Getting a diagnosis of cancer or a blood condition, and the following treatment, can affect many aspects of life – both for a patient and their loved ones. Psychological and emotional care is highly effective in helping people deal with these effects. 

Everyone will experience their illness differently, but the psychological impact can be seen in four main areas: 

  • Your thoughts - you may have unpleasant thoughts that you cannot easily put out of your mind. 

  • Your behaviour - these may include disturbed sleep, irritability or changes in eating habits. 

  • Your body - these may include breathlessness, palpitations, nausea and dizziness. 

  • Your feelings - these may include shock, disbelief, denial, fear, anxiety, anger, irritability, guilt, depression, hopelessness and helplessness. 

Our psychologists are here to help you deal with the psychological and emotional side-effects of your condition. And give you information, support and practical help.  

Your first appointment will include an assessment of your needs. Following the assessment you may be offered a range of therapies, such as: 

  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) 

  • mindfulness-based therapy 

  • narrative therapy

  • existential therapy 

  • systemic therapy 

  • specialised cancer-related interventions 

  • counselling.  

A series of sessions may be offered to individuals, couples or groups. Our service is free and confidential to people with cancer or a blood condition who have their care at UCLH. 

You will also be given time to: 

  • talk about how you are feeling 
  • use self-help techniques to help to reduce some treatment side-effects and enhance your quality of life.

We offer face-to-face, telephone and video appointments. We can visit you on the ward if you are admitted at UCH. 

You can ask your hospital doctor, nurse or a support and information specialist to refer you. 

We work in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Practice of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Psychology work is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. 

All clinical psychologists are members of the British Psychological Society, Division of Clinical Psychology and Faculty for Oncology and Palliative Care. 

Psychological and emotional care video

Video about psychological and emotional care available at the UCLH Macmillan Support and Information Service for people affected by cancer or a blood condition.