Medical Oncology Associates recognizes that coping with a cancer diagnosis represents a formidable challenge to patients and their families. We believe in the importance of psychosocial oncology – the area of cancer management that addresses the psychological, emotional, and sociological impact on patients and families, and strives to improve their quality of life. Catastrophic illness causes disequilibrium and stress, and necessitates significant adaptation. The psychological and emotional pressures and trauma associated with cancer and cancer treatment are significant. By offering psychosocial counseling services, Medical Oncology Associates aims to help patients and families communicate and cope more effectively and enhance their quality of life.
Medical Oncology Associates utilizes the services of two full-time counselors, Carol Greenwald and Sally Alinikoff, who offer the following types of counseling to benefit our patients:
Individual counseling: In individual counseling sessions, the counselors assess a patient’s quality of life issues, enhance a patient’s ability to cope, and improve a patient’s understanding of the disease process and its effects. Our counselors provide emotional support and guidance throughout the treatment and illness. Our counselors also provide current books, magazines, and articles relevant to a patient’s cancer.
Family counseling: In family counseling sessions, the counselors provide support for children, parents, siblings, and other family members by explaining a patient’s emotional needs and behavior. Carol and Sally provide family members with the necessary tools to offer support to a patient. They resolve conflicts and improve family dynamics. Our counselors also offer community resources, if necessary.
Support groups: In support groups, our counselors create and facilitate interaction between patients, spouses, adults, and children who are dealing with illness or death. Support groups are formed based on the current needs of our patient population. Current support groups include a women’s cancer support group and a spouses’ grief group. In the past, we have held a men’s cancer support group, a patients’ partners support group, and an adult children support group. Many of these groups will be reforming during the spring and fall of 2012.
Bereavement counseling: In bereavement counseling sessions, our counselors, both of whom are certified in bereavement counseling, guide individuals in dealing with their grief. Our counselors help individuals to validate their feelings and to set goals for the healing process. Our support groups are ongoing and usually meet every other week.