Together We Can -- Newsletter of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center

Winter 2008

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Kicking the Habit
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Reaching Out

The Bereavement Program at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center

The time following a loved one's death is often difficult. Each person has their way of dealing with grief-related emotions and how they move through the grieving process. To help those who have lost a loved one to cancer, the Joan Karnell Cancer Center offers The Bereavement Program. The program is made possible by the support of the Garroway Laboratory and the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Psychiatry.

Under the direction of Edna Foa, PhD, and Tracey Lichner, PhD, The Bereavement Program provides information about grief and coping, and provides support as family members and friends adjust to life following their loved one's death. “Our aim is to let families know that we are still supporting them. We help them adjust to life without their loved one because grief is a normal process that often should not be done alone,” says Dr. Lichner.

The program is broken down into several steps. A sympathy card is the first point of contact to families. Then a bereavement counselor from the Cancer Center contacts the family by phone. Over the next 13 months, the counselor stays in touch providing information about the resources available including:

  • Anticipatory Bereavement – Counseling focused on patients and/or family members of patients who are nearing the end of treatment.
  • Bereavement Counseling – Individual sessions offered in the weeks and months following the loss.
  • Monthly Bereavement Support Groups
  • Complicated Grief Therapy – Counseling is offered to those who continue to experience intense, disruptive feelings of grief more than six months after a loss.
  • Special Support Group for the Holidays

For more information about the Bereavement Program at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center, call 215-829-3225.


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Need an appointment? Request one online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to speak to a referral counselor.

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