The diagnosis and treatment of cancer are often major sources of stress in the lives of patients and those closest to them. For this reason, our team includes psychologists to help meet the emotional needs of patients and families.
- Psychological Oncology Services
- Anger and Irritability
- Stress within the Family or Couple
- Self Image and Self Esteem Concerns
- Sexuality and Cancer
- Memory and Concentration Problems
- Sleep Disruption
- When a Parent Has Cancer
The goal of the psychology team is to reduce the psychological and emotional distress that can often accompany cancer. We use well-tested methods that have been shown to be effective. These methods include providing supportive and compassionate counseling and psychotherapy, along with practical behavioral interventions aimed at helping patients and family members manage their worries, sadness, anger, fatigue, or pain.
Our psychological oncology team offers psychological evaluation and treatment for patients and family members to help cope with the stress of cancer and its diagnosis. These services are often important when cancer diagnosis or treatment causes distress and makes it hard to cope. We emphasize the use of cognitive-behavioral-based psychotherapy, which focuses on how people think, feel, and behave in response to stressors in their lives. We utilize a range of practical interventions including clinical hypnosis, relaxation therapy, and guided imagery, which may help reduce symptoms of distress and help patients cope with nausea or pain. We also provide psychological testing to help determine the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on important cognitive functions such as memory, attention, concentration, and problem-solving skills.
Our goal is to make psychological services available to any patients and family members who are treated at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. In order to meet the rapidly expanding needs of our patients, we also provide a referral list of psychologists, social workers, and other professionals at Vanderbilt and in the Nashville community.