Purpose: To uncover complementary therapists' motivation to work in cancer/supportive and palliative care. Method: The study employed a multiple case-study design, involving three cancer/supportive and palliative care settings in the North West of England. A questionnaire survey (n = 51) was undertaken, followed by semi-structured interviews with a subgroup of the sample (n = 28). Results: Participants had a mean age of 50 years, were predominantly female and had varied career backgrounds, including prior professional experience in healthcare, teaching and private complementary therapy practice. Motivation for working in cancer/supportive and palliative care included vocational drive with a desire to provide individualised treatment and adopt a person centred, empowering and caring approach; disillusionment with conventional care; career development and personal experience of cancer or other serious illness. Conclusion: Findings indicated that motivational factors for therapists working in cancer care/supportive and palliative care were varied and highlighted a combination of 'push and pull' factors, particularly for therapists who are also health care practitioners. Further research related to volunteering, sustainable services and support and training for therapists is required.