Spiritual counseling

Certain events in life, like illness, disability, and loss, can greatly affect our lives. They confront us with vulnerability and uncertainly. Things that you always took for granted are suddenly unclear or incomprehensible. You may feel like you lost your grip on the situation Your outlook on life - the things that are important to you - may change. You may face important questions, like; How should I go on from here? Why does this happen to me? What does life really mean? What is a good quality of life? You don't need to face this journey alone. It can be very valuable to receive support at this time. The NKI Spiritual Counseling team offers professional guidance, help, and advice in finding meaning in your life and other philosophical and spiritual questions. Our three Spiritual Counselors, with a Catholic, Protestant, and Islamic background, are available for anyone looking for support, no matter your faith or worldview. They can listen without judgment, offer comfort, ritual, and good conversation. All conversations are entirely confidential and impartial.


If you are receiving treatment at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, you and your family members or loved ones can request an appointment with one of our Spiritual Counselors. We have three Spiritual Counselors at the NKI: one with a Catholic background, one with a Protestant background, and one with an Islamic background. All Spiritual Counselors are available to all patients, however. All information you share is entirely confidential. You can request a consultation through your practicing physician or clinical nurse specialist, or sign up for a consultation yourself through the secretariat of the Survivorship Center.

What do we offer?

You can expect an open-hearted conversation central to your worldviews. We closely collaborate with other health care providers and handle your confidential information with care.

During your stay at the ward or during your outpatient treatment, we can offer:
  • A confidential conversation
  • Reflection on what has happened to you
  • Time for your connections
  • Exploring everything that holds value to you
  • Finding out what inspires you, or gives you strength
  • Guidance through medical or ethical questions
  • Ritual

We have a conversational model available for people who are currently receiving outpatient treatment or who are coming to the hospital for aftercare. It's called 'Levelsbeeld' (Image of your life). This program involves two conversations that can help you with the existential spiritual processing of your illness and treatment.

Read more about this program in our flyer.

  • Spiritual Counselors can offer confidential religious rituals like prayer, meditation, or blessing. They can also design a new ritual catered to your personal situation.
Advice and policy
  • Spiritual counselors consider your developments, subjects, and living situation. They can reflect and offer advice on philosophical, spiritual, and ethical themes in our organization or specific work contexts. This advice may be solicited, or not.

Spiritual counselors can contribute to:

  • Participation in ethical or other committees;
  • Policy: the identity of the organization, normative professionalization, ethical, societal, and philosophical developments;
  • Signaling and exploring problems in the organization that affect the life and work climate, and making this known (with or without a recommendation) to the responsible parties.
Our team

Sunday observance at the Glass Room

Every Sunday morning at 10.30, we hold a short prayer service at the Glass Room at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. This meeting/service is a moment of peace with piano music, silence, prayer, and words from the past about our time. This service is available for all, including family and loved ones. 

Our volunteers will ask you if you are interested in the service. If needed, they can bring you to the service in your bed or wheelchair. If you are unable to attend, you can follow the service on your iPad in your bed. 

Prayer and quiet areas

At the main entrance, next to the reception desk on the ground floor, you can find our prayer room and a separate Islamic prayer room. All rooms are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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