Full TitleDevelopment of Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Parents 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 compare two types of counseling programs for parents who have lost a child to cancer.
One of the types of counseling programs 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. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on questions between sessions and, if possible, to write down their responses. Participants will also have the option of completing a larger project on their own based on the themes that will be discussed.
The other type of counseling program is supportive counseling, which aims to help parents cope with their loss by giving them a place to express their feelings and get support during the sessions.
For both types of counseling programs, parents participating in this study will receive counseling through Internet-based video conferencing. The researchers will see how successful it is to hold the sessions through video-conferencing and will refine the counseling programs based on the parents’ feedback. Each session will last about one hour, for a total of 16 sessions.
This study will include parents who lost a child (39 years old or younger with a history of cancer) at least six months but no more than six years before entering the study. Participants must reside in the state of New York or New Jersey or must be able to complete sessions while in New York or New Jersey. Participants must be able to understand English well enough to complete the study assessments.