Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy Training Program for Cancer Care Providers

MSK Psychiatry chair William Breitbart

Course Director William Breitbart facilitates a demonstration of MCP with trainees.

Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy

Meaning-centered psychotherapy (MCP) is a manualized brief, structured psychotherapeutic intervention to help patients suffering with loss of meaning around illness. It is designed to help diminish feelings of despair that can be associated with cancer by helping patients focus on the importance of creating, reconnecting with, experiencing, and sustaining meaning in the face of illness.

The MCP approach is inspired primarily by the work of Viktor Frankl, who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering have adapted Frankl’s concepts to create the manualized MCP intervention, which has been empirically validated and is adaptable to both group and individual therapy formats. Therapists providing MCP work to help broaden a patient’s sense of meaning through a combination of didactic teaching, experiential exercises, homework assignments, open-ended discussion, and interpretative comments. These practices help promote emotional expression and facilitate patients’ adoption of a meaning-focused perspective.

MCP Training Program Overview

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The MCP Training Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering is made possible by a National Cancer Institute grant (1 R25 CA 190169). This training program will teach clinicians the techniques, concepts, and delivery of MCP, utilizing a combination of didactics, experiential exercises, and role-playing with actors. There will be opportunities for follow-up training. Treatment manuals and other training resources will be provided. This course is designed for psychosocial care providers working in cancer, medical, or palliative care settings, particularly psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health providers. During the year following the two-day training course, participants will provide feedback on their use of MCP in their own clinical setting.

For more information on the training program, please see our MCPT brochure.

Registration Details

The two-day intensive MCP trainings are held throughout the year, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This training is open to participation by providers of psychosocial care in oncology settings, including psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and social workers. Applicants must meet eligibility criteria to participate.

Please contact us at for upcoming training dates and more information.

For eligibility requirements and to apply, click here: Apply now


Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Memorial Sloan Kettering
641 Lexington Avenue, 7th floor
New York, NY 10022


This program is funded by a NCI R25 grant from the National Cancer Institute (1 R25 CA 190169-01A1) to support innovative educational efforts to improve quality of life among cancer patients.

CME Credits

Participants receive continuing medical education (CME) or continuing education for social workers (CE) credits if eligible, or a certificate of attendance, at no cost.


Participants receive a travel stipend of $100 (for residents of the tristate area) or $500 (for residents from outside of the tristate area) but will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements.