Living With Cancer A Better Quality of Life Thanks to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Publication date : February 18, 2015
Alexandra Meert is a psychologist specialising in accompanying cancer patients. She has a private practice at Saint-Michel Clinic, in Brussels. She studied Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with Jacques Van Rillaer.
How is a cancer diagnosis absorbed? How do patients cope with the side effects of chemotherapy? How does a woman accept breast removal?
The difficulties that most cancer patients encounter are similar, and yet they tend to be ignored during the course of their treatment: fear of death, anxiety over cancer recurrence, lowered self-image, diminished sex life, dealing with hospitalisation, reappraisal of job and career.
The author argues here that patients must be taught effective strategies to deal with a cancer diagnosis and with the repercussions of treatment. She proposes effective techniques that will enable patients to understand what they are undergoing, to manage the anger, horror, despair and feelings of injustice that engulf them, and to keep at bay the inevitable upsurge of negative interpretations.
By working on patients’ thoughts and on their acceptance of reality, cognitive behavioural therapies are a useful tool. Knowing how to manage involuntary thoughts and negative emotions can save patients from plunging into depression, and help them cope with the diagnosis, treatment, and life after cancer. An excellent, and highly accessible psychological method to help patients in their ordeal.
• A book in the series ‘Guides pour s’aider soi-même’ (Self-Help Guidebooks), under the editorship of Christophe André.
• Dynamic methods to improve patients’ daily lives, before, during and after treatment.
• Useful information for patients’ friends and family, as well as for healthcare professionals.