Dr. med. Till Johannes Bugaj

Dr. med. Till Johannes Bugaj


Medical Director Psycho-oncology Service at the NCT Heidelberg

E-Mail: psychoonkologie@nct-heidelberg.de

Psycho-oncology Service

A diagnosis of cancer, its treatment, and life with the disease present many challenges to the patients and their families, which are often experienced as a considerable burden. In addition to the physical symptoms, psychological problems may also adversely affect the patient's health.

Through our secretarial team:
Catherine Schneider
Phone: +49 6221 564727
or by e-mail: psychoonkologie@nct-heidelberg.de

In urgent cases also at short notice through the outpatient clinics or day care units of the NCT Heidelberg.

Experienced psycho-oncology and psychosomatic counselors are available to care for and support tumor patients in the Psycho-oncology Outpatient Clinic: As an affected individual or relative, you can obtain comprehensive counseling and support in dealing with the disease and the challenges involved.

Range of services

  • Support in coming to terms with the diagnosis, and disease- and treatment-related stress
  • Support in crisis situations
  • Psychosomatic and psycho-oncology diagnostics and planning of further indicated treatment
  • Short outpatient treatments aimed at stabilization and resource development
  • Relaxation and imaginative processes
  • Family and partner discussions
  • Specific service ANKKER (information only available in German) for families including the children of parents with cancer
  • Assistance in obtaining contact addresses for outpatient psychotherapy treatment close to home
  • Referral to further counseling services or institutions
  • Psycho-oncology/psychotherapy treatment as a stopgap measure in case of a lack of outpatient treatment possibilities
  • Admittance to our inpatient clinic for treatment (psychosomatic day care unit, medical-psychosomatic, or psychotherapeutic ward) or assistance in finding another suitable clinic
  • Consulting with referring physicians
  • Group therapy services
  • Informational meetings/events
  • Assistance in finding self-help contacts

    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 Heidelberg 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 Heidelberg 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 Heidelberg. 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.

    We offer the following programs for groups:

    For information regarding planning and appointments, please contact Catherine Schneider by phone: 06221 56-4727 or e-mail catherine.schneider@med.uni-heidelberg.de

    Secretarial team:
    Catherine Schneider
    Phone: +49 6221 56-4727
    Fax: +49 6221 56-5250
    E-mail: psychoonkologie@nct-heidelberg.de

    Head of the Psycho-oncological Outpatient Clinic at NCT Heidelberg:
    Dr. Till Johannes Bugaj

    The team consists of certified psychologists and physicians from the Department for General Internal and Psychosomatic Medicine.

    Dr. Till Johannes Bugaj

    Dr. med. Till Johannes Bugaj
    Senior Physician

    Janine Damaske


    Dr. med. Christina Saßmannshausen

    Lara Jung


    Christina Sauer

    Dr. phil. Christina Sauer
    Licensed psychotherapist ("Psychologische Psychotherapeutin")

    Dr. sc. hum. Miriam Grapp

    Dr. sc. hum. Miriam Grapp
    Certified psychologist ("Dipl.-Psychologin")

    Katrin Willig

    Katrin Willig
    Certified psychologist ("Dipl.-Psychologin")

    Yasmin Soleimani
    Msc., Psychological psychotherapist in training


    Catherine Schneider

    Catherine Schneider


    Further information can be found at: Department for General Internal and Psychosomatic Medicine, Heidelberg University Hospital.