From Psychology to Psycho-Oncology
How Our Counsellors Address the Psychological Needs of Cancer Patients
Not all emotional issues stem from cancer – in many cases, patients already have pre-existing psychological issues which are aggravated by cancer diagnosis and the fears and anxieties that come bundled with it. Professional experts in oncology counselling can administer emotional intervention for Cancer through warmth and support and help manage these pre-existing challenges. Common pre-existing issues include anger management, acute anxiety and panic attacks, depression and low self-esteem. By conducting a detailed assessment right at the beginning, our counselling team is able to unearth such issues and customize the psychotherapy regime accordingly for effective emotional healing for Cancer patients.
Managing stress and cancer is no easy feat – patients often succumb to despair during the course of the treatment and lack receptivity to various treatments and procedures recommended by the treating doctor. This could be to fear, uncertainty, lack of trust, loss of hope, emotional rejection, cultural concerns and habit issues. Symptoms of lack of receptivity to treatment include fear of surgery, fear of radiation, fear of hospitals, lack of faith in doctor, lack of faith in hospital, inability to quit habits like smoking and drinking, rejection of food due to lack of taste, rejection towards family members and caregivers, and much more. Our psychologists are well-attuned to these symptoms of rejection and work towards allaying them by addressing the root-causes. This helps the patient to calm down and see what’s best for her/him objectively. Thus, he becomes more accepting and participatory in the treatment process by attuning his emotional health for Cancer recovery.
A big question that looms in the minds of cancer patients is the question of survival. In most cases, survival uncertainties crop up in the patients’ minds right at the onset of the diagnosis and continue till the final recovery and even after that. In other cases, the patient is diagnosed to be terminally ill which makes survival during the left-over days even more challenging and emotionally excruciating. This is where psychological counselling for terminally ill Cancer patients at home comes into the picture. Survival fears can also paralyze the patient emotionally after traumatic experiences such as radio-therapy, chemotherapy, surgery and so on. In each of these challenging situations, our counsellors can boost the patient’s spirits, help her/him remain hopeful, improve the quality of life, restore faith in survival and living and boost the patient’s overall state of mind significantly.
Cancer often leads to tremendous changes in the appearance of a patient such as weight loss/gain, loss of hair, surgical removal of organs like breasts in women, loss of skin quality and other physical distortions. These lead to severe body image issues among some patients leading to body shaming, lowering of self-esteem and self-love, cropping up of uncomfortable questions on one’s sexuality, loss of hope and even intimacy issues in relationships. Professional intervention from our psychological experts on Cancer can help patients overcome negative body image due to Cancer if counselling is done early on.
Being diagnosed with cancer leads to a torpedo of reactions that grip the patient all at once, leading to one or more symptoms like rage, depression, denial, grief, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear and fatigue. Anxiety over financial strain, fear of being a burden, worry about loss of independence, fear of abandonment and self-hate are some of the most common emotional reactions to cancer diagnosis. This is one of the most critical phases and most patients need intensive emotional support for Cancer immediately after diagnosis. Our counsellors have experience in providing such care and help the patient address painful, agonizing thoughts like “why me?” “now what?” “how will my family manage finances?” “how will it affect my relationships?” “will I become a burden on my family?”.
How Our Counsellors Address the Psychological Needs of Families of Cancer Patients
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