Identity and cancer are strongly interlinked. When a person receives the diagnosis of cancer, the door to one’s old self can appear to slam, shut. From this moment, you may feel as though you are now ‘Mary with cancer’, instead of just, Mary.

You may end up with a panel of specialists, each advising you about your cancer. You may no longer be able to do certain things that the old Mary used to do. You may enlist into a program of chemo or other drugs which turn your world upside down. Your world shifts. You are now ‘Mary, with cancer’. But hypnotherapy can help to redefine you in a more holistic way, as you travel through this paradigm shift.

Accepting the diagnosis is the first challenge, after which you can begin to remember who you really are. Whether you are terminally ill or have a good chance of recovery, cancer is just something that you have. It is not who you are. It can be challenging to forget this when everything in your new and scary world seems to want to remind you about it.

Hypnotherapy can help you to rewrite those blurry chapters in your life in which you have confused identity and cancer. It can also help to release many of the emotions which accompany the cancer diagnosis, such as anger, pity, hopelessness and lack of confidence.

I guided a recent client back through the chapters of his life, before cancer, where he had the opportunity to consolidate and to resolve his past. From this new, strong position, he was able to bring that clarity into his present state.

We also worked on his underlying feelings of guilt, anger and ‘poor me’, which the cancer had triggered. We obliterated these negative emotions and replaced them with confidence and peace. The time he has left to live now will be authentic and relevant, instead of empty and shut-down.

A recent study found that a significant proportion of cancer survivors still consider themselves patients five to 15 years post-diagnosis. This does not need to be the case. Identity and cancer may be interlinked, but they are not inseparable. Find out more