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Anyone had experience of telephone counselling?

Sue JH
Posted by

I have advanced secondary breast cancer. I’m coping ok mostly but I wonder if anyone has experience of telephone counselling as I need sometimes to offload on someone outside family and friends. 

 Best wishes, Sue

Posted by

Hi Sue,

I can empathise with the need to oflload to someone, I kept my discussions with people quite compartmentalised - some I told everything, some nothing. Partly because I didn't want the whole world treating me as a patient, partly because its tiring repeating the same story, others because its not their burden, and finally some because I didn't want them to worry/hurt on my behalf.

This forum is a good place if you want to offload, rant, rave, discuss, advise, ask questions - so if typing is your thing I recommend it. We have groups dedicated to each cancer type and so the Secondary Breast Cancer group is one place where you don't need to explain everything as they're going through the same, and The Room "That little space where you can rant and rage and then close the door and leave it behind." - no needs for self-censorship.

Another resource is the finding what is In your Area for local support groups and resources.

Lastly, and in no ways least, there is the Macmillan support line which is there for advice but also if you want someone just to listen.

I hope some others add to this reply about their experience of telephone counselling, as I know I haven't quite answered your question,


Posted by

Hi Sue,

I went to the local hospice for counselling and it was fabulous.  Give your hospice a ring or call in, they are very friendly and caring.  I had counselling and reflexology there.  It is all free, in my case on a six week block.  They also had day centre where you could go once a week, have lunch and meet other people in the same boat.

Much love,

Alison xx

Posted by


I have experienced telephone counselling, not in relation to breast cancer, but after a list of stressful situations that happened when working as a headteacher.

I found the support and advice I got amazing. I still use some of the strategies today and one phrase I use when writing on this site. Yes some strategies were not for me, but at the time I was open minded and was looking for someone else to lend me a hand  (my poor other half was running out of ideas.)

Now this may be because I was lucky and I had someone who could empathise with me . 

I would suggest that   gave you a great list of places to visit on this site and Alison too, but just wanted to say 'It worked for me'.

Take care and be gentle with yourself


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Sue JH
Posted by

Thanks Greg,

Sorry it’s been a while but I’m not getting the daily updates for my posts and it’s only when I’ve looked back through my original posts that I’ve found replies - am I doing something wrong?

It’s useful to know that you too compartmentalise information. There’s some people who just seem to want to have info for strange reasons, so I don’t tell them anything and have found a variety of ways of deflecting questions! 

I haven’t yet gone down the counselling route, partly because I find it easier to write than talk and these forums have been pretty useful, mainly in demonstrating that others are far more ill than I am at the moment - worrying in giving a glimpse of possible futures but reassuring in keeping things in perspective for now.

I haven’t tried the Room yet so maybe I will! I’m on a new drug which doesn’t seem to be causing the mood swings I was having on the last treatment but it’s early days yet.

Thanks for all comments and suggestions.

 Best wishes, Sue

Posted by

Hi Sue, I just wanted to nip in and say you are probably not doing anything wrong the site has been sluggish in notifications for me to, lagging way behind. The site has been doing some improvements lately so hopefully just a glitch, I tend to keep logging on to my favourite groups to see if there have been any updates rather than just follow up on the emails. 

Talking about lagging behind I have had telephone and face to face counselling, for work related anxiety and for bereavement/ incurable diagnosis. The best counsellor I had gave me a link to a self help work through module booklet Centre for clinical interventions booklets which I worked through I often look back at low times to the intolerance of uncertainty section. 

Best wishes

Sue JH
Posted by

Thanks KT for the info about the sluggish site and for the link to the module. I’ll have a look at that as I suspect that kind of self help method might suit me. 

Feeling tired today and that’s when I’m in danger of getting to a low point. At least I can read the signs!

Thanks again.

 Best wishes, Sue