Development of Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Parents Who Lost a Child to Cancer

Full Title
Development of Psychotherapeutic Interventions for a Parent Who Lost a Child to Cancer

Many parents who have lost a child use counseling or other resources to help them cope with their grief and the emotional burden of their loss. The aim of this study is to begin to evaluate a new counseling program for parents who have lost a child to cancer. The counseling being assessed in this study is called “meaning-centered grief therapy” — an approach that aims to teach parents who have lost a child how to maintain or increase a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, despite their loss.

Parents participating in this study will receive counseling either in person or through Internet-based video conferencing. The researchers will see how successful it is to hold the sessions through these approaches and will refine the counseling program based on the parents’ feedback. Each session will last about one hour, for a total of 16 sessions. Participants will be assigned written exercises during the sessions and for “homework,” and will also have the opportunity to complete a larger project on their own.


This study will include parents who lost a child (ages 6 months to 25 years) to cancer at least six months but no more than six years before entering the study. Participants must be able to understand English well enough to complete the study assessments.

For more information about this study, please contact Dr. Wendy Lichtenthal at 646-888-4812.

Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Quality of Life

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