Psycho Oncology Services
Education, Clinical and Research
St. Luke's Hospital
Living With Cancer Is Not Easy
The diagnosis of cancer can be traumatic. It is normal to feel stress, anxiety, sadness, anger or a sense of a loss of control. Finding someone to talk to is important – someone you can trust and can help you sort through your thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes the disruption caused by cancer can be managed by calling upon available resources within yourself, your family, your circle of friends and support networks. But sometimes you may feel you need professional help to deal with the disruptions in your personal and family life.
This is where one of the Psychologists within the Psycho-Oncology Services Department may help. People with cancer are often unsure why they would want to see a Psychologist as it is a common belief that Psychologists only work with people who have mental health problems. Although we are also trained to do that, we specialise in helping ordinary people like you cope with and adjust to the emotional stresses and strains that can happen when they are physically ill. It's the situation which is abnormal, NOT the person or the reaction.
What Is Psycho-Oncology?
Psycho-oncology is a specialty in cancer care concerned with understanding and treating the psychological, emotional, quality-of-life and functional aspects of cancer, from prevention through bereavement.
Is Psychological Therapy For You?
- Do you feel anxious or worried about cancer and your treatment?
- Have you felt depressed and discouraged?
- Have you been irritable or unusually angry?
- Has cancer and its treatment interfered with your family or social life?
- Has cancer and its treatment interfered with your sexual life?
- Has cancer and its treatment caused changes in your physical appearance and this concerns you?
- Have pain and discomfort caused you to limit your activities?
- Have you had difficulty coping with the stress you have experienced?
Everyone experiences some of these symptoms to various degrees, part of the time. But if you agree with one or more of the above statements, and you are having difficulty dealing with your situation on your own, you may wish to engage in psychological therapy.
What Does The Psycho-Oncology Services Do?
We provide psychological therapies in a variety of settings. These include individual, couple and family sessions and group therapy. These approaches are designed to help you take an active role in your own health care. You will gain skills that can help reduce stress and acquire coping strategies to improve your emotional well-being.
What We Can Do To Help?
- Assist you and your family in coping with your diagnosis.
- Offer you the chance to talk through the emotional impact of cancer.
- Find ways of helping you to understand and cope with your emotional responses, such as fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, etc.
- Help you to identify the problems you face and your strengths and weaknesses in dealing with them.
- Work with other members of your care team in the provision of psychological care.
- Help you prepare and deal with the effects of your cancer treatment.
- Help you readjust when your treatment has finished.
- Help deal with issues of mortality for both you and your family.
- Help improve quality of life for you and your family.
Who Is The Psycho-Oncology Services?
Psycho-Oncology Services is a team comprised of two Psychologists, a Clinical Psychologist, a Counselling Psychologist, and Doctoral Clinical Interns from various universities in Ireland. In addition to providing clinical services, staff within Psycho-Oncology Services conduct research projects and educational presentations. If you have any questions about these activities, please do not hesitate to ask your Psychologist.
Who Can Use The Psycho-Oncology Services?
All adults affected by cancer who have received treatment at St Luke's hospital - patients (both in and out-patients), partners, and their families. Please ask your consultant or other medical team member to refer you to our service.
When Can I Use The Psycho-Oncology Services?
Psychological therapy is available during initial diagnosis, treatment and during the months and years following treatment.