Therapy with a trained psychologist can provide tools to navigate the melanoma journey. When considering therapy, it’s important to choose a form that suits you. Our Supportive Care team explains the benefits of both individual and group therapy.

How Can Therapy Help People Diagnosed with Melanoma?

People diagnosed with melanoma often face many unique challenges associated with their diagnosis, including disruption to their daily lives and coping with uncertainty about the future.

Often, people with melanoma find therapy with a trained psychologist a helpful and rewarding experience that provides them with the tools needed to cope well following diagnosis, and during and after treatment. Therapy can also help people through difficult times by creating a safe space to express thoughts and feelings, and by providing treatment techniques, or tools to help address troubling emotions or thoughts.

What Are the Different Types of Therapy?

 When deciding to seek therapy, you may want to consider whether individual or group therapy might be best for you.  Individual therapy can be delivered in several formats, but usually involves one-on-one sessions with a trained psychologist at regular time intervals (e.g., weekly, fortnightly, or monthly) to help the individual receiving therapy work through their problems. On the other hand, group therapy involves regular sessions with at least one trained psychologist within a small group of people (usually 6-8) that are experiencing similar challenges.

Both forms of therapy are backed by decades of research and are helpful for people diagnosed with melanoma, but therapy is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, which is why it is so important to choose a form of therapy that suits your preferences and needs. Below, we have listed the benefits of both individual and group therapy to help you make the best-informed decision when choosing to seek therapy.

Benefits of Individual Therapy

  • Because of the nature of individual therapy, all sessions are personally tailored to your specific needs.
  • You have more control over the direction and speed of the sessions, which will adapt to the progress you make over time.
  • You share your experiences and emotions in a more private setting, speaking only to the trained psychologist providing the sessions who is bound by confidentiality.

Benefits of Group Therapy

  • You receive all the benefits of individual therapy, without the attention being placed solely on you throughout the session, which can feel less overwhelming.
  • You get the opportunity to share with and hear from others who understand what challenges you may be facing, making you feel more connected to others.
  • There is freedom to express difficult emotions in a group that is safe, supportive, understanding, and also bound by confidentiality.
  • In a group setting, there is the opportunity to learn from one another and gain insights from others going through a similar experience.
  • You may provide support to others based on your own experience, which can be an extremely fulfilling experience.

Would you like to be part of a trial for group therapy sessions for Stage III melanoma patients?

Our Supportive Care team at Melanoma Institute Australia has recently developed a clinical psychology service providing individual therapy for people diagnosed with melanoma and are now planning a trial aiming to provide additional support to people recently diagnosed with Stage III melanoma in a group therapy setting. The study will trial these group therapy sessions both in-person and using telehealth, depending on your preferences. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in finding out more, please send an email to receive more information.