Breast cancer is a devastating illness one in eight women will develop. We face tests, and re-tests, biopsy, diagnosis, treatment decisions, painful and depleting surgeries, toxic chemotherapies and radiation, endless lab work and medical appointments. It takes over your life and it is exhausting.
Well-meaning family and friends will share stories about the experience of other breast cancer patients. They may give you books they hope will help (some actually blame the victim, asserting you have control over disease, which you do not!). You will read pamphlets, magazines, articles and find information on the internet telling you all kinds of different things, including what to expect. It can be very confusing.
It is important to know there is no “normal” way to experience or respond to breast cancer and the treatments for it. In fact, there isn’t a “normal” to be found anywhere along this journey.
The therapy I offer is designed specifically for you, whatever it is you are experiencing.
- If your thought patterns are elevating your anxiety, or interfering with your ability to make decisions or choices, I utilize cognitive-behavioral techniques to help you challenge self-defeating thoughts so you can focus on options and possibilities.
- If stress-management, problem-solving, or communication skills are an issue, I help you develop or reacquaint yourself with your skills and practice them with you.
- If you feel traumatized, I offer a place of compassion and emotional safety within which to explore, understand, and find some relief.
Examples of cancer-related issues my clients bring to therapy:
- Feelings of isolation or being different.
- Blaming themselves for their cancer.
- Struggles with identity, self-image, femininity, intimacy and sexuality.
- Negotiating through treatment(s).
- Grief and loss in many areas.
- Communication difficulties with partner, spouse, family, friends, doctors.
- Transitioning to life after breast cancer.
I am trained and knowledgeable in many areas of psychology and psychotherapy. I use skill and technique with sensitivity, intuition and a sense of humor.