What professionals can offer

Hopefully, you'll have family or friends to support you through the next months but, sometimes, it helps to talk to someone who is not a family member or a friend. Perhaps, at the moment, you're not feeling too upset by what has happened, but if you do find things difficult, keep this in mind.

It can help a lot to talk to a professional counsellor, particularly one who's experienced in dealing with grief. They can't do your grieving for you, but they can support you.

Counsellors usually charge a fee. There may be agencies that offer a free or small fee service. Choose a counsellor who is part of a professional organisation, such as the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.

If the first person you talk to isn't helpful, don't give up. Try someone else. Your local Cancer Society may be able to assist and will have information about suitable counsellors, support services and groups available in your area.

This information is reproduced from of a series of booklets called Living with Cancer, which is published by the Cancer Society. These booklets, and booklets from the Understanding Cancer series, can be viewed and downloaded from our website.

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