Miami Cancer Institute’s Psychosocial Oncology team works together to help patients and caregivers cope with the mental health side effects of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment. The team is made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and chaplains who can help manage cancer-related psychological conditions.
Which psychological conditions do you treat?
Cancer treatment can come with more than just physical side effects – it can also affect your mental health and the mental health of your caregiver. Our Psychosocial Oncology team can help you with:
- Body image problems
- Patient fatigue
- Caregiver fatigue
- Claustrophobia related to scans or radiation treatment
- Cognitive problems resulting from treatment, also called “chemo brain”
- Fear of cancer recurrence
- Spiritual or existential crisis
What psychosocial services or treatments do you provide?
Miami Cancer Institute’s Psychosocial Oncology team provides a variety of services and treatment options for cancer-related psychological conditions. Our services include:
- Brain fitness lab – This lab helps our team diagnose and manage cancer-related cognitive dysfunction, or “chemo brain.”
- Counseling and therapy – These services are available to patients and caregivers and can help address anxiety, depression, fear of cancer recurrence and insomnia.
- Medical treatment – We can help find the right medicines to treat anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia.
- Mind-body therapies – These treatments can include meditation, mindfulness training, deep breathing techniques, muscle relaxation exercises, movement classes (yoga and tai chi) and exercise classes.
- Pastoral counseling – Our chaplains, representing several religious faiths, have received special training to provide emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families.
- Social work services – Our social workers can provide emotional support for patients and caregivers, assistance with advanced directives, resources for community services and help with workplace and school support.
- Stress management – We provide Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) workshops for eligible patients.
The Psychosocial Oncology team can also help patients and caregivers find a support group that fits their individual needs. Our on-site support groups include:
- Caregiver Support Group
- Caring Souls
- Hematology and Blood Disorders Support Group
- Life Interrupted: Let’s Talk about Navigating the Big C (survivorship)
- Patient Support Group
- Young Women’s Breast Cancer Support Group
- We also provide an off-site cancer support group at Mariners Hospital and online support groups for patients with neurological cancers.
Support groups can:
- Help you feel better, more hopeful, and not so alone
- Give you a chance to talk about your feelings and work through them
- Help you deal with practical problems, such as problems at work or school
- Help you cope with side effects of treatment
Brain Fitness Lab
The goal of the Brain Fitness Lab at Miami Cancer Institute is to restore and prevent chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment in cancer patients. Cognitive remediation training has a demonstrated benefit in restoring cognitive function in cancer survivors. The Cancer Patient Support Center developed the Brain Fitness Lab to provide customized cognitive remediation training with computerized brain-training protocols and neuropsychological interventions to restore and enhance cancer survivors’ cognitive and functional outcomes.
Social Work Services
Miami Cancer Institute’s licensed clinical social workers collaborate with our interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals to improve your health, enhance your quality of life and help you adapt to the many changes you’re facing. Our comprehensive services include education and support resources, home health and hospice referrals, crisis intervention, transportation assistance, financial support programs and bereavement counseling.