IPOS Academy Workshops

William Breitbart (USA)

Meaning Centered Psychotherapy in Cancer

This workshop will be held twice:

August, 14th | Full Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English

August, 15th | Full Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


This whole day experiential workshop provides an overview of a novel counseling intervention for patients with advanced cancer, entitled “Meaning Centered Psychotherapy”.  Participants will be introduced to the topics of meaning and spirituality as they relate to cancer care and the experience of patients with cancer. The basic concepts of Meaning Centered Psychotherapy will then be described.  Meaning Centered Psychotherapy is based on the concepts of meaning as derived from the work of Viktor Frankl, M.D. and adapted for use in cancer populations by our team at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Two forms of Meaning Centered Psychotherapy have been developed:  Meaning Centered Group Psychotherapy (8 weekly 1 ½ hour sessions; Individual Meaning Centered Psychotherapy (7 weekly 1 hour sessions).  Both interventions are manualized and published randomized controlled trials have demonstrated its efficacy. During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to participate in experiential exercises utilized in Meaning Centered Psychotherapy.  In addition, a detailed description of the intervention and the content of each session will be provided. Newer adaptations of Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for breast cancer survivors, Caregivers, bereavement, and international replication studies the Netherlands, Israel, Spain, as well as cultural adaptations for Chinese and Spanish speaking populations will be discussed.

Christoffer Johansen (Denmark)

Successful writing of scientific papers - perspectives of the researcher and the editor

August, 15th | Full Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English

This is a one day workshop going into the writing of academic papers. I will discuss how to construct a paper, which pitfalls you should avoid and how you present a study in a methodological sound but also interesting way. I have almost 30 years of experience and I would like to share these experiences with each of you. I am not a native English writing or speaking, so this workshop is not about correct language, grammatical errors but on content and structure and science.

Darius Razavi (Belgium) & Yves Libert (Belgium)

Communication and Challenging Discussions at the End of Life

August, 15th | Full Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


This one day experiential workshop provides an overview of common clinical challenges in end-of-life care and an introduction to the issue of improving health care professionals’ communication skills in this area of clinical practice. Useful basic communication skills will be briefly recalled. Participants will be introduced to the main components of advanced communication skills, which may be used in the highly emotional contexts of end of life care and in addressing common difficult clinical encounters. Teaching methods designed to improve communication skills will then be described: techniques (learner-centered, skills-focused, practice-oriented) will be discussed. The usefulness of role-play and immediate feed-back will be emphasized. Effective manualized training programs that have been tested in randomized controlled studies conducted in Brussels for physicians and nurses will be presented. During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to test the type of role-playing exercises utilized in these studies. In addition, a detailed description of these studies and the content of training sessions tested will be provided.

David Kissane (Australia) & Marta Porebiak (Poland) & Talia Zaider (USA)

Models of Family-Centered Care during Advanced Cancer Sustained into Bereavement

August, 15th | Full Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


The Family Focused Grief Therapy (FFGT) program is a brief, focused model of preventive family therapy delivered to families identified during palliative care to be ‘at risk’ of complicated bereavement. It is commenced in the clinical setting of a patient with advanced cancer, with the patient present at the meeting with the family. It can form the basis of an initial routine family meeting during palliative care, and then continued family sessions can follow for families deemed to be at risk of morbid outcomes, or for families identified by screening to have some disturbance of their relational functioning, whether limited communication, poor teamwork or high conflict. FFGT has been shown recently to prevent the development of Prolonged Grief Disorder in bereavement.  This workshop will focus on how to conduct this therapy, with use of demonstration videos and role plays for participants to practice the techniques experientially. Challenges covered include helping the family discuss death and dying, containing conflict, drawing relevant family members into sessions and sustaining a focus to the therapy.

