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Psychosocial Support & Education

Counseling, Support Groups, & Educational Workshops Available

A cancer diagnosis propels many people into a world of unfamiliar and perhaps frightening emotions. It is not unusual to experience fear, confusion, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and anger. At times, some people may find it difficult to sleep, eat, concentrate or even make decisions. These emotions, as well as a myriad of others, are common and normal. They may come and go. They may be experienced mildly or intensely. Because there are many ways to cope with these feelings, The Cancer Center of Saint Barnabas offers many services designed to help patients and their loved ones cope with a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Celebration of Life – Annual National Cancer Survivors Day

Individual, Family and Group Counseling

The Psychosocial Team has extensive experience helping patients and their families adjust to the many challenges they may face following a cancer diagnosis. Our center offers a number of support groups, educational symposia and workshops that are designed to address the needs of individuals with cancer at different stages of illness. All of these programs are led by licensed professionals. Those interested in meeting with one of our counselors should contact Angela McCabe, LCSW, OSW-C, at 973.322.2668.

Support Groups

Support groups offer an opportunity for individuals to meet with others who are coping with cancer in their lives. Many patients and their family members find it beneficial to share their experiences in a support group environment because group members readily understand the challenges cancer presents. The shared cancer experience allows the group members to share their feelings in an open and healthy way. For further information, including the date, time and location of meetings or for additional information about coping with the stress of cancer, please call Angela McCabe, LCSW, OSW-C, Director of Psychosocial Support Services and Community Outreach, at 973.322.2668.

Nutritional Counseling

Nutrition is a very important part of cancer treatment. A healthy diet can help to rebuild your body’s cells, especially if you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment. To help guide you, nutrition counseling is available with our registered dietitian. Please call Jill Kremer, RD, at 973.322.2490 to schedule an appointment.

Art Therapy Program

By engaging in a variety of creative endeavors such as painting, drawing and collage, participants are helped to understand and cope with the many feelings they may be experiencing. Many workshop participants enjoy having an opportunity to express themselves creatively, discovering new strengths and developing new patterns of coping to enrich daily living. Prior experience in art is not necessary. For dates, times and locations, please call Donna Dandrilli, MA, ATR, at 973.322.2171.

Boutique Services

We offer a collaborative service with the Just For You Center (Wig, Mastectomy and Accessory Salon), located at 37 Mt. Pleasant Avenue in East Hanover, NJ 07936. With a wide variety of specialized products and a caring and professional staff, the boutique is committed to providing the highest quality of care and to improving the quality of life for our patients and their families. Boutique Services are on site twice a month. To set-up an appointment, please call 973.887.5930. You can also visit www.JustForYouCenter.com. For general questions, call Angela McCabe, LCSW, OSW-C, at 973.322.2668.

Holistic Nurse Services

Managing the stress associated with a cancer diagnosis and its treatments has been shown to be beneficial. Our Certified Holistic Nurses offer a variety of therapies that may improve your health and well-being. Services offered include: Reflexology, Guided Imagery, Breathing Meditation, Journaling and Reiki. Sessions are held in our Holistic Nursing Studio or in your infusion room during your chemotherapy treatment. Please call Holistic Nurse at 973.322.2324 to set-up an appointment to learn more about self care strategies that might help you during your cancer treatment.

Spiritual Care and Pastoral Care Consultation

A cancer diagnosis and treatment can give rise to spiritual concerns and feelings of isolation. Chaplain Alisa Danon is available to meet with patients, family members and caregivers of all faiths to provide emotional support, address issues of mortality and spirituality, and listen to any concerns you may have. For more information or to schedule an appointment please call 973.322.5286.

Genetic Counseling and Testing

Although the majority of cancers occur by chance, in some families the tendency to develop cancer is heredity. The Cancer Genetic Counseling and Inherited Risk Evaluation Program (CGCIREP) provides an assessment of inherited cancer risks, detailed education about cancer prevention and detection, ongoing medical consultation and the opportunity for genetic testing when appropriate. To schedule an appointment please call Melanie Roberts, MS, LCGC, at 973.322.8601.

Individualized Cancer Wellness Program

A unique program combining numerous services to improve the health and wellbeing of those faced with the challenges of cancer.

  • Nutrition Counseling – A Registered Dietitian will develop a nutrition plan based on individual needs, lifestyle and goals with emphasis on strengthening the body’s immune system, improving nutrient content and achieving a healthy weight.
  • Exercise – An Exercise Physiologist from The Center for Health and Wellness will design an individualized workout program combining both aerobic and strength training.
  • Stress Management – A Certified Massage Therapist will provide therapeutic massage intended to relax the mind and body and relieve stress and tension.
  • Yoga – A Certified Yoga Instructor will address individual needs and/or medical limitations in this ancient practice which promotes inner peace, mental clarity, increased strength, flexibility and overall well-being.

This program is offered at no cost through the generous support of special benefactor Helen Beck to celebrate the strength, courage and recovery of her daughter Melissa Raphael and daughter-in-law Lori Beck. To discuss your personalized Cancer Wellness Plan, please call Karen Ulrich at 973.322.7007.

Lymphedema Program

Our occupational and physical therapists are specially trained, utilizing the most current and progressive techniques to improve function and reduce lymphedema with individual treatment plans. For more information, please call 973.322.7444.

Smoking Cessation

All patients will have access to a free, customized plan of action with a trained specialist, as well as counseling and access to the latest information on prescription and non-prescription medications. To quit today call 973.322.6655.

Chi Kung Classes

Chi Kung, a form of Tai Chi which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. It involves physical movement, mental focus and deep breathing. For dates and times, please visit our online calendar or call 973.322.2668.

The Healing Power of the Drum for Cancer Patients

This wellness based program for cancer patients and caregivers involves an interactive exploration of how the hand drum and rhythm-based exercises can be used to improve immune system function, reduce stress and experience positive emotions. For dates and times, please visit our online calendar or call 973.322.2540.

Head and Neck Cancer Support Group

Patients and their loved ones are invited to join the Saint Barnabas Cancer Program Department of Psychosocial Support Services for discussion, information and support regarding Head and Neck Cancer. The group is facilitated by an Oncology social worker and Radiation Oncology nurse. For dates and times, please visit our online calendar or call 973.322.2743.

Pet Therapy

Pet Therapy uses dogs and other animals to help people cope with health problems, including cancer. Visiting with a certified therapy pet in the hospital may provide patients and their families with comfort, relief and a distraction from pain, discomfort and stress. Pet therapy has shown to reduce stress, improve mood and energy levels and decrease perceived pain and anxiety. It may also provide a sense of companionship that combats feelings of isolation. For more information, please call 973.322.9748.

Yoga Classes

Yoga is an ancient practice that helps form a sense of union in the body, mind and spirit. This union creates a sense of inner peace, mental clarity, heightened self-awareness, increased strength/flexibility and overall good health and well-being. Yoga consists of simple physical postures, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Our small group classes are taught by certified yoga instructors. Our instructors will challenge, but not push, and offer modifications to address individual needs and/or medical limitations. This beginner level class is especially appropriate for cancer survivors, multiple sclerosis patients or any other physically challenged individuals. Free classes are held at our Ambulatory Care Center; a medical clearance is required. For further information or to register for a class, please call Karen Ulrich at 973.322.7007.

Project H.O.P.E. (Helping our Patients Excel)

The Project H.O.P.E. (Helping our Patients Excel), lecture series provides an array of free workshops and programs on a host of topics related to a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Most sessions are small, allowing ample time for questions and answers. This lecture series is offered in the Spring and the Fall. Registration materials are usually mailed to patients directly. For further information, please call Angela McCabe, L.C.S.W., O.S.W.-C., at 973.322.2668.

Special Events and Lecture Series

The Cancer Center of Saint Barnabas is committed to empowering cancer patients and their families through ongoing educational programs. Most of these programs are free of charge and enable individuals to gain a range of relevant, up-to-date information about cancer-related topics.

Annual Cancer Symposia are offered throughout the year to recognize and highlight a particular aspect of cancer research, diagnosis, or treatment. Special guest speakers are often invited to share their experiences with cancer.