Easy Read Information
Psychology is about behaviour, emotions and feelings.
This page gives you information about the support we can offer to patients with cancer who are having difficulty with their emotions.
What we do
We are a specialist service for people who are experiencing significant distress related to their cancer and treatment, which is adversely affecting their lives, and particularly making it hard for them to take care of themselves and cope with their treatment. We work with family members/carers affected by cancer. We work with each patient as an individual with a unique life story and cultural context. We work with interpreters where needed.
We can accept referrals from colleagues at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals, and from GPs. We are commissioned mainly by Liverpool CCG, and also receive some funding from Knowsley, South Sefton and Southport and Formby CCGs, so that we can see patients from those boroughs who are under the care of a service at our hospitals.
We also offer a psychology service for all patients with eye cancer, treated at the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre,(LOOC) one of 4 UK tertiary centres funded by NHS England.
It is a normal part of living with cancer to go through strong emotions, such as sadness or anger, and these often get better over time, but we can help patients who are struggling with this.
How we work
Psychologists are trained to help people with a wide range of problems. We help people understand their emotional struggles, talk about issues that are important for them and find a way forward.
We work closely with medical teams, and offer training and consultancy to our colleagues to help them meet their patients’ psychological needs. We contribute to the teaching of psychologists in training and offer clinical and research placements to help them gain knowledge and experience in supporting people with cancer.
Our appointments usually last for fifty minutes. For some patients, a one-off psychology assessment is enough for them (and their medical team) to understand and cope better with their needs. For others, two or three sessions are needed. For those facing more complex issues, a longer course of therapy is most helpful.
We aim to see patients for initial assessment within four weeks after we receive a referral. Patients who need a longer course of therapy will then usually need to wait several months for this. Where necessary, we can offer telephone reviews during this waiting period. We can offer therapy more quickly in the case of urgent clinical need.
As patients with eye cancer attend from across the UK we offer face to face sessions when attending LOOC and telephone appointments to any patient under the care of LOOC.
We offer a range of evidence-based psychological therapies according to the specific needs of each patient. We can also offer some flexibility on the timing and frequency of therapy sessions. We see inpatients and outpatients.
Some of the problems we can help with
• Anxiety or low mood related to cancer
• Disturbed sleep
• Difficulty coping with cancer and its treatment, or with cancer-related pain
• Feeling stuck, or struggling to find a sense of purpose in life
• Post-traumatic symptoms
• Cancer-related relationship and sexual problems
• Body image problems
• Anticipatory nausea and vomiting
• Need for specialist help with making decisions about treatment
• Psychological barriers to care, such as severe fear of needles
Unfortunately, we do not have capacity to see patients whose psychological distress is not related to their cancer and is not affecting their treatment. We have listed other local NHS psychological therapy service below.
As well as 1:1 therapy, we offer Metacognitive Therapy and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy groups.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is a course of eight weekly sessions, coupled with a programme of practices to do at home. It teaches us ways to respond to our troubles more skilfully, and to experience happier moments more fully. This course offers a chance to move away from being on “automatic pilot” and to see more clearly how our thinking can influence our physical and emotional experiences.
Mindfulness can be helpful for everyone in coping with the large and small stresses and struggles of everyday life. Mindfulness-based approaches have been shown to help people cope better with cancer and other health conditions, and to be less caught up in worries.
You can try mindfulness through this very short exercise (MP3 embedded)
For any queries or to discuss a referral, please contact us.
Our telephone number is: 0151 706 3126.
Our email address is: RLB-TR.CANCERPSYCHOLOGYLIVERPOOL@nhs.net
Monday - Friday
09.00 - 17.00
Where we are
Liverpool Psychology Service for Cancer
1st Floor Linda McCartney Centre,
Royal Liverpool University Hospital,
Liverpool, L7 8XP.
See map below