First, the author recommends that the psychotherapist who treats cancer patients be familiar with the following: 1) the natural course and treatment of the illness, 2) a flexible approach in accord with the medical status of the patient, 3) a common sense approach to defenses, 4) a concern with quality-of-life issues, and 5) counter- transference issues as they relate to the treatment of very sick patients (Pospone, 1998). The model of psychodynamic psychotherapy is mainly useful for understanding the emotional responses of patients with cancer. It provides a point of view for clarifying the onset of psychiatric symptoms in response to the stresses of having a cancer diagnosis. Recently psychoanalytic theoretical models enlarge to an understanding of the expressive symptomatology of the cancer patient as well as provide a point of view for intervention. The ego psychological model offers a look at defenses and coping mechanisms (Pospone, 1998).
Psychoanalysis and/or insight-oriented psychotherapy may have to give way to crisis intervention and supportive therapy (temporarily or permanently, depending on the medical condition of the patient) (Pospone, 1998). Psychotherapists also need to keep quality-of-life issues in focus. The predictable life span, the patient's relationship to the oncologist, and issues related to the patient's symptoms should never be far from the psychotherapist's attention. Supervision and support groups with case consultations are very helpful in preventing these reactions and forestalling burnout.
First Cancer Stage
Every cancer- stage have different client with different conditions. For example: Stage one-middle-aged woman with breast cancer and knowledge of the effects of stress on the immune system was referred for brief psychotherapy (Pospone, 1998). She was depressed, pessimistic about her prognosis, and filled with guilt, feeling that she had...