Shulamith Kreitler (Israel)

Coping with Anxiety in the Different Phases of the Disease

August, 15th | Half Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


Anxiety is one of the most common and difficult aspects of cancer which may affect negatively the patients' quality of life. Anxiety may differ in the different phases of the disease. For the patient the disease is not a homogenous track but  includes several phases, e.g., the diagnosis, the treatments, survival, recurrence and the end-phase. In each phase the patients need to cope with emotionally difficult issues that often evoke anxiety. However, the causes for the anxiety may differ in the various phases, e.g., in the earlier phases anxiety may be evoked by uncertainty and the need to undertake decisions (e.g., treatment options, disclosure to others); in later phases by pain, suffering and fear of death. Different coping strategies may be more effective in regard to some anxiety types than others. Helping the patients optimally requires adapting the coping strategies to the specific issues, the phase of the disease and the particular personality of the patient.  The workshop will focus on characterizing the different sources of anxiety, identifying the adequate coping strategies for the various anxiety experiences and   procedures for helping patients use the various coping strategies for overcoming the negative impact of anxiety.

Judith Prins (Netherlands) & Marieke van de Wal (Netherlands)

E-health in psychological interventions for cancer survivors

August, 15th | Full Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


This workshop will address state-of-the art knowledge in research of developing e-health psychological interventions. The presenters will share theoretical backgrounds and existing evidence for e-health in psychological interventions in general and specifically for cancer survivors. Examples will come from e-health studies and experience in developing and testing several e-health interventions: a psycho-educational self management website, group medical consultations with Ipads, and blended therapy for cancer survivors, combining face-to-face psychotherapy with a self management website. Challenges and facilitators for disseminating and implementing web-based interventions will be addressed. Attendees will work in small groups to learn about the stages in website development: (1) assessment of patients’ needs, (2) development of the intervention structure and content, (3) working with multidisciplinary advisory committees, (4) website usability testing, and (5) pilot testing.

Susanne O Dalton (DK) & Pernille Envold Bidstrup (DK) & Klaus Kaae Andersen (DK)

Psychosocial intervention research: principles for rigorous design and tips for successful conduct

August, 14th & 15th | Two-Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


During this 2-day workshop, presenters will give short methodological impulse lectures on (i) principles of study designs, bias and confounding in this particular area of research, (ii) choice of appropriate psychometric assessment measures, (iii) how to standardise and manualise a psychosocial intervention, (iv) planning of studies for complex psychosocial interventions including design options like cluster-randomisation and step-wedge, and (v) determining sample size, the interplay with between expected/actual recruitment rates and budget (usually the three elements that make an RCT a success or failure) and approaches to analyses and how to deal with missing data. Additionally we will discuss the interaction of research and clinical work and possibilities of the application of research findings into clinical routine work. The main part of the workshop is dedicated to the discussion of the research projects or ideas of the workshop participants. Each participant will be encouraged to give a short presentation (3-5 slides) on an own planned or on-going study. Presentations will be conducted with humour and in an interactive fashion drawing on the presenters' substantial research experience. All facilitators have extensive publication records in psychosocial cancer research and have learned about pitfalls in research from their own experience. Presentations will include case studies/real world examples and how-to-do suggestions.

Jane Turner (Australia) & Belinda Thewes (Netherlands)

Fear of cancer recurrence: A novel framework and therapy model

August, 14th | Full-Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


This workshop will provide an overview of frameworks for understanding fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) and will present a novel framework combining elements of Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model, Relational Frame Theory and Self-Regulation Theory. The therapy based on this model, incorporating elements of metacognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and psycho-education will be described in detail, including evidence from a recent RCT demonstrating the effectiveness of this intervention in reducing FCR. Practical strategies will be described and practiced in the workshops so that participants will develop skills in assisting patients with high FCR.

Hans Knoop (NL) & Harriet Abrahams (NL) & Hanneke Poort (NL)

Cognitive behaviour therapy for severe fatigue in cancer survivors

August, 15th | Full-Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


Cancer related fatigue (CRF) is a highly prevalent symptom in cancer survivors who are off treatment. The fatigue leads to substantial limitations in daily life and tends to persist without treatment.. According to the cognitive behavioural model of CRF, cancer and the treatment trigger the fatigue but behaviour and beliefs perpetuate the symptom. On the basis of this model, CBT specifically aimed at CRF in cancer survivors has been developed. CBT for CRF is aimed at the fatigue maintaining cognitive-behavioural factors. Several randomised controlled trials conducted by our research group have shown that CBT for CRF leads to a significant reduction of fatigue and disability. In this workshop we will discuss the cognitive behavioural model of CRF and demonstrate how the fatigue perpetuating factors can be assessed and addressed during therapy. Specific intervention elements will be demonstrated and practiced. We will also pay attention to recent developments like the application of CBT for CRF during treatment of (advanced) cancer and the development of web-based CBT.

