Psychosocial Oncology Program

Psychosocial Oncology Program
Phone: (514) 340-8222 x 3223
Fax: 514-340-7967

 

Director: Zeev Rosberger, PhD

Associate Director: Maxine Lithwick, MSW, ts, tcf

Clinical and Administrative Coordinator: Sylvain Néron, PhD

Psychosocial Oncology – An Integral Part of Overall Cancer Care

The Louise Granofsky Psychosocial Oncology Program (LG-POP) was established by Mini and David Granofsky in memory of their daughter, Louise, who died of cancer. It is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of professionals in the fields of social work, psychology, psychiatry, nursing and pastoral services whose goal is to alleviate the distress of cancer patients and their families by focussing on their social, psychological, emotional, spiritual, quality-of-life and functional needs at all stages of the illness.

LG-POP members play an important role in the various Segal Cancer Centre cancer care teams thus providing services to patients across the cancer spectrum (breast cancer, colorectal cancer, hematologic oncology, gynecologic oncology, urologic oncology, pulmonary oncology, head & neck oncology, neuro-oncology and dermatologic oncology). Internally, patients can be referred to LG-POP by the primary oncology team (oncologists, primary nurses, nurse navigators) or via the oncology clinic, radiation oncology clinic, emergency or palliative care. External referrals come from the patient’s family doctor, CLSC’s other hospitals or self-referral.

 Psychosocial Services Provided by LG-POP in a glance

The Louise Granofsky Psychosocial Oncology Program focuses on providing effective and comprehensive interventions and support:

  • Crisis intervention and management (24 hours).
  • Physical/psychological interventions.
  • Individual and family counseling and therapy.
  • Group therapy and psycho-educational programs (e.g., stress management, coping skills training).
  • Collaboration with information and resource material services (e.g., Library, Hope & Cope).
  • Occupational Support.
  • Spiritual Support.

Members of the LG-POP team are trained to help you with a wide range of issues and needs common to cancer patients:

  • The emotional distress caused by the physical effects of cancer. 
  • The identity, self-esteem and body issues often associated with the treatments.
  • The social issues faced by individuals with varying social networks for coping with cancer (eg. Individuals who live on their own, immigrants, individuals of various age groups, individuals of different sexual orientations).
  • Accessing and understanding available information.
  • Guidance regarding personalized needs, instrumental support and practical issues.

Members of the LG-POP team come from a wide range of disciplines and JGH services and offer complementary expertise:

Social Work

  • Crisis intervention & treatment for distress.
  • Problem-solving interventions & use of community resources.
  • Relationship and grief counseling.
  • Care for the caregiver.
  • Decision-making about goal of care.
  • Helping families to adapt & cope with diagnosis, treatments and aftercare.

Psychology

  • Specialized behavioural, psychopathology personality assessments.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy and interventions for clinical anxiety and depression, and symptom management (side effects, pain, sexual problems etc.).
  • Problem-solving therapy and Existential psychotherapy for advanced cancer & palliative care.
  • Specialized nonpharmacological treatments for symptom management.

Psychiatry

Diagnostic Assessments & Psychiatric Treatment of:

  • Psychiatric symptoms secondary to medical illness and treatment.
  • Mental status changes including cognitive & behavioural abnormalities.
  • Competency assessment.
  • Risk assessment for violence & self-harm.

Nursing

  • Providing information on cancer care.
  • Managing physical side effects and psychological/relational concerns.
  • Guiding patient navigation.
  • Facilitating referrals.

Hope & Cope

  • Navigating the health care system.
  • Accessing peer support.
  • Dealing with daily demands related to cancer.
  • Providing complementary approaches (a wide range of activities at the JGH Hope & Cope Wellness Centre).

Pastoral Services

  • Spiritual counseling and support.

Determining if Psychosocial Support Might Be Helpful For You

The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) has produced the guide The Emotional Facts of Life with Cancer: A Guide to Counselling and Support for Patients, Families and Friends which provides information to help you understand what psychosocial support is all about and if it might be of benefit to you in helping you cope with cancer. The guide can be found on the  CAPO website.

Psychosocial Research

Several members of the LG-POP clinical team (Dr. Zeev Rosberger, Dr. Sylvain Néron, Dr. Sylvie Aubin, Dr. Karl Looper, Dr. Carmen Loiselle and Naomi Kogan) are actively involved in psychosocial research. In addition, Dr. Sharon Bond, Dr. S. Robin Cohen, Dr. Annett Körner and Dr. Isabelle Dumont are involved in LG-POP through their psychosocial research programs. Further information on their research interests as well as two research training programs can be found on the “Psychosocial Research” page.

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