Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Cancer Patients


Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a psychosocial technique that works on patients with cancer. CBT has a positive impact on reducing morbidity. Many studies have revealed that CBT has a big impact on increasing the quality of cancer patients’ life. In this article, you’ll find information about the CBT technique and the common psychological diseases in cancer patients.

cancer patients

The history of CBT on Cancer Patients

The scientific interest in the psychological needs of cancer patients was started in the 1970s. During the era, nurses, social service workers were taking care of these patients, their psychosocial problems. However, it was a consultation psychiatrist who took the study further.

Derogatis and his friends who are also the pioneer in the study of morbidity in patients with cancer have reported that according to DSM III, cancer patients have 47% of psychological morbidity. 

Because of the treatment and side effects and pain caused by that, cancer leads to dysfunction and even death. That’s why in higher stages, patients think they have a short time left that their tumor won’t get any better. So CBT techniques are thought to be inadequate. That’s why CBT has to come up with an alternative and innovative program. This new program is developed for cancer patients. But it also explains how it works on individuals and couples including the explanation and changes of automatic negative thoughts and emotions that lie underneath.

Then Moorey and his friends define CBT in cancer patients. They discussed the topic in the frameworks of other topics. They emphasize the importance of CBT on anxiety and depression. Also, they pointed that physical education and CBT cause huge progression on living standards with the help of physical and psychosocial functionality. In the last 25 years, Moyer and his friend said that they’ve initially used cognitive therapy in one out of every three patients.

Goals of CBT in the Cancer Treatment

CBT for cancer patients is a psychological intervention that attempts to define and explain the connection between thought, behavior, and physical symptoms. It aims to determine and change patients’ negative opinions, feelings, perceptions about cancer. This aim may change due to the stage of cancer, and the psychological state of the patient. Also while early stages CBT functions as a side effect reduced in higher stages (terminal cancer) it’s for reducing the anxiety and teaching patients coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety and depression.

CBT in Cancer Patients

The cognitive dimension in CBT involves managing underlying negative emotions, following negative automatic thoughts, and finding more coherent alternative thoughts.

Cognitive techniques include mental distraction, reframing, problem-solving, and decision-making strategies.

CBT is available in both individual sessions and group therapy. Group therapies are usually for relaxation, stress management, problem-solving and cognitive restructuring, and psychoeducation.

In individual CBT, however, there is a tendency to focus more specifically on the patient’s problems.

To learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy, please review the relevant category. CBT-Practice

Last Updated on November 5, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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Currently studying psychology and researching cognitive behavioral therapy. Also have studied comprative literature,interested in gender studies,.

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