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Mon 13 May 2024

Your guide to a Tenovus Cancer Care Therapeutic Virtual Support Group

Tenovus Cancer Care recently expand our range of services with the addition of a Therapeutic Virtual Support Groups. These online sessions are available for anyone affected by cancer living in Wales, aged over 18 years. If you or someone you know is interesting in attending, here’s a list of questions and answers to give a clear picture of what to expect.

When do they take place?
The groups take place on a weekly basis, at the same time and day over a period of four weeks.

Where do they take place?
The sessions take place online, from the comfort of your own home, using either a laptop, tablet, or phone. Using a system called Microsoft Teams, everyone will be able to see each other on the screen.

Before the first session you’ll be sent some instructions to help you use Microsoft Teams. If you’ve not received any of our emails, please check your Junk and/or Spam folder.

What if I’m not good with technology or able to get online?
We understand that not everyone is confident with technology, so will send out some guidance and instructions which should help you. If you do get stuck on the day of the session itself, don’t worry, call one of our colleagues and they’ll be able to help you – we will send you phone numbers ahead of the first session.

What do I need?
You don’t need to bring anything with you, but we recommend having a glass of water or a cup of tea/coffee nearby. We also suggest picking a comfortable and private location where your laptop, tablet or phone can be on a flat, stable surface while you’re in session, ideally opposite your face so that you can be seen easily.

Who will be there?
The sessions will be facilitated by two of our counsellors and there will be between 3 and 5 people taking part in the group. It will be the same people every week.

How long will the sessions last?
The sessions themselves will last 1 hour and 30 minutes, with a break of around 10 minutes halfway through.

What information will I be expected to share about myself?
This is completely up to you. We appreciate that everyone is different, and our main priority is that you feel safe and comfortable. You can share anything you are happy to share, and you don’t have to share anything you want to keep private. We hope that as you get to know people, you’ll feel more confident in talking about what you have experienced and how you feel. We take your confidentiality very seriously and we’ll talk about this a little more in our first session together.

What do I do if I’m feeling uncomfortable?
This may be the first time you’ve been in a group of other people affected by cancer, or any kind of therapeutic group so it’s completely understandable if you feel nervous to start with. Our counsellors are skilled in creating safe environments for people and will support you to take part in whatever way is best for you.

While we know how helpful groups can be and how much people can gain from this kind of support, we also understand that sometimes emotions can come to the surface, and you might need to take a few minutes out. We will talk about things like this in the first session to make sure that you feel as comfortable as possible.

What will happen in the group every week?
Because every group has different people in it, every group will be different to the last. In the first session we’ll discuss what the theme of the group is and what aspects of that people have experienced, or are interested in. That will form the basis for the next 3 sessions.

Every week we’ll spend a few minutes at the start of the session to check in, to see how everyone is (some ‘light’ chat), perhaps revisiting the topic from the week before to see if anyone wants to share anything they took from that and then we’ll get into the discussion topic for the session. These are not presentations where the counsellors talk and participants listen – they’re group conversations where we hope you can all learn from, and support, each other. You really are the experts in living with cancer, however it’s affected you, and we really welcome your participation.

What if I can’t attend a session(s)?
We would really encourage you to attend every session, as this helps to build trust, and relationships, in the group. But we also understand that sometimes emergencies crop up, so if you can’t attend, please let us know by calling the Support Line on 0808 808 1010.

If you would like to join a session, a list of all our upcoming sessions is available here.

If you or someone you love has been affected by cancer, our free Support Line is there for you. Just call 0808 808 1010