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Coping with Cancer

DBT Skills to Manage Your Emotions?and Balance Uncertainty with Hope
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A cancer diagnosis can lead to what feel like impossible questions: How can a person face the fear, sadness, and anger without being paralyzed by them? Is it possible to hold on to hope without being in denial? What is the best way to get needed support? This compassionate book presents dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a proven psychological intervention that Marsha M. Linehan developed specifically for the impossible situations of life—and which she and Elizabeth Cohn Stuntz now apply to the unique challenges of cancer for the first time. Readers learn powerful skills for making difficult treatment decisions, managing overwhelming emotions, speaking up for their needs, tolerating distress, and living meaningfully, even during the darkest days. Every chapter blends professional expertise, personal stories, and the collective wisdom of other cancer patients and survivors.

Elizabeth Cohn Stuntz, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Mamaroneck, New York; a cancer survivor; and a Zen student. After many years of involvement with services for people with cancer and their loved ones, she developed a program of coping skills based on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). She serves on the faculty of the Westchester Center for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, the developer of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Director Emeritus of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington. Her primary research interest is in the development and evaluation of evidence-based treatments for populations with high suicide risk and multiple, severe mental disorders. Dr. Linehans contributions to suicide research and clinical psychology research have been recognized with numerous awards, including the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology and the Career/Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She is also a recipient of the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation and the James McKeen Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science. In her honor, the American Association of Suicidology created the Marsha Linehan Award for Outstanding Research in the Treatment of Suicidal Behavior. She is a Zen master.

Introduction

1. Dealing with the News That You Have Cancer

2. How to Make Effective Decisions

3. How to Manage Strong Emotions

4. Managing Fear, Anxiety, and Stress

5. Managing Sadness

6. Managing Anger

7. Nurturing Personal Relationships

8. Communicating with Colleagues and Medical Professionals

9. Living Meaningfully

Notes

• Uniquely insightful: Stuntz is a therapist and cancer survivor and Linehan is the renowned developer of DBT.
• Writing style is straightforward, compassionate, and pragmatic.
• DBT is uniquely suited to help readers cope with a cancer diagnosis and navigate the emotional roller coaster.
• A quick, easy read that tailors the skills to cancer patients needs and will also help counselors and loved ones provide support.
• Linehans works for therapists are bestsellers: DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets alone has over 725,000 in print.

“In my 30-plus years as an oncology social worker, many books on living with cancer have crossed my desk. Books on this topic tend to be based on either personal experience or professional know-how; this guide is an excellent combination of the two and perfect to help you feel more in control and manage the uncertainty of living with a cancer diagnosis.”
—Sara Goldberger, MSSW, ACSW, LCSW-R, cancer survivor and President, Association of Oncology Social Workers


“I will always remember the exact moment I received my first diagnosis of breast cancer, as well as my second diagnosis 15 years later. Over the years, I have nourished myself emotionally and intellectually by reading books on the challenges of living with cancer. None has had a greater impact than Coping with Cancer. This book is a treasure trove of tools and skill sets that can be life changing as you navigate the road ahead. It is beautifully written in a personal, authentic, totally relatable voice. It holds a special place on my shelf—as I predict it will on yours!”
—Debbie L., New York City


“This book is absolutely fantastic—it will be so very impactful and helpful. I am thrilled to have this widely available.”
—William S. Breitbart, MD, Jimmie C. Holland Chair in Psychiatric Oncology; Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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