Strike action between Tuesday 19 and Friday 22 September 2023

Consultants and junior doctors at The Christie will both strike between Tuesday 19 and Friday 22 September 2023.

Consultants will be striking on 19 to 20 September 2023. Consultants will still provide emergency care during their strikes.

Junior doctors will be striking on:

20 September 2023 – strike with emergency care still provided
21 to 22 September 2023 – full walkouts for 48 hours

We are proactively contacting patients with appointments that may be affected by this strike. If you have an appointment at the Trust on any of these dates, please continue to come to The Christie and our other centres as planned unless we contact you to tell you otherwise. There may be longer waits than usual in clinics during this time.

Please do not call to check if your appointment is still going ahead.

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Resolving Anxiety and Panic States

Thursday 11, 18, 25 January and 1 February 2024, 1:30 to 4:30pm – virtual via Zoom

Course tutors: Vicky Phelan and Linda Orrett

This course is ideal for any one working with anxious clients, whether this be in a cancer or supportive care setting or in private practice. During the course, you will gain a good understanding of anxiety and panic, how it manifests itself and the changes that occur in the brain and the body during this time.

We will teach you powerful approaches and fast calming interventions that will help your clients overcome anxiety and panic in-situ. For those working in a health care setting, we will also show you effective ways that will give you confidence to support clients who are encountering distressing responses to medical situations e.g. cannulation, surgery and other procedural/treatment related anxieties.

Prerequisite: Suitable for integrative therapists, health care professionals, counsellors, or any therapist working with anxious clients, whether in a cancer or health care setting or in private practice.

Sign up for the Resolving Anxiety and Panic States workshop on Eventbrite now.

During this course, the aims and objectives will be achieved by a combination of:

  • Presentations to help students develop a good level of knowledge in anxiety and panic, including what can bring on anxiety and panic, changes that take place in the brain and body when someone experiences anxiety and panic and how to recognise the signs.
  • Demonstration of different simple yet effective techniques to help students develop the skills they need to help their clients/patients overcome anxiety and panic.
  • Practice sessions where students can practice the techniques on each other to help them become confident in their use.
  • Discussions on how the tutors have used the techniques to further help student understanding in how the techniques can and have been applied.
  • Homework outside the classroom where students will be asked to apply their learnings and provide feedback the following week.

Discussions and case studies on how the techniques have been used in a cancer care setting to overcome treatment related anxiety e.g. cannulation, radiotherapy mask making, MRI scans, CT scans etc.

Date Topics

Week 1

Thursday 11 January 2024, 1:30 to 4:30pm


  • What is anxiety/stress/panic attack?
    • Definition of anxiety
    • Anxiety vs stress
    • Common anxiety disorders.
    • Difference between an anxiety attack and panic attack
  • Structure of the nervous system; brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, somatic nervous system, autonomic nervous system, sympathetic nervous system, parasympathetic nervous system.
  • How the stress response is initiated:
    • Autonomic Nervous System
    • hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis
    • The brain and the stress response
    • Physiological changes that occur during the stress response
    • Symptoms of the stress response: physical, behavioural and psychological
    • Symptoms of a panic attack
    • The Freeze response and symptoms
  • Techniques:
    • Introduction to techniques
    • Moist mouth
    • Diaphragmatic breathing Youtube video
    • Rectangular breathing
    • Samavritti breathing
    • Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Week 2

Thursday 18 January 2024, 1:30 to 4:30pm

  • Introduction to the vagus nerve and the polyvagal theory
    • Window of tolerance
    • Cause and effect?
    • Frames and reference
    • Neuroception
    • Perception and projection. How do we construct our reality?
    • Reconstructing the model of the world
  • How do we frame what we want?
    • What would better feel like?
    • How do you know that you are feeling better?
    • Loosen the knot to choose to regulate
  • Techniques:
    • Building rapport
    • Countering negative self-talk
    • The Calming Hand

Week 3

Thursday 25 January 2024, 1:30 to 4:30pm

  • How do stress management techniques work?
    • Stimulating Parasympathetic Nervous System
    • Understanding the brain waves
    • Calming amygdala hi-jack
    • Feel-good hormones
  • Neuroplasticity of the brain, Recap on Anxiety, Presentation on Neuroscience, Neuroplasticity and the Brain, 2 pathways of Anxiety
  • Cortex Pathway, Amygdala Pathway, Sleep and effective sleep patterns on the Amygdala, Exercise and the amygdala, Amygdala and breathing exercises
  • Techniques
    • The Calming Hand/squeezy star
    • Visualisation/creative imagery – safe space
    • How to use the imagination to reduce anxiety around imagined future catastrophises

Week 4

Thursday 1 February 2024, 1:30 to 4:30pm


  • Polyvagal theory further explained
  • Placebo and nocebo language
  • Mindful based approaches to combat
    • Primary and secondary suffering
    • Approaches to soften resistance
    • Permanence and non-permanence of suffering
    • Loving kindness and compassion
    • RAIN
  • Coping with panic attacks
  • Putting it all together – Symptom Effectiveness Chart

Suggested reading

  • The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook
  • The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
  • 30 Scripts for Relaxation Imagery and Inner Healing

Note: This programme may be subject to change.

Last updated: July 2023