Vocal Connections

This project is being delivered in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

When cancer treatment comes to an end, people can experience a huge range of feelings that may impact their mental health.  These could include anxiety, low mood, or fear of the future.  Depending on treatment, people might also experience an altered relationship with their body and sense of identity.  Sometimes it can be difficult to find space for these feelings, as those around them are ready to move on.  

Therapeutic support after treatment can provide this space.  We are responding to this need, starting by providing therapeutic support for people who have recently completed cancer treatment, at the MacMillan Horizon Centre in Brighton.

Project timetable: May 2023 to May 2024

Number of participants: 20 people will be referred to the project by the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton

Four groups of five people will receive six weeks of free group vocal psychotherapy.  Each participant will also have a 1:1 introductory and closing session to ensure their individual therapeutic aims are considered.

The participants will also be given bespoke videos with vocal exercises and songs from the group to provide further support during and after the group experience.

 The sessions are led by Belltree’s specialist vocal psychotherapist, Tina Warnock.  

What is Vocal Psychotherapy?

Vocal Psychotherapy enables participants to connect with their emotional strength and resilience through working with their voice. The groups include breathwork, vocal exercises, improvisational activities and therapeutic song writing, combined with reflective discussion.  

The voice is unique in its connection to the mind, body and sense of identity. Many cancer patients experience changes in the tone and quality of their voice as a result of their illness, their treatment and the consequent effects on their inner emotional world. By sharing their lived experiences, vocalising and singing together in a safe space, the participants will rediscover lost parts of themselves and learn to use their voice as a resource.  

Main aims of the project will be to:

  • Help manage participants’ anxiety and fears.  
  • Improve mood and support a more positive outlook.
  • Enable the participants to reconnect with themselves and their body.  
  • Connect with other people who have been through a similar experience.

Early participant feedback:

'It takes you to a place of absolute serenity, calmness, understanding, thoughtfulness, self -love, self-esteem, confidence. It gives you a positive direction away from negative impacts that are in your life.'  

With thanks to The National Lottery - Awards for All for funding this new project.

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