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Professional psychological help at the N.N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology

A cancer diagnosis can affect the emotional health of patients and almost every member of their families, causing deep psychological trauma and severe stress.

Professional psychological counselling not only improves the quality of life of cancer patients, but also has a significant positive impact of the efficacy of combination cancer treatment that a patient is receiving. Psycho-oncology employs a great number of highly effective techniques that facilitate and aid cancer treatment and rehabilitation of cancer patients.

Office hours of psychologists

Clinical psychology considers the situation in which people diagnosed with cancer and their families find themselves as extreme and crisis.

It is difficult to cope with this situation without professional psychological help and support. The Centre provides professional psychological counselling to cancer patients and their families. The Centre’s clinical psychologists provide psychological help through group and individual counselling.

How can professional psychological counselling help?

  • It helps to improve your overall emotional health.
  • It helps you to overcome fears and anxieties.
  • It arms you with a variety of stress coping mechanisms.
  • It motivates you to continue with your treatment.
  • It helps to resolve family crisis situations.
  • It increases your quality of life and the quality of life of your family members.
  • It teaches you how to more efficiently communicate with your healthcare providers, colleagues and friends.
  • It creates conditions for complete psychological recovery and general health improvement.
  • It promotes personal growth.

What to expect at a psychological oncology appointment?

The goal of the initial consultation is to:

  • discuss any current symptoms you are experiencing and your treatment targets
  • conduct a mental status examination
  • identify any comorbid neurological conditions/symptoms
  • decide whether a patient needs to have a consultation with other specialists – neurologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists
  • identify a target (targets) for psychological interventions
  • select patient-oriented psychotherapy techniques to improve the mental/emotional health of a patient and duration of psychotherapy (number of consultations)

The second consultation (i.e. psychotherapy within the selected approaches) includes:

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • psychoanalytic therapy
  • supporting therapy
  • art therapy
  • family therapy

What conditions do we treat?

  • psychosomatic symptoms (lump in throat feeling, psychogenic vomiting/nausea, psychogenic pain, tachycardia, asthma attack);
  • hypochondria;
  • panic attacks;
  • phobias, anxiety, irritation;
  • depression, apathy, weakness.

Therapies and counselling techniques used by clinical psychologists

Therapy/counselling technique

Target (complaint)

Duration

One-to-one counselling (short course)

Psychogenic reactions

3-5 sessions (60 minutes)

One-to-one counselling (long course)

Persistent conditions / reactions accompanied by disruptions of the functional status

  • Panic attacks,
  • Psychosomatic disorders,
  • Hypochondria / depression / anxiety / weakness and apathy

3 months to 1 year

(60 minutes)

Open group psychotherapy

  • Creation of awareness
  • Acceptance therapy

when necessary

(1.5-3 hours)

Closed group psychotherapy

  • Acceptance therapy
  • Psychogenic reactions

1 to 6 months (1.5-3 hours)

Art therapy

  • Acceptance therapy
  • Abreaction

when necessary

(3-50 minutes)

The Center offers the Cancer School for Patients which is an education project aimed at providing necessary educational materials about the disease, as well as psychological help and support to cancer patients and their family members.

Physicians of the Department:

Dr Margarita V. Vagaitseva, PhD in Psychology, clinical psychologist, researcher

Dr Tatiana A. Karavaeva, D.Sc. in Psychology, clinical psychologist, lead researcher

Dr Kristina O. Kondratieva, clinical psychologist, researcher

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