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Psychosexual Counselling Service

TWENTY

ONE

Psychosexual Counselling Service

CAROLINE SMITH

CASE STUDY

MS EMMAWARING,

PSYCHOSEXUAL NURSE THERAPIST

Case study: In 2011, the patient rst noticed a small lump in one of

her breasts, but didn’t think too much of it. However, after a routine

investigation, she was given the diagnosis of Stage 1 breast cancer

at the age of 47,which was devastating for her. She underwent

treatment at London Bridge Hospital to remove the lump, followed by

chemotherapy and then radiotherapy.

The patient decided to undergo all treatment at London Bridge Hospital;

initially surgery to remove the lump, followed by chemotherapy and then

radiotherapy. Unfortunately, the treatment brought on the menopause which

affected her very intensely as, due to the different drugs, all the symptoms

came on at once. Before her diagnosis, the patient had been a keen runner

and led an active and healthy lifestyle. However, due to the menopause her

joints became too painful to continue running, something which affected her

body con dence. The onset of the menopause also took away her libido.

As the cancer was not hormone-related in her case, it meant she was eligible

for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which she believes saved her

life. Having started HRT, the unwelcome symptoms associated with the

menopause receded.

The patient was still sexually active and her sex life was important to her

– this made her feel very alone in dealing with her illness. For most of her

treatment, the patient did not mention how she was feeling, but during her

last chemotherapy session, she happened to mention this to one of the

nurses. She was given Emma Waring’s card, Psychosexual Nurse Therapist.

She commented on contacting the Psychosexual Nurse Therapist, “It was the

best thing for me. It really helped me to move on.” Although she feels pretty

much back to normal, she admits there are still days when she feels shaky.

While she manages to cope with these feelings, she feels it is really helpful to

know Emma is there should she need additional top-up sessions.

Now cancer-free, the patient understands the importance for breast cancer

sufferers to know that this sort of service is available to them. She explains,

“Your sex life is hit tremendously because of what happens to you, and your

body image. It completely throws you, everything stops. People in marriages

have a different sort of relationship but being single, my relationships weren’t

that close so it was a very different situation.”

EmmaWaring qualified from St

Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1995

as Registered General Nurse, going

on to specialise in cardiac nursing.

In 2001, Emma obtained a degree

in Critical Care Nursing from

King’s College, London, and moved

into a specialist nurse role at Guy’s

and St Thomas’ Hospital. Here,

she set up a clinic to treat erectile

dysfunction in cardiac patients.

This was in collaboration with

Dr Graham Jackson, Consultant

Cardiologist, and due to the unique

nature of the clinic, their work

has been presented nationally and

internationally.

In 2004, Emma obtained a

postgraduate diploma in

Psychosexual Therapy at the

University of Central Lancashire

and, in addition to her nursing

role, began working as a sex and

relationship therapist at Guy’s

Hospital.

Emma’s work was recognised when

she won the Nursing Times Rising

Star award in 2004.

In October 2011, Emma joined

London Bridge Hospital, providing

a Psychosexual Therapy Service

for patients/couples experiencing

sexual difficulties and/or

relationship problems.

“Your sex life is hit tremendously because of what

happens to you, and your body image.

It completely throws you,

everything stops.”

For more information on our Psychosexual Counselling Service, please contact Psychosexual Counselling Coordinator, Rob Walker, on

T: 020 7357 6466

or email

[email protected]

Emma Waring

Psychosexual Therapy Service