The psychologist specializing in cancer therapy, Dr.. Nuria Blanco, explains what this method consists of as part of cancer treatment.
How should one confront the news that one has cancer?
The diagnosis of a cancer is always a negative, difficult and hard experience that forces the recipient to face the potential of his life at once. This experience is the necessary beginning of an adaptation process , which will affect both the patient and his family. In this way, everyone must face the fear of illness, ignorance, suffering and even death itself to conclude that the day to day of the oncological disease is not only what the head fantasizes about.
And when is a family member who has it?
At the time of diagnosis, the patient's time must be respected. They should be allowed to express their fears and anxieties, but they should also stimulate the search for solutions, grasping at the current moment and the reasons why they face the disease. We can not pretend that there is no emotional suffering from the hand of such a diagnosis, since it supposes a rupture with all the vital expectations of the person who receives it.. Even so, the objective for both the patient and the family member accompanying him will be that both one and the others do not stop living and enjoying , every day of their lives. That is, to fight because the disease is a nuance of the life stage that the patient faces but not the center of his life.
What position should the family occupy throughout the process?
When a cancer is diagnosed, the disease always reaches a family. The normal functioning of it is destabilized and also needs to be redefined. One of the most useful and effective tools for coping with the disease in the family is clear and open communication , in which emotions are not hidden and open expression of these is allowed.. Always looking for the redefinition of fear and suffering and never get to curtail the patient, since this will lead him to isolate himself.
At what point should the help of a professional be required?
At the moment in which it is observed that the emotional suffering is such that it blocks the patient and prevents him not only from facing the disease and its different stages, but also to continue developing and enjoying the rest of aspects of his life such as family, friends , etc.
What process is followed in oncological psychology?
For each patient there is a process. A word that could define this process is the " accompaniment ". In a global way, the intervention with the oncological patient forces us to address many existential aspects related to the meaning of life: personal identity, fear of suffering and death, among others.. These more philosophical interventions, to put it in some way, are combined with more concrete ones focused on solving problems, redefining situations, and so on.
What position does the psychologist take to help the patient?
The main stance is unconditional acceptance. The psychologist must be able to support without judging and guide the person always towards life , stimulating him to coexist and experience with the highest quality day to day, every moment of his life trajectory, including the end of it.