"Counselling, post cancer"

About: Inclusion Matters Liverpool

(as the patient),

I would like to make a point about the excellent service your team and my counsellor have provided to me and for which I am very grateful.

At the start of each session we go through a numerical marking sheet that I assume is to measure in a quantifiable way the progress that I have made. Each time we do this it appears little or no progress has been made despite the efforts of Graham, my counsellor.

I call this sheet nonsense because that is what I feel it is. After all, an evaluation sheet is only as good as the person who designed it.

Counselling has not made me a happier person, nor a stronger, more confident, optimistic, less fearful person which would show in your evaluation sheets.

Graham has spent his time sharing far more pain than I ever knew I had, finding more strength and moral rectitude than I knew was inside me. I was a wreck when I first walked through his door. Now when I walk out of the door, I am still scared, anxious, physically in pain and suffering the same nightmares that I have had for so many years. I have been physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually damaged. That damage cannot be taken away.

What has happened is that I am far more aware of myself, think less harshly of myself and know that I have the tools and the will to see me through the rest of my journey.

The value of my time with Graham can I feel be summed up in this short verse I found in a book:

“Come to the edge, he said.

We are afraid, they said.

Come to the edge, he said.

They came to the edge,

He pushed them and they flew.

Come to the edge, Life said.

They said: We are afraid.

Come to the edge, Life said.

They came. It pushed them...

And they flew. ”

I face the future in a far stronger position than I ever thought possible, even before my cancer diagnosis and treatment. I have a journey to continue with my wonderful wife and beautiful children and grandchildren and in time it will be a journey without the fear and pain which I have carried.

Thank you Graham. This could never be shown on an evaluation sheet. You are a diamond amongst men.

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Responses

Response from Heather Clarke, Manager, Inclusion Matters

Dear Hal 9000

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us this feedback. I am really pleased that the service, and Graham particularly, have helped you so much on your journey. I will ensure that Graham receives this feedback.

We are aware that the evaluations sheets you talk about do not capture everything by any means and are not intended to; the sessions and the work you do with your counsellor is clearly about a lot more than that as you point out. I am delighted that this was so helpful for you. However they do play an important part of assessment and understanding patients needs, I am sorry if using them felt unhelpful to you; if you want to talk to me further about this I would be very happy for you to contact me directly to discuss further.

I really wish you well on the continuation of your journey and again, thanks so much for taking the time to send us this feedback.

Kind regards

Heather

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