When an illness or a disease appears in one’s life, a major shift occurs in their identity; from a healthy self to a non-healthy self. How this identity change is managed depends very much on a variety of factors, such as personality, support systems, nature of illness etc.
A diagnosis of an illness is something that affects not only the person who has become ill but also his/hers immediate family. How they will all cope with the news as well all the changes that follow such news depends on a variety of factors.
At such times, counselling may provide the necessary support (when this is lacking) to help the patient and his/hers immediate family to come to terms with the diagnosis, to better cope with the new reality, to better manage the progression of a long-term illness, and to better deal with the losses that may come along.