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Tuesday, July 28 • 8:00am - 5:00pm
2: Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for Cancer Patients (One-Day Workshop)

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Meaning Centered Psychotherapy for Cancer Patients

Speakers: Allison Applebaum MD, William Breitbart MD


This one day experiential workshop provides an overview of a novel counseling intervention for patients with advanced cancer, entitled “Meaning Centered Psychotherapy”. Participants will be introduced to the topics of meaning and spirituality as they relate to cancer care and the experience of patients with cancer. The basic concepts of Meaning Centered Psychotherapy will then be described. Meaning Centered Psychotherapy is based on the concepts of meaning as derived from the work of Viktor Frankl, M.D. and adapted for use in cancer populations by our team at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Two forms of Meaning Centered Psychotherapy have been developed: Meaning Centered Group Psychotherapy (8 weekly 1 ½ hour sessions; Individual Meaning Centered Psychotherapy (7 weekly 1 hour sessions). Both interventions are manualized and randomized controlled trials are currently being conducted. Preliminary data from these studies will be presented as well. During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to participate in experiential exercises utilized in Meaning Centered Psychotherapy. In addition, a detailed description of the intervention and the content of each session will be provided. Newer adaptations of Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for breast cancer survivors, Caregivers, bereavement, and cultural adaptation for Chines and Spanish speaking populations will be discussed.

  1. The attendees will become familiar with the concept of spirituality as a construct composed of faith and/or meaning.
  2. The attendees will become familiar with the importance of meaning, as a component of spiritual well-being, and its relationship to depression, hopelessness and desire for death
  3. The attendees will become familiar with a structured, didactic and experiential 8 session intervention for advanced cancer patients aimed at sustaining or enhancing a sense of meaning in the face of terminal illness.
  4. The attendees will participate in experiential exercises that are components of 4 of the sessions in Meaning Centered Psychotherapy.


Tuesday July 28, 2015 8:00am - 5:00pm
Chinatown Meeting Level 3

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