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Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM) Therapy 

Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM) Therapy
Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM) Therapy
Psycho-Oncology (3 ed.)

Sarah Hales

, Christopher Lo

, and Gary Rodin


Managing cancer and living meaningfully (CALM) is a brief, semi-structured individual intervention designed to alleviate distress and to promote psychological growth in individuals with advanced disease. This intervention emerged from a longitudinal program of research and from the theoretical traditions of relational, attachment, and existential theory. Through a process that supports affect regulation, attachment security, and reflective functioning, CALM focuses on four content domains: (1) symptom management and communication with healthcare providers; (2) changes in self and relations with close others; (3) sense of meaning and purpose; and (4) the future and mortality. Qualitative research has shown that cancer patients experience the structure of CALM as a safe place to explore fears, to be seen in human terms, and to face the challenges of advancing disease. Quantitative studies have shown that CALM leads to a reduction in depressive symptoms and death anxiety and an increase in spiritual well-being.

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