Dear Laura

Your concern for your friend does you credit and she’s lucky to have you in her corner. But I think you may have unintentionally begun to bully her a little, and that’s why she’s withdrawn from you.

The most important thing is that she’s been given the all-clear from breast cancer. It’s not as if she’s choosing to fight a life-threatening condition solely with non-conventional programmes, therapies that you or others might believe are a dangerous waste of time and money. She went through the mill of modern medical treatment and it worked.

In the wake of that bruising experience (and you saw for yourself how gruelling the process was, didn’t you?) she’s attempting to find some spiritual equilibrium. No one could seriously argue that meditation, clairvoyance, chanting or sitting under wind-chimes cures cancer and I’m sure she knows that – that’s why she walked the conventional path first. But she’s free now to make other choices – choices for herself, not you.

Meanwhile, if she’s happy to flash the plastic for one-to-one time with her guru, that’s between her and her bank.

I think you’re making the mistake of trying to project your values on to your friend. You mean well, but all it’s achieved is to push her away. Remember what she’s just been through. Allow her the space now to do what reassures, calms and restores her. I promise she’ll thank you for it.

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