Psycho-oncology—what exactly is it?
Psycho-oncology is concerned with the mental, social, and emotional-spiritual aspects of cancer. The professional group of psycho-oncologists includes primarily physicians, psychologists, and social workers. When choosing a suitable psycho-oncologist, it is important not only to feel comfortable confiding in the person but also that the appropriate experience and professional qualifications that enable an expert to perform this work exist.
Where can I find a psycho-oncologist?
Psycho-oncologists work in hospitals, oncologic centers, and rehabilitation clinics, but also in outpatient practices or counseling centers. As a part of their comprehensive patient-oriented treatment, certified oncologic organ centers or oncologic centers must have a psycho-oncology counseling and treatment program.
When should I seek psychological counseling or treatment?
Cancer and its treatment involve a number of demands that are made on you. When you as a patient and/or your family feel burdened or overwhelmed by this new situation in life, psycho-oncology counseling and treatment can help to reduce negative feelings, worries and anxieties and contribute to improving the quality of life. Supplementary therapy can also be helpful if there are side effects from treatment, for example, chemotherapy. It is advisable to talk with a professional about possible assistance and coping strategies especially when mental problems existed before the illness or when there are further burdens in addition to the illness.
What precisely does the psycho-oncology service at NCT offer me?
The services offered cover a wide spectrum ranging from a single counseling session with those affected, including both patients and their families, to psychotherapy treatment. Many of those affected will profit from a single counseling session in which a professional confirms that they are not doing anything wrong in how they are personally coping with the disease. Other affected individuals profit from suggestions or assistance in activating their own personal resources. In the case of certain symptoms such as persistent anxiety, constant brooding, inability to relax, depression, or insomnia, psycho-oncology counseling will first attempt to receive a diagnostic work-up of the symptoms and determine their causes. Depending on the type and severity of the symptoms, a variety of treatment options may be considered. Usually, those who seek psycho-oncology counseling find it helpful to speak openly about the disease and the associated worries and thoughts with a professional person. The NCT Psycho-oncology Outpatient Clinic offers a special service to families, i. e. parents with cancer and their children: ANKKER (information only available in German).
How do I get an appointment?
Patients and their families can either obtain an appointment from the secretarial team themselves or through the attending physician or caregivers.
Is there a waiting period before the first contact?
As a general rule, a first talk is possible at short notice. This may take place either during a special appointment or during treatment at NCT. In case of emergency, a short contact can be organized on the same day.
Where do the talks take place?
We arrange to have the talk in an atmosphere that respects privacy. Counseling talks are possible in a separate room at a fixed time. Psycho-oncologists can also visit patients and their families during chemotherapy or at other appointments in the outpatient clinic, the day care unit, or on the ward.