Two mothers talking over tea

Counselling

Talking to someone confidentially to discuss a difficulty in your life can be a real help as you go through your cancer journey. Cancer patients and their loved ones can get free one-to-one counselling at affiliated cancer support centres, funded by the Irish Cancer Society. 

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Without counselling I don’t think I would have had such a great recovery or be as positive about my future as I am. I can express my worries and fears. It has made me realise how precious life is and life is for living. It has changed my life for the better.

Cancer survivor
Younger woman consoling older woman on couch

How counselling helps

Making sense of your feelings

Some people say the emotional side of a cancer diagnosis is the hardest thing to deal with. Patients and their families may experience anxiety, fear, anger, sadness and depression. These feelings can occur at any time - even months or years later.

A trained counsellor can help you to make sense of your feelings.

A safe space

Not everyone finds it easy to talk to other people about their feelings. Some people feel they have to put on a brave face, to avoid upsetting the people around them. Or you may not have anyone you feel comfortable talking to about your feelings.

Talking to someone not involved in your situation can give you space and time to share your private thoughts and fears and talk about whatever is troubling you.

Dealing with difficult times

Some people describe having cancer as an emotional rollercoaster, with many difficult, stressful times. A counsellor won't tell you what to do, but will listen to you and help you to see things differently and give you techniques to get through the difficult times.

You don't need to have a serious problem to get counselling; if you're finding it hard to cope for any reason, then counselling can help.

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I feel more equipped to face the world and have tools to use if I find myself in a bad space.

Talking about cancer made it less awful and helped ease my fears. I learned to cope and understand myself better.

Who is the counselling service for?

The counselling service is available for:

  • All patients who have had a cancer diagnosis.
  • Family members, including brothers and sisters of young people with cancer.
  • Partners and friends.

Most of the counselling will be on a one-to-one basis but sometimes it may be appropriate to invite your spouse, partner or family member along.

You can also use a private counsellor or ask consultant or medical team to refer you to the psycho-oncology service if there’s one in your hospital.

Counselling session statistics
8,701
free counselling sessions were enabled by the Irish Cancer Society in 2019
1,829
clients availed of our free counselling service in 2019

Support Centre Counselling Services

Carlow

Eist Carlow Cancer Support: 059 913 9684

Cavan

Cuan Cancer Social Support and Wellness Group:  086 455 6632

Cork

Cork ARC House: 021 427 6688

Donegal

Counselling services are available in Letterkenny. Sligo Cancer Support Centre has further information on these services: 071 917 0399

Coiste Scaoil Saor ó Ailse: 074 953 2949 

Dublin

Arc Cancer Support Centre, South Circular Road: 01 707 8880

Arc Cancer Support Centre, Eccles Street: 01 830 7333

Tallaght Cancer Support Group: 086 400 2736

Galway

Ballinasloe Cancer Support Centre: 090 964 5574

Tuam Cancer Care: 093 28522

Offaly

Dochas Offaly Cancer Support: 057 932 8268

Kerry

Recovery Haven Cancer Support House: 066 719 2122

Kilkenny

Cois Nore Cancer Support Centre: 056 775 2222

Laois

Cuisle Cancer Support Centre: 057 868 1492

Limerick

Cancer Information and Support Centre: 061 48 5163

Louth

Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre: 041 980 5100

Mayo

Mayo Cancer Support Association: 094 903 8407

Roscommon

Roscommon Cancer Support Centre: 090 662 5898 

Sligo

Sligo Cancer Support Centre: 071 917 0399

Tipperary

Suaimhneas Cancer Support Centre: 067 37403

Waterford

The Solas Cancer Support Centre: 051 304604

Westmeath

Cancer Support Sanctuary LARCC: CallSave 1850 719 719

Wexford

Hope Cancer Support Centre: 053 923 8555

Wicklow

Arklow Cancer Support Group: 0402 23590

Greystones Cancer Support: 01 287 1601

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I found the counselling wonderful, to be able to discuss my thoughts and fears… It makes you feel safe and less alone.

Cancer Survivor
Cancer patient sitting with a nurse

For more information

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Phone

1800 200 700

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Email