Depression is a common mental health condition affecting millions of Americans — and those who are facing serious health challenges, such as cancer, are at an increased risk of developing depression and related mental-health struggles. Thankfully, there is cancer mental health support available, including popular group therapy sessions, where patients can find vital support from others who are facing similar physical and mental obstacles. A new type of psychotherapy for cancer patients is also proving highly successful.
Known as CALM therapy, the technique was recently studied by a team of researchers, who published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In their clinical trial, the team found that three to six sessions of CALM therapy — which stands for Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully — were able to lessen symptoms of depression in those with an advanced form of the disease. The results also suggest that the therapy approach can also stem the development of depression in those with advanced cancer.
What is CALM therapy?
This approach to psychotherapy for cancer patients involves three to six sessions, lasting between 45 and 60 minutes, over a three- to six-month period. The trial participants who attended the CALM therapy sessions reported less severe symptoms of depression than those who did not participate, and the symptoms continued to decline the longer the patients were attending the sessions.
The sessions focus on issues including symptom management, communication with care providers, life changes, spiritual wellbeing and fears about the future. Patients are allowed to bring a caregiver to one or more of the sessions if they would like, and sessions can be led by a range of care providers, including nurses, physicians, psychologists, and social workers who have attended a two-day workshop on administering the approach.
Facing a life-changing diagnosis like cancer can be a scary prospect, and most people aren’t armed with the psychological tools to effectively weather those challenges. That’s why continued research into cancer mental-health support, such as CALM therapy, is so needed.
Financial Help for Psychotherapy for Cancer Patients
The challenges cancer patients face are not limited to physical or mental. Many struggle with the high cost of medical treatments and the indirect costs of cancer care. Life Credit is dedicated to providing financial assistance for cancer patients and individuals facing serious illness. We are a a licensed consumer lender and offer a Living Benefit Loan Program that makes it possible for you to borrow against your life insurance policy and receive cash. Contact us to learn more about cancer loans today.