Psychotherapy with Patients Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
In my practice, I have experience working with people who are diagnosed with breast cancer. I say people because men also can develop breast cancer, though it is thought of principally as a woman’s disease.
Psychotherapy can help in all stages of this illness, initial suspicion and confirmation, the shock of moving from the world of the healthy to the world of those with cancer, feelings about treatment choices, dealing with the stages of treatment, and integrating the experience into your life both during and after the treatment.
How can it help? In the therapeutic relationship, you have a companion with whom you can share all your thoughts and fears. You do not have to deal with the desire to protect someone from your negative feelings or with people’s natural impulse to share their own experience, tell you what to do, or even dismiss your fears.
In psychotherapy, you are free to say anything that comes into your mind. Over time, it enables you to explore your own feelings more completely. Very frequently, but particularly in times of crisis, we tend to protect ourselves from frightening thoughts automatically, yet the feelings still affect us. In the psychotherapeutic relationship, you become more aware of feelings that may be working on you in negative ways, out of your awareness. Making more of what is going on conscious can help in your decision making, in your relationships, in living with yourself in a more positive way.