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Jill Majeski, PsyD, (left) and Dorianne Eaves, PsyD, are psychologists at the Upstate Cancer Center. (photo by Susan Kahn)
Jill Majeski, PsyD, (left) and Dorianne Eaves, PsyD, are psychologists at the Upstate Cancer Center. (photo by Susan Kahn)

Psychologists offer guidance to cancer patients of any age

Poor body image. Changes in sexual functioning. End-of-life concerns. People with cancer may struggle with these and other physical changes and existential concerns.

“A cancer diagnosis is disruptive,” explains Dorianne Eaves, PsyD, of the psychosocial oncology program at Upstate. “I tell patients, ‘You have valid reasons for the emotions you are feeling.’”

Therapy for adults

Eaves works with adult patients, spouses and families from cancer diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. At the first appointment, she interviews them to learn what is going on in their lives. How is their quality of life? What are their treatment goals?

“Cancer patients are often surprised at how much can be accomplished in therapy,” Eaves continues. “Society thinks therapy is ‘just talking,’ but we can work together on issues like challenging treatment decisions, disruptions in sleep and strains on interpersonal relationships.

“We focus on the individual’s well- being in relation to cancer,” she continues. “We can all benefit from support. Participating in therapy doesn’t mean you are not handling your situation well.”

Therapy for children and families

Jill Majeski, PsyD, works with the Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate. She offers psychological assessments and therapy, including behavioral treatments to manage pain and symptoms, and other supports to help sick children and their families lead the best lives possible.

As part of that support, Majeski offers educational and social programs so that patients and families with similar medical conditions and shared experiences can get to know each other and learn more about living with and managing their health conditions.

“I work with families to identify their worries, challenges and hopes and to do our best to meet those hopes, big or small,” she says.

Majeski also provides psychological services at clinics throughout the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, with the CHOICES Pediatric Palliative Care Program, and at the Perinatal Center, where she works with families whose babies are expected to be born with serious medical conditions. Majeski also offers individual and group grief and bereavement services.

Appointments with the psychosocial oncology program are available to Upstate patients. Call 315-464-HOPE (4673).




Cancer Care magazine spring 2022 cover
This article appears in the spring 2022 issue of Cancer Care magazine.

Read it online at issuu.com.

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