Being a cancer patient is like having a full time job. There are lots of appointments, plenty of side effects, and a fair amount of stress that comes with the process. For many of us, we live a fairly private life until cancer knocks, and the next thing you know you are the focus of a lot of attention- from doctors, nurses, family, friends, and the general public who often can tell by your appearance that you have cancer. If you are fortunate, the treatment is successful, and you leave active treatment and begin the process of monitoring for potential re-occurrence.
To make it through this process, we often have to shut down and focus on surviving it. And while many of the side effects have interventions, those that fall into the realm of the emotions often receive less attention and care. When treatment ends, many of the thoughts and feelings we have suppressed come galloping in, and it is easy to feel that the support we once had during treatment is less understanding of why we continue to struggle, since the battle has “ended.”
It’s exciting to announce a new partnership between New England Cancer Specialists and Creative Transformations, LLC to provide a series of workshops for cancer patients and their loved ones. This program is designed to be useful whether you are in active treatment or in survivorship. Creative Transformations, LLC, will be offering a workshop series at the Scarborough location of New England Cancer Specialists beginning on June 3, 2016.
The first four workshop topics are:
Creative Transformations, www.creative-transformations.com, was created by an art therapist and breast cancer survivor to help address the emotional recovery needs of cancer patients and their loved ones. Stephanie McLeod-Estevez has combined forces with Beth Eilers, LCSW, www.healthfulcounseling.com, to craft this workshop series. Using a blend of powerful therapeutic models- mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Art Therapy, Stephanie and Beth will help you learn skills to improve your emotional health and well-being.
At each workshop, you can expect to learn useful information about each topic, be guided to try out new techniques through experiential exercises, and leave with written instructions on how to replicate the new skills at home. Participants will be given a resources guide at each session to further their progress as well as have the opportunity to ask questions from two skilled psychotherapists who are passionate about the work they do. And it is important to recognize that the healing power of sitting together with others who are in a similar boat, not only does it decrease our sense of isolation, it helps us to normalize the process of recovery and decrease any shame about how one is individually coping with cancer treatment or its aftermath.
Please consider joining us. Registration is open now. You may register on-line through Creative Transformation’s website, www.creative-transformations.com, or by phone, at (207) 939-4166.
– Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC, is an art therapist and breast cancer survivor. She likes to think of herself as a road warrior for healing via creativity.