St. Francis Cancer Center | St. Francis Cancer Center | Psychosocial
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When you’re a patient at the St. Francis Cancer Center, you are not identified as an illness or disease. You are a human being, with many different aspects beyond the physical. As part of our holistic approach, we offer psychosocial support to our patients in several ways, including one-on-one counseling sessions and support groups.

Upon diagnosis, each patient takes part in a written psychosocial screening that helps identify the severity of stress levels. This screening can identify potential issues early, so that they can be dealt with as soon as possible.

Support Groups

Support groups are an important means of coping with an individual’s adjustment to a cancer diagnosis. Groups allow for sharing common thoughts, feelings, and experiences about cancer, as well as sharing information about community resources. Our clinical psychologist supervises our psychotherapy groups and welcomes persons who are living with cancer, persons who are cancer survivors, and family members. We also provide patient-led, community based support groups.

Individual Psychotherapy

Our clinical psychologist, Dr. Joe Paciarelli, Psy.D., is a specialist in health and trauma psychology. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, and the International Association of Trauma Professionals. Dr. Joe offers one-on-one psychotherapy sessions. He uses empirically supported and validated cognitive-behavioral treatments, as well as other modalities (such as recall healing and clinical hypnosis) to help patients in coping with a diagnosis, dealing with anger and depression, or managing stress and anxiety. Our psychologist is also available to perform psychological testing to determine the severity of a person’s symptoms for diagnostic clarification, and to evaluate capacity to consent for various procedures.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Our marriage and family therapist, Maureen Carey, LMFT, uses a systemic approach to counsel individuals, couples, and families on a wide range of issues including anxiety, depression, and relational challenges. Maureen uses an evidence-based approach customized to address your needs, support you, and strengthen the relationships that will sustain you through diagnosis and treatment.

Community Based Support

Our social worker, Melissa Potter, LMSW, complements and supplements the treatments and services that St. Francis offers to patients.  She can meet with you during your appointments and assist you by assessing your personal needs. She will then assist you with referrals to area agencies regarding ongoing support, utility bills assistance, by providing help in obtaining and paying for prescription medicines, and by addressing other community support needs. Melissa is also available to provide rapid support if you experience emotional difficulties during your visit with your provider today.