Dr Katharine Hodgkinson on the role of clinical psychologists

Dr Katharine Hodgkinson from Headway Health presented a session on “Strategies for dealing with a diagnosis of brain cancer” at the 2015 Sydney Brain Cancer Action Week forum. BTAA asked for some information for our web readers on how clinical psychologists can help.
Dr Katharine wrote "Clinical Psychologists are one of a number of health professionals whom those dealing with a cancer diagnosis may meet as part of their care. While most people may have not considered this previously, Clinical Psychologists can work with you to develop strategies to help manage a range of concerns that frequently arise, such as managing emotional responses (such as worry and low mood), getting through treatment (for example managing treatment side effects, pain and fatigue), adjusting to changes to lifestyle, decision-making, communicating with others, as well as helping to support carers and loved ones. Interventions are based on research evidence which indicates intervention can improve quality of life and adjustment; interventions involve non-drug therapies that are goal-focused and spaced according to your need. Clinical Psychologists may work with adults, young adults and children, as well as families and couples, and services may be available through public or private health services. It is helpful to find a Clinical Psychologist who has experience with the specific challenges that can arise over the course of care for a cancer. People can contact Clinical Psychology services themselves or other members of the care team can refer; it can be helpful to consider just attending once to see if it may be of benefit. If you wish to see a Clinical Psychologist privately your General Practitioners will be able to advise if you are eligible for a Medicare rebate."


Read about the Introduction to Mindfulness workshop on 12 June 2015 in Sydney here.