Partner Support: Helping Her Heal

Helping Her Heal Program

Welcome to the ‘Helping Her Heal’ program, an initiative designed to support partners of women facing early-stage breast cancer. Developed by Frances Lewis RN, MN, PhD, FAAN from the University of Washington, this program aims to equip partners with essential relationship-focused communication and interpersonal skills during such challenging times.

“I have learnt that emotional support requires as much attention – if not more – than practical.”

Program Participant


The ‘Helping Her Heal’ program seeks to:

  • Improve partners’ and diagnosed partners’ self-reported levels of depression and anxiety.
  • Reduce partners’ cancer-related distress.
  • Enhance communication skills in primary relationships.
  • Increase partner’s confidence in interpersonally supporting their partner.
  • Improve the diagnosed partner’s positive view of their partner’s support and communication skills.
  • Test for scalability in a cost-sensitive service.

Target Group

Partners of women with early-stage breast cancer (stage 0-3).

Intended Outcomes

Through a series of 5 sessions, we aim to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Enhance partners’ ability to cope with stress and communicate effectively.
  • Provide partners with the necessary tools to support their loved ones through the breast cancer journey.
  • Foster a deeper understanding and connection between partners.

Program Outline

  1. Session 1: Anchoring Yourself to be Strong for Her
  2. Session 2: Listening and Not Fixing: Letting Go of Superman/Superwoman
  3. Session 3: Gaining a Deeper Understanding of Her
  4. Session 4: Connecting with Her: Creating Special Times
  5. Session 5: Putting the Pieces Together

Screening for Suitability

To ensure the effectiveness of the program, partners must meet certain criteria, including a desire to improve communication and support, willingness to engage in the program, absence of significant relationship issues, and commitment to completing all sessions and activities.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please register your interest by emailing [email protected]