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Principles of Psychotherapy 

Principles of Psychotherapy
Chapter:
Principles of Psychotherapy
Source:
Psycho-Oncology (3 ed.)
Author(s):

E. Alessandra Strada

and Barbara M. Sourkes

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199363315.003.0053

Psychotherapy can play a valuable role in improving the quality of life of patients facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis, allowing patients and families to maintain a sense of meaning and purpose through all phases of illness. Therapists must acquire knowledge of the physical and psychological impact of different types of cancer and available treatment. Developing a flexible theoretical framework will allow the therapist to adapt the therapeutic model to the evolution of the patient’s condition, as well as to the limitations imposed by the clinic or hospital environment. Psychotherapy with cancer patients can be uniquely emotionally challenging due to the uncertainties of their life span and the profound emotional and physical impact of their diagnosis and medical treatment. As a result, awareness and adequate management of countertransference through peer consultation and supervision can allow the therapist to process strong emotions that may negatively impact the therapeutic relationship.

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