Cancer Psychology – News Report 2
Yelena Prokhorova Consultant Oncopsychologist
This short Russian news report about the practice of cancer psychology mentions the use of metaphoric cards as one of the techniques for helping cancer patients describe their feelings. The spoken language is Russian. An English translation is provided below.
The participants of the social project “Healthy Future” help patients cope with the terrible diagnosis of cancer. Oncopsychologists know the words that sometimes even the nearest relatives cannot find. The doctors teach patients with cancer to face the disease without fear. Their ways are not medical, at first glance, but they are effective. About 50 people from Nizhny Novgorod appeal to Nizhny Novgorod District’s Oncology Center every month for psychological help. These are patients who have been examined and await their verdict, and also those who already know the disappointing diagnosis. Experts help them to relieve anxiety and look into the eyes of the disease.
Tatyana Anisimova, consultant-oncopsychologist, is a participant in the Healthy Future social project: “There is a process of separation of the emotions that the patient goes through with the help of a psychologist. It is important for the patient. It helps them somehow straighten their back and feel more confident.”
With the help of metaphorical cards, drawings, and dolls, the patients describe their feelings and materialize the disease (to know the enemy’s face).
“Choosing a depiction of the disease, he may choose a playful creature. In choosing, it will be clear how serious it is or isn’t for him.”
Yelena Prokhorova, consultant-oncopsychologist, is a participant in the Healthy Future social project: “Choosing a depiction of the disease, he may choose a playful creature. In choosing, it will be clear how serious it is or isn’t for him. Then we direct our work in a way which becomes more or less clear.”
The patients, together with psychologists, find latent resources for coping with depression. Moreover, the desire for life is supported at all stages of treatment, before and after surgery or chemotherapy, as well as during rehabilitation.
Even relatives of cancer patients come for help. They ask about what questions to ask the patients so as to help and not hurt them. Some of them get sick because of worrying about their relatives.