatment (study). And in a 2018 systematic review of scientific studies on the subject of health coaching for cancer survivors, it was found that over two-thirds of studies on the subject supported increased quality of life, acceptance, spiritual growth, decreased pain and fatigue and increased physical activity (review).

What is the difference between coaching and counselling?

First, let’s clarify that both are powerful approaches and somewhat complementary. Both will place an emphasis on you to be more resilient and move towards your life goals.

The main differences are as follow:

  • Coaching focuses more on getting results in present and future, while counselling and therapy can be more oriented towards healing from the past.
  • Coaching is more oriented towards positive action, while therapy is more coping-oriented.
  • Counselling can be paid by health insurance, but this is generally not the case for coaching.
  • Coaching can be more of a “down to earth” approach, while counselling sometimes benefits from a long history of research and theories on how the mind work.

That being said, the difference is relatively tenuous. Neither are protected title nor under statutory regulations in the UK. Both will use elements from the other type of intervention. And at the end of the day, the training of the coach or therapist is not the only determinant factor in bringing help to people.

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