• OTC Ep. 36 – The Cancer Trauma Project With Schuyler Cunningham

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    In This Episode

    John sits down to chat with Schuyler Cunningham, LICSW, OSW-C about his work as the Director of the Cancer Trauma Project  in Washington, DC.  The Cancer Trauma Project(CTP) seeks to promote understanding of the emotional trauma experienced by people with cancer or who have had cancer and their caregivers. We do this by providing mental health care for those experiencing traumatic stress – regardless of medical diagnosis – listening to stories, writing, speaking, and training providers.

    To schedule an appointment for a mental health assessment, counseling, neurofeedback, or teletherapy call 202-570-7795. The CTP is a project of the DC Center for Neurocognitive Excellence.

    Show Summary

    Receiving a Cancer diagnosis can be extremely traumatic for the individual dealing with the cancer (not to mention their loved ones).  At the Cancer Trauma Project Schuyler and his team attempt to give cancer patients a platform for telling their story and sharing their experiences, in an effort to help them process the trauma and access support for this difficult diagnosis.

    Common Myths

    • The medical system is very well organized and will guide me step-by-step through my treatment and will address all of my needs
    • If I react emotionally to my Cancer diagnosis, my doctors or nurses won’t like me and then I won’t get good treatment
    • My recovery is solely my responsibility and if I am not recovering or “beating” the Cancer, then it means I have failed

    Main Points

    • Receiving a Cancer diagnosis can cause a Post-Traumatic Stress reaction
    • Each patient should feel empowered to advocate for their needs
    • Navigating Cancer can be extremely difficult and accessing mental health services in the midst of it can significantly help a patient
    • Some patients find it helpful to join Cancer communities and get group support or raise awareness, while others don’t want to or find it as helpful

    Meet Schuyler Cunningham, LICSW, OSW-C

    Schuyler Cunningham ([email protected]), MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C, BCD, OSW-C is an award winning social worker and researcher. His extensive experience includes practicing social work at the Washington Cancer Institute, the DC Rape Crisis Center, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, and The Washington, DC Center for Neurocognitive Excellence. Schuyler’s clinical experience includes Consultant status in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), providing supervision to EMDR practitioners, providing neurofeedback therapy, and training bachelors and masters students in clinical care and research. He is a sought after speaker and has published on various aspects of mental health counseling including an upcoming paper on distress and traumatic stress in people with cancerfirst person narratives of cancer related traumatic stressscreening for psychosocial distress in non-oncology patientscancer rehabilitationinnovative treatments for smoldering multiple myeloma, and palliative care for people with mesothelioma. Mr. Cunningham obtained his Masters in Social Work from the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America and holds advanced social work licenses in both DC and Maryland.

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    OTC Ep. 35 – Dating Radar With Megan Hunter

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    OTC Ep. 37 – Fix This Next With Mike Michalowicz

    Meet John Dennis

    John is a licensed professional counselor with over 14 years of experience who specializes in counseling for individuals, couples, children, and adolescents. He focuses on working with anxious teens and adults, couples who are struggling to connect with one another, and those dealing with grief and loss.


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