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On the last track we discussed time management techniques. In my practice, I implement six interventions that can help foster productive time management. These six interventions are the daily to-do list, direct delegation, familial delegation, Avoiding the Supercaregiver Trap, research services and scheduling phone time.
On this track we will discuss compartmentalizing cancer thoughts. Because obsessive thinking rarely solves any problems and it drains clients, this track offers strategies for avoiding obsessive thinking through compartmentalization.
Case Study: Robert
By setting aside time each day to focus on the disease, to give it his full, undivided attention, Robert learned how to compartmentalize his cancer thoughts. At a later session, Robert stated, "Every time I obsessed about the disease, I stopped and told myself to save those thoughts for the time I had scheduled for reflection. I chose the drives to and from work. I visualize putting those thoughts in a box, knowing I could open it later."
Initially clients like Robert may be hesitant to join a support group. Might your client think he or she will become even more obsessed with the cancer than they already are? As Robert stated, "Why should I go somewhere to talk about my problems for ninety minutes every week? That seems awfully negative." Yet before learning to compartmentalize his cancer thoughts, Robert was spending at least seventy percent of every day thinking about his problems.
On this track we discussed compartmentalizing cancer thoughts. Because obsessive thinking rarely solves any problems and it drains clients, this track offers strategies for avoiding obsessive thinking through compartmentalization.
On the next track we will discuss supporting the children. This track includes four guidelines for helping your clients as parents dealing with children who are trying to cope with cancer in the family or of a friend or loved one. The four guidelines for supporting children are preparing to tell the children, talking to children about cancer, evaluating reactions, and discussing cancer with multiple children.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Brothers, B. M., Yang, H.-C., Strunk, D. R., & Andersen, B. L. (2011). Cancer patients with major depressive disorder: Testing a biobehavioral/cognitive behavior intervention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(2), 253–260.
Foley, E., Baillie, A., Huxter, M., Price, M., & Sinclair, E. (2010). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for individuals whose lives have been affected by cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(1), 72–79.
Gudenkauf, L. M., Antoni, M. H., Stagl, J. M., Lechner, S. C., Jutagir, D. R.,
Bouchard, L. C., Blomberg, B. B., Glück, S., Derhagopian, R. P., Giron, G. L., Avisar, E., Torres-Salichs, M. A., & Carver, C. S. (2015). Brief cognitive–behavioral and relaxation training interventions for breast cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(4), 677–688.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 12
What is one strategy for avoiding obsessive thinking? To select and enter your answer go to CE Test.
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