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  • Clare Reed CBT Therapist

My Brave CBT for Cancer Clients

Updated: Jun 28, 2018

My multitude of clients and all their individual needs is the best part of my job. I find them all truly inspiring. Yet the one thing they are all is brave. Brave because they put their hand up and sought out help.

My Brave CBT for Cancer Clients
My Brave CBT for Cancer Clients

It's all in a Day's Work for a CBT Therapist

I was reflecting on my day of clients before I wrote this post. I get so much inspiration from them to write on different topics that I can share with you.

But today was a really interesting day. It started at 9am with a Mother of a child with Leukaemia, then after that a 60 year old man with prostate cancer and high anxiety, after lunch I worked with a 19 year old student struggling to come to terms with a Cancer diagnosis while studying, this evening I worked with a single mum with breast cancer and after her a 53 year old man with bladder cancer. Wow what a day!

The variety in my clients’ situations, diagnosis and needs is astonishing. But one thing unites them all, their absolute self-determination to not let Cancer beat them and break them. They have gone out of their way to get help, to put their hand up and ask for help. Often this is the first step to recognise that you can’t do it all by yourself and not one of us is superhuman, even if we pretend to be.

Clients often say that they feel embarrassed that they have Cancer, that they feel ‘they caught it’ and it has singled them out as a failure. I have to admit, this resonated with me.

After my diagnosis I had a day of this thinking. How was I going to tell people that I, a CBT therapist, whose lifestyle was good, has Cancer, wouldn’t they think I was a failure too?

I got over that way of thinking with my CBT techniques fast, as this way of thinking is rubbish! The problem with being embarrassed is that it stops you asking for help.

Why do we hide from help?

The ‘single mum’ client that I worked with this morning took 3 months to pick up the courage to contact me. She had been referred by a past client of mine but she just kept putting it off thinking her anxiety would disappear along with her Cancer. If only! I am sure we all wish the Cancer treatment could eliminate anxiety like Pacman gobbling up negative thoughts! But our minds are not connected to our cancer cells. They have a persistent stubbornness to remain and repeat all by themselves. These thoughts grow, they get more prevalent and they ruin your ability to cope.

It’s time to put the superhuman cloak away, at least until next Halloween. We are all fallible, we are all mortal and we can all self-destruct. Check your ego and stiff upper lip stoicism too, while you pack away the cloak. Stop with the martyr act. Cancer may well be a blip for many of us. But don’t make it any harder than it has to be. Get help as soon as you recognise the self-destructive signs of anxiety and self-esteem battering.

My single Mum client is doing great now, and I know she regrets putting things on the long finger both for her and her son who was getting affected by her stressful moments. It took an ounce of courage and now she has techniques and tools to last her a life time, no matter what life throws at her.

I am blessed to be able to offer my clients the help they need at the time they need it most. I can’t wait for tomorrow and the eclectic mix of clients that await me. I just love being a CBT therapist!

Onwards and Upwards!


If you want some help, take a deep breath, say to yourself, 'I can ask for help' and book in and let's get you get started on this.

#anxiety #self-esteem

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