First published Thursday 23 October 2014 in News by Tara Cox, Reporter.

Cancer sufferers got an encouraging boost with a life-coaching course on how to cope with the condition.

The session was given to Bridport self-help centre The Living Tree at the start of October by social enterprise Live Your Life After Cancer (LYLAC).

LYLAC aims to help anyone coping with cancer to regain a sense of themselves, where they want their life to go, to find a new balance and to live well.

It was set up in 2008 by Dr Jo Lee and Isabel Van der Ven after they both faced cancer themselves, and has now grown to help health and social care professionals, employers and other cancer related charities such as The Living Tree.

Isabel said: “Research shows that life-coaching has proved to be effective in a relatively short time-frame in an inspiring and uplifting way.

“Our sessions help increase self-awareness and confidence.

“We also help people to develop clarity about the future and guide them to focus on the possibilities that lie ahead in a wholly positive way.”

Living Tree co-founders Jo O’Farrell and Jo Millar added that the end of cancer treatment, or recurrence of cancer after remission, can be a scary time for many.

The life-coaching course was funded by The Dorset Cancer Care Foundation.

Jo O’Farrell said: “It can take a lot of adjustment.

“Many things will never be the same again.

“We’re trying to help people learn how to look after themselves in a different way, focusing on diet, exercise, complementary therapies, mindfulness and mutual support. LYLAC is gaining clinical and academic recognition throughout Dorset and beyond, so we were very pleased to obtain funding to organise this one day joint venture which has proved very rewarding.”

Jo added that feedback from the day was very positive, with Living Tree members benefitting from the encouragement and insights offered by LYLAC.

Members learnt about how a life-coaching approach can help to set new goals based on each person’s individual core values and beliefs.

The Living Tree was granted charitable status in February last year.

Some group members are at various stages in their experience of cancer.

Some group members were recently diagnosed, while others are still undergoing treatment.

Some of them are in remission and others are post-cancer – but the group is open to anyone.

Anyone interested in finding out more is welcome to join the group at the Friends Meeting House, South Street on Fridays between 2pm and 4.30pm.

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For details about LYLAC, visit