Groups are a major resource available to our patients. Our groups are facilitated by professionals to optimize living fully after a cancer diagnosis. We have groups of all kinds for patients, family members and significant others.
While all groups allow some self-expression, our groups use multiple modalities including sharing experiences, art therapy, meditation, and Qi Gong as examples. Some groups function as traditional support groups while others have integrative approaches built into the structure of them. Here are some key questions about groups:
Mind-Body Connections within a Community
We have many groups available that provide both patients and their family members with educational, healing and support opportunities. Many people find great value in being part of a group led by an experienced professional. Since each person has somewhat different needs, we offer a variety of groups that offer healing and support. Our groups include a variety of mind/body and healing techniques along with opportunities for expression.
Some groups are more like a class in which techniques are taught to assist with the challenges of cancer such as our Meditation group and Mind-Body Approaches to Coping with Cancer. Others rely on creative self-expression such as Healing Through Art. Many provide opportunities for community in which sharing of concerns, challenges and needs are intermixed with support, problem-solving and education. Some groups are oriented toward specific diseases and even phases of treatment, while others are available for anyone with a cancer diagnosis. Some groups are open to patients only, family only or a combination. We encourage everyone to try a group experience and to attend several meetings to determine if it is helpful.
There is a significant body of research that indicates that group experiences can help patients to live fully after a cancer diagnosis and increase quality of life. Research supports what patients and family members have shared; groups can help to reduce anxiety and depression while optimizing psychological well-being and enhancing people’s ability to actively cope with cancer.
Groups are an ideal environment to teach mind/body approaches and thus, some of our most important mind/body programs are delivered in groups, e.g., Healing Through Art, Meditation and Inner Healing, QiGong and Mind-Body Approaches to Coping with Cancer.
Our groups for support and healing are available without cost to patients and family members. These operate on a donation basis. Priority will be given to patients receiving their care at UCLA Westwood, Santa Monica or community practices run by UCLA Hematology Oncology. However, many groups have openings and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
To inquire about enrollment in our groups, please contact the Center by phone at (310) 794-6644 or by email.