Barry Bultz (Canada) & Alex Mitchell (UK) & Matthew Loscalzo (USA)

Screening for Distress, the 6th Vital Sign Like You Never Could Have Imagined IT!

August, 15th | Half Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


Although knowledge of the value added of biopsychosocial distress screening has grown exponentially, a true vision for the implications for such an approach is only now coming into a more robust strategic perspective for the growth and development of psychosocial oncology within oncology programs.  In many ways, simply implementing the basics of comprehensive biopsychosocial screening for distress have masked a vast and untapped potential to fully integrate with disease-directed cancer care in order to greatly expand both medical and psychosocial horizons.  The Chairs are internationally recognized leaders with over 50 years of Screening for Distress knowledge.  This highly interactive workshop employs an adult learning model comprised of 20 minutes of lecture integrated with 40 minutes of practical outcomes-focused exercises.  Dr. Bultz will share his matured screening program and link the information and processes with actual clinical cases.  Dr. Mitchell will provide a provocative broad based approach to screening revealing latest international findings with important implications for the future.  Professor Loscalzo will share specific and exciting strategies, implications, opportunities that could not have been foreseen at the birth of the biopsychosocial screening movement. Ample time is protected throughout the Workshop for high levels of discourse, debate and most of all depth.

Gary Rodin (Canada) & Sarah Hales (Canada)

Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM): A Supportive-Expressive Therapy for Individuals and Couples Facing Metastatic and Advanced Cancer

August, 15th | Full Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


This workshop will provide an overview of the theory and practice of a brief evidence-based supportive-expressive therapy for individuals and couples facing the threat of disease progression and mortality related to metastatic and advanced cancer. It is intended to help individuals and couples manage distress in this situation, to navigate the health care system, to negotiate adjustments in attachment relationships, to reconsider life priorities, and to face the end of life. These problems are universal for those with advanced cancer and CALM has been shown be generalizable across diverse cultural and national settings. The workshop will be divided into three parts: 1. the theoretical framework of CALM therapy based on attachment and relational theory and existential therapy; 2. the content domains and process of CALM therapy, including mentalization, reflective awareness, affect regulation and the maintenance of attachment security; 3. qualitative and quantitative research findings on the outcome and process of CALM therapy. A unique feature of this workshop is the use of videotaped live sessions from all phases of CALM therapy and of the supervisory process.

Andrea Farkas Patenaude (USA) -CANCELED

Treating Patients Coping with Hereditary Cancer: What do I Need to Know?



An increasing number of pediatric and adult cancer patients are undergoing genetic testing or genomic sequencing. When patients are found to be carriers of mutations which predispose them to hereditary cancers, they and their families experience complex and difficult psychological issues which can induce fear about cancer risk, identity and insurability, uncertainty about screening and risk-reducing surgery, family communication problems and generalized vulnerability and worry. Well-prepared psychosocial providers will increasingly be needed to support this population. This workshop identifies genetic knowledge and psycho-therapeutic skills which are essential to treat individuals, couples, and families in their interactions among themselves and with geneticists, oncologists and genetic counselors. Case discussion will focus teaching about the challenges and satisfactions of psychotherapeutic and support roles in this emerging area of psycho-oncology practice.

Sue Morris (USA)

Bereavement across the life span: Individual and group strategies for providing bereavement care

August, 14th | Half-Day Workshop | The workshop will be held in English


Clinicians typically receive little training in grief and bereavement throughout the course of their education. Despite increasing efforts to improve general palliative care medical education, training about bereavement care is lacking. While the majority of bereaved individuals will cope with their losses without requiring professional intervention, a significant number will experience suffering from complicated or prolonged bereavement reactions. Therefore, providing bereavement care, including the assessment of risk, is best conceptualized within the framework of prevention and is considered to be an essential component of quality end-of-life care by the hospice and palliative care movement.

In this workshop, the nature of grief will be presented from a psychological perspective paying particular attention to the importance of loss and change following the death of a cancer patient across the lifespan. An overview will be given about the experience of normal grief, including the death of a child, the death of a spouse and the death of a parent. Risk factors for poor bereavement outcomes will also be discussed, including witnessing difficult deaths in a hospital setting. Utilizing different teaching methods, such as case examples, experiential exercises, videos and break-out groups, a number of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies will be taught that participants will be able to use in their own bereavement work for different types of losses.

Elisabeth Andritsch & Clemens Farkas (Austria) - CANCELED

Bedeutung von Krebs im Kontext einer chronischen Erkrankung, im Fokus der Existenzanalyse



Menschen mit Krebserkrankungen können heutzutage aufgrund der Entwicklung der individuell angepassten Therapiemöglichkeiten besser geheilt oder zumindest erfolgreicher, im Sinne der längeren Überlebenszeit behandelt werden. Dabei sind durch die Chronizität der Krebserkrankung die Betroffenen, als auch deren Angehörige mit vielen verschiedenen Herausforderungen konfrontiert. Im Rahmen dieses Workshops soll die Bedeutung der Definition von „chronisch“ für Menschen mit Krebserkrankungen aufgezeigt werden und die daraus resultierenden Belastungen, aber auch Möglichkeiten für die Krankheitsbewältigung diskutiert werden. Akzeptanz und Verständnis im Sinn der Existenzanalyse werden dabei beleuchtet. Die Existenzanalyse bedeutet die Analyse der Bedingungen für ein Leben, das selbstgestaltet, wertfühlend und menschenwürdig ist. Das Ziel der Existenzanalyse ist die Entfaltung der Offenheit sowie der Eigenaktivität im Erleben, im Handeln und in den Beziehungen, dies erweist sich vor allem in der existenziellen Erschütterung durch die Krebserkrankung aber oftmals als schwierig. In diesem Workshop wird vor allem der Fokus auf die personalen Voraussetzungen für eine sinnvolle Existenz gelegt. Den theoretischen und praktischen Hintergrund bildet das Konzept der Grundmotivationen, welche als „Bausteine der Existenz“ in Therapiegesprächen eingesetzt werden. Fallbeispiele und Übungen werden zur Vertiefung dieser existenzanalytischen Methoden eingesetzt

PSO Workshops

Please note that all PSO Workshops will be held in German.

Klaus Hönig

Krebsbelastungen wirksam bewältigen mit Hypnose und Hypnotherapie

14. August | Ganztages-Workshop | Dieser Workshop findet auf Deutsch statt


Psychische und körperliche Probleme, die im Rahmen einer Tumorerkrankung auftreten, können wirkungsvoll mit Hypnose und Hypnotherapie behandelt werden. Körpereigene Ressourcen lassen sich hierdurch aktivieren und zur Verbesserung der Krankheitsbewältigung und Steigerung der Lebensqualität nutzen. Hypnotherapeutische Techniken haben sich sowohl zur Symptombehandlung (Stressbelastung, Unsicherheit, Übelkeit, Panikreaktionen, Schmerzen) als auch zur Behandlung von psychischen Störungen (Angststörungen, Affekte Störungen, Posttraumatischen Belastungsstörungen) als hilfreich erwiesen. Die häufig rasche Wirksamkeit dieser Techniken ist für die Psychoonkologie in besonderer Weise hilfreich, da dort stationär wie ambulant oft nur wenige Behandlungssitzungen zur Verfügung stehen bei gleichzeitig hohem Belastungsausmaß. Hypnotherapeutische Interventionen bieten neben kurzfristiger Hilfe (Linderung, Stützen, Krisenintervention) auch mittelfristig Unterstützung, wenn es darum geht, mit Kräften hauszuhalten, tiefere Einsichten zu gewinnen oder alternative Verhaltensweisen zu erproben. Sie lassen sich ebensogut in eine längerfristige psychotherapeutische Zusammenarbeit an verschiedenen Themen und Therapiezielen integrieren. 

Tanja Zimmermann

“Seite an Seite” – Psychoonkologische Interventionen bei Paaren

14. August | Ganztages-Workshop | Dieser Workshop findet auf Deutsch statt


Krebserkrankungen belasten in erheblichem Maße auch die Partner der Patienten und die Paarbeziehung. Deshalb sind im Rahmen der psychoonkologischen Betreuung paarbezogene Interventionen ebenso wichtig wie individuelle Konzepte zu Stress und Coping. In diesem Kurs wird die kurze kognitiv-behaviorale Intervention für Paare „Seite an Seite“ vorgestellt, die sowohl im Rahmen einer psychotherapeutischen Praxis als auch in einem Kliniksetting für Psychoonkologen anwendbar ist. Das Training ist manualbasiert und wird sowohl in der Standarddurchführung als auch in der individuellen Anwendung an einzelnen Fällen dargestellt. In der standardisierten Form werden mit dem Paar in fünf Sitzungen Fertigkeiten zur Stressbewältigung, Kommunikation und Krankheitsbewältigung sowie zum Umgang mit sexuellen Problemen besprochen und eingeübt. Die wesentlichen Elemente des Trainings werden in dem Kurs dargestellt, anhand von Fallbeispielen besprochen und in der Anwendung in Kleingruppen geübt.

Beate Hornemann

Angehörige im Spannungsfeld zwischen Betroffensein und Helfenwollen

14. August | Ganztages-Workshop | Dieser Workshop findet auf Deutsch statt


Im Kontext einer Krebserkrankung steht der Patient im Fokus der ‎direkten Aufmerksamkeit des Behandlungsteams. Ihm gegenüber gilt es (zurecht) Empathie und Wertschätzung entgegenzubringen. Angehörigen glauben häufig, dass von Ihnen dauerhaft Trost und Ermutigungsverhalten, sowie generelle Duldsamkeit und die Rückstellung eigener Bedürfnisse erwartet werden. Bei langwierigen Verläufen, ob kurativ oder palliativ intendiert, scheint dies "übermenschlich " zu sein und zu neuen Belastungsquellen im familiären System zu führen. Es gilt diese möglichst frühzeitig zu identifizieren und in der Angehörigen- bzw Paar- und Familienberatung zu thematisieren. Der Workshop bietet einen praxisorientierten Überblick zu interventiven Möglichkeiten. Eigene Fälle sind sehr willkommen.

Antje Lehmann-Laue & Helge Danker

Psychoonkologische Versorgung im Krankenhaus: Zertifizierungsanforderungen und Patientenbedürfnisse

14. August | Halbtages-Workshop | Dieser Workshop findet auf Deutsch statt


Die psychoonkologische Versorgung in Krankenhäusern mit und ohne zertifizierte onkologische Zentren umfasst ein komplexes Aufgabenspektrum. Sie findet in einem multiprofessionellen Kontext statt. Psychoonkologen sind herausgefordert, sich mit ständig ändernden Bedingungen infolge des medizinischen Fortschritts auseinanderzusetzen. Darüber hinaus sind institutionelle Besonderheiten und Zertifizierungsanforderungen mit den Ansprüchen an eine leitliniengestützte, evidenzbasierte psychoonkologische Patientenversorgung zu vereinen. Dieser Workshop soll bei der Implementierung leitliniengerechter psychoonkologischer Arbeit im Krankenhaus unterstützen und Orientierungshilfe bei organisatorischen und strukturellen Anforderungen geben. Weiterhin sollen die Besonderheiten, die sich aus diesem Kontext für die Patient-­‐Berater/Therapeut-­‐ Interaktion ergeben, diskutiert und geeignete Interventionsmöglichkeiten daraus abgeleitet werden. Eigene Beiträge sind willkommen.

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