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Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Oncology Psychology Specialty

Oncology Psychology Specialty

The Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence has four components:

  1. Coursework- COPE coursework will be completed as part of a comprehensive specialty track for students enrolled in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology. There will be a four course sequence including an Introduction to Psychosocial Oncology, a course on clinical interventions for cancer patients, a course on interprofessional collaboration and working with systems in healthcare, and a course on end of life issues and bereavement.

  2. Students enrolled in the COPE courses will also be enrolled in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program and they will take courses in clinical assessment, research methods, program evaluation, and many others, while completing an APA-accredited doctoral program.

  3. Introduction to Psychosocial Oncology- first class offered fall 2016

Sample topics will include:

  • Types and staging of cancers
  • Diagnosis procedures
  • Types of treatment
  • Chemotherapy and its effects
  • Radiation and its effects
  • Surgical treatment options and their effects
  • Psychological sequelae of cancer and treatment
  • Medical terminology

Students involved in the COPE program will also complete field placements working with cancer patients. These may include:

  • Outpatient cancer centers
  • Inpatient cancer centers
  • Palliative care and Hospice
  • Working with newly diagnosed cancer patients at small hospitals

An integral part of the training model for COPE will be working with interprofessional teams. Some members of these teams will be:

  • Oncologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Chaplains
  • Physical and Occupