Choosing a complementary therapist

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Some therapists have a lot of training and experience. Others have very little. Here are some tips to help you find a good therapist.

  • Ask at the hospital or your local cancer support centre for advice and recommendations. 
  • Contact the professional organisation of the therapy in question to get the names of practitioners who are certified and registered and what’s a fair price.

Find out what a practitioner needs to do to be accepted as a member of the professional organisation. For example:

  • Do they need certain professional qualifications, for example a diploma?
  • Do they have to have a certain number of hours’ experience?
  • Do they need to have insurance?
  • Have they signed up to a professional code of conduct and / or complaints procedure?

Ask the practitioner about their training and experience, including if they have any experience with cancer patients.

Choose a therapist who will work together with your doctors and your hospital treatment plan.

Many cancer support centres ask for a letter from your cancer specialist or have a simple form for them to fill in before they start giving any complementary therapies, so that they can check that the therapy is suitable for you.

Top tip: Many cancer support centres have free or reduced-price complementary therapy sessions. Or check with the Health Service Executive (HSE) or your health insurer (if you have insurance) to see if they cover the therapy in question.

Free advice and support in your community

Did you know? The Irish Cancer Society funds cancer support centres in communities across Ireland providing counselling, support groups and social activities for people affected by cancer.

For more information

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