Coping with a dilemma

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BABSann

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I dont know what it is but lately I seem to have a huge influx of clients who either have their mother,best friend or boyfrind who has been diagnosed with cancer(all terminal as well)

Today,yet again another,regular client,been coming for several years laid on couch,I ask how things are and she tells me,not very good actually,then she announced that her best friend has until Xmas :eek:She breaks down and I feel absolutely useless,try stroking her arm as cant give her a cuddle(she's laying down)

Then I feel so overwhelmed with emotion,I have to fight the tears myself.I was really annoyed with myself but I'm just NOT good in this situation,I know I feel low as have stinking cold but anyone any advice on how to deal with these situations please??:cry:
 

kpc

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Sometimes just being there for you friends is enough, someone that they can talk to . I'll be sending hugs and prayers for everyone.
 

Merrick

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I feel for you, I've been in this situation myself. I don't ever really know what to say when its a friend or family, let alone a client I don't really know.

However, I have found I can deal with the situation effectively by trying to change the way they are thinking. i.e. instead of them worrying about how long their friend has, ask them how they met, what sort of things they do together, whatever, try to get them to remember what a good time they've had with their friend and plant the seed to recreate those good times in the time they have left.

It is often reported that Doctors have given someone six months and live much longer. Try to help your client not to give up hope but to live for the moment.

As for your own emotionalness, perhaps, if your client is being less gloomy you'll find it easier and less draining too.

Hope this helps, it did for me! :hug:
 

*JOANNE*

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I can only go buy personal experience.....when my mum was diagnosed with cancer and was given 18 months.....it was having someone to talk to that i think she wanted to tell the morbid things to without the crying etc......not replies etc.
when sadly my mum died i needed someone to talk to who wouldnt neceseraly give me sympathy but just listen etc.....
Let them talk to you listen and you will be doing more than you know.....but..............................you need to learn how to switch off yourlsef afterwards or it will affect you emotionally.
In situations you have to be quite clinical dont get swept up in their emotions...just listen...thats all peeps want........your a neutral person someone they feel....they can talk too
i know peeps say try and change the subject but.......the industry we are in.I think we have to expect our clients feeling they can unload on us...and thats actually if you think about it a quite a privelage.
so listen they may be telling you things they cant tell someone close and as well as feeling great from thr treatment they feel grateful for the chat.....so leave you feeling refreshed etc
and find someway some ritual for you to do to empty yourslef of their burdens when you get home...even for ten minutes relaxing the body and breathing in through the nose and whilst exhaling imagine all the days conversations flooding out of you when you exhale........
hth
but this is from personel experience hun
 

BABSann

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Joanne,thankyou for your reply.I'm so sorry you lost your mum and I take on board what you have said.:hug:I must be more detached.
 

*JOANNE*

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thats ok...more detached and clinical.....if you know what i mean.....they will like the fact that you are detached....if you catch my drift lol
 

marion

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i'm having the same issue myself, quite a few of my clients have told me they have cancer. Its quite shocking the high number of cases, and they all look well and are coping with it admirably.

Unfortuntely, one of my friends died a couple of weeks ago, she was a regular of mine and i was very shocked as i just assumed she was getting over it, she was always out walking and treating herself to new nails and clothes. She was always so upbeat. I'll never forget her, she always made me feel so good about myself. She is a real angel now..
 

BABSann

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i'm having the same issue myself, quite a few of my clients have told me they have cancer. Its quite shocking the high number of cases, and they all look well and are coping with it admirably.

Unfortuntely, one of my friends died a couple of weeks ago, she was a regular of mine and i was very shocked as i just assumed she was getting over it, she was always out walking and treating herself to new nails and clothes. She was always so upbeat. I'll never forget her, she always made me feel so good about myself. She is a real angel now..
Marion,all I can say is this....I have NOT had anyone to my knowledge client wise die,when/if I do I would fall apart...not in front of anyone obviously,but this must be so hard for you.God bless you and your client:hug:xx
 

pure

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Do you know I think all but perhaps 2 of my clients come in and talk about a close relative or friend who has cancer too.

I have to say that I am comfortable to talk with them about it probably because my mum has just finished 6 weeks of radio-therapy and I have also lost my dad, both grandmothers and an uncle to it in the last 7 years.:cry:

My advise would be to not fall back on the usual old platitudes that people normally use when they don't know what else to say. I have one client who constantly moans about people doing that to her! lol

Just listening is often all that is needed. No-one would expect you to say the 'magic' right thing, but allowing them to just talk is all they normally need.

I think we are often therapists in more sense than one! IYKWIM?
 

hippy-chick

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I found this a problem too, so much so that I enrolled on a 15 week counselling course, and that has helped sooooo much.

people don't need/want SYMPATHY they need/want EMPATHY.

You being there is enough. let them do the talking, but don't encourage it, if they make a comment and you feel you want to contribute then repeat back to them what they said, but in a different manner, it shows that you have heard and accepted what they have said and that you are listening.

also, it is hard, but to develop a 'detachment' is useful too. I work in holistics and its amazing what a release some people have once you get them on the couch for a massage. I also know that people talk a lot more and open up a lot more when I'm doing treatments face-to-face, ie hand massage, so I can totally see what it must be like if you do manis.

they say dr and nurses develop 'black humour' to help them through the circumstances of being surrounded by trauma, pain and death. It doesn't mean that they don;t care, its a coping mechanism.

So, put on your listening head and allow it to flow, but leave the conversation and feelings behind once you have finished the treatment, and don't carry it home with you.:hug:
 

sj1973

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i think its our age...well it is for me...my mates hubby has died from skin cancer aged 36...my mother in law has just told us she has skin cancer removed from her face...my brother is having treatment for cancer on his leg...my hubby friend has died from heart attack aged 40...my sis friends grandad has not got long cos he has skin cancer....its sooooooo hard...but you have to be there for them...my brother lives in denmark and is over for xmas so its going to be good to see him....listern to them but it is also hard to forget what they have just told you....it spins around in your head and no matter what you do,you cant get rid of it....talking is the best treatment imo...lots of tears,drink....nobody should bottle it up because when you want to talk , you cant...just being there for family and friends and that shoulder to cry on is what they need and a good :hug:xxxx
 

Susie H

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The advise here is as usual bril so I'm not going to add to that side of it, I'm going to try to help you gain some space from the emotional side of it, this is actually how a well person therapist helped me get through a tough time in my life.
Before you start work, give your self a couple of minutes to calm yourself, even if its while you are locked in the ladies. Slow deep breathes and concentrate on how it feels to breath in and out, when you are feeling calm, imagine that you are stood on a mirror, the mirror is facing outwards and you are stood right in the middle of it, now build one way mirrors around you, you can see out but anyone looking in will just see themselves and finally put another mirror on the top. Nothing but calmness is inside with you and because its mirrors nothing can get inside everything is reflected back, and when ever a client or the kids or the thoughtless driver etc starts to overwhelm you think of your self standing inside your mirror room. It takes a while to get the hang of it but I've found the more I practice the easier it is to do this and it has really helped me to deal with all sorts of problems as well as being a good cure for insomnia.
 

lotus blossom

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good advise from everyone!
i tend to say, " do you want to talk about it??"
mostly they do,
i hand them the box of tissues, and say, doesnt matter if you cry, im listening
 

BABSann

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Thankyou everyone for your sound advice,I just wish I could be more detached,when someone is in floods of tears.I will try harder next time.
 

*JOANNE*

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Thankyou everyone for your sound advice,I just wish I could be more detached,when someone is in floods of tears.I will try harder next time.
you cant help caring thats why your ...you :hug:
 

lotus blossom

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yep its cos you care!!
but i know this is going to sound harsh, but dont slate me over it,
but,, sometimes, all i can do is listen and hand tissues over as i dont have the time to sit with them and talk,
i carry on whilst they cry or talk, but my head is down,
i try to sympathise, but i have clients after them, so cannot afford to get into a big discussion about things with them
sorry
 

BABSann

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yep its cos you care!!
but i know this is going to sound harsh, but dont slate me over it,
but,, sometimes, all i can do is listen and hand tissues over as i dont have the time to sit with them and talk,
i carry on whilst they cry or talk, but my head is down,
i try to sympathise, but i have clients after them, so cannot afford to get into a big discussion about things with them
sorry
I dont think you're harsh at all,I only wish I could be more like this tbh.:hug:
 

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