Psycho-Oncology by Dr. Catalina
Has cancer taken over your life?
Tired of all the doctors’ appointments, chemotherapy, radiation and side effects?
Feeling overwhelmed, out of control, scared about the future?
Asking yourself, is this the way the rest of my life is going to be?
You are not alone.
What is Psycho-Oncology
Psycho-oncology is a specialty within psychology that addresses quality of life amongst individuals impacted by cancer. If you’ve been impacted by cancer, you appreciate more than anyone, that cancer affects all of your life- not just your body. Cancer treatment is more than the medicine prescribed. I support individuals and couples not just survive, but thrive through:
- Coping with a new diagnosis
- Navigating the healthcare system and multiple appointments
- Treatment side effects (pain, nausea, fatigue, sexual changes)
- Distress (depression, anxiety, PTSD)
- Working during and after cancer
- Adjusting to role shifts in your family, at work and at home
- Finding your ‘new normal’ after cancer treatment
- Fear of cancer recurrence
- Living with metastatic cancer
Psycho-oncology has researched effective treatments and strategies to address these concerns over the past four decades. Psychotherapy considers your concerns within the context and reality of cancer and its treatment. Psycho-oncology appreciates the interplay between your health, emotions, relationships and daily functioning. Cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies have all proven beneficial in addressing these common concerns. Therapy with a psycho-oncologist can help you and your loved ones:
- Learn proven new strategies to improve coping with your illness, building on your existing strengths
- Making a clear roadmap to navigate the healthcare system to make confident treatment decisions
- Identifying concrete changes that can organize and simplify your life
- Working with your medical team and family to improve communication
- Integrate cancer into your life, your identity an
I’ve been supporting individuals and their families impacted by cancer to Live Fully as a clinician, professor and researcher for the last 20 years. I believe that full lives come with lots of challenges. To Live Fully you need to choose intentionally how you want to respond, rather than react to these challenges. YOU can be in control of your life, your challenges don’t need to control you.
Throughout my career as a clinician and a professor, I’ve designed socio-culturally tailored treatments to improve cancer screening and adjust to cancer treatment side effects. The last decade and a half my focus has been on supporting couples and individuals cope with sexual and relationship changes after cancer.
As the lead investigator for Rekindle, a web-based psychosexual resource, we bridged the gap to deliver psychosexual support to cancer survivors and their partners throughout Australia. We are building on this work to further refine Rekindle for LGBTQ populations.
Working with cancer support organizations across the US, I’ve developed and am testing the first psychosexual resource for Latina cancer survivors, Aviva.
I’ve trained in psycho-oncology throughout my doctoral and postdoctoral programs with pioneers in this field at:
- Indiana University, Bloomington — BS with Honors in Psychology
- Catholic University of America, DC — MS in Psychology
- Colorado State University — PhD in Counseling Psychology
- Virginia Commonwealth University – Pre-doctoral Externship in BMT
- University of Florida, Gainesville — Pre-doctoral Internship in Health
- Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY — Postdoctoral Fellowship in Oncological Sciences
My work bridges the gap between what we know and what we do
Backed by research, tailored for YOU
Better intimacy starts here
Don’t worry, I get it: relationships and intimacy can be hard to navigate. But it’s time for you to experience your absolute birthright—exponential bliss.
So let’s talk about it. Let me share with you my expertise.