Introducing NowWhat’s Clinical Psychologist

Jul 2022

Our clinical psychologist Annemarie is here to support you and your family well beyond your cancer treatment.

Ask NowWhat clinical psychologist Annemarie the secret to dealing with what life throws at you and she will answer with one word: resilience. ‘If you can build resilience then you are better able to cope with adversity,’ she says.

‘And the more you can build it the better.’

Most of Annemarie’s clients seek help because they have struggled to cope with stressful events, and unfortunately that means many of them have encountered cancer.

One common theme she finds is how difficult it can be for people diagnosed with cancer to adapt to the new identity that the illness thrusts on them.

‘You can be walking around without a care in the world, you go to the doctor and receive a diagnosis, and then you leave with an identity that you didn’t ask for. Then suddenly you have to re-evaluate how the world sees you and how you see yourself,’ she says.

‘Some people will quietly adjust, some will go into fight or flight mode, others employ denial: each person’s response is different and there’s no “right” way of coping. It’s a transitional process and I have walked a lot of people through that journey from diagnosis to remission.’

But she won’t just be aiming her advice at those with cancer.

‘The impact of cancer is often underestimated. A cancer diagnosis can have a big impact on a large circle of people including partners, children and extended family. It can often ripple into school and work communities as well,’ she says. 

And that’s why in addition to patients, she will be focusing her advice on the wider community of those affected by cancer.

‘I want to help people get back to a sense of normality again, without feeling an overwhelming fear about what may happen next. 

‘Of course, some days this will feel impossible and you will need to rely on friends, family and a network of care to prop you up and support you.

‘That’s what I hope NowWhat can provide – emotional comfort and support so that no individual or family feels they are going through their cancer journey in isolation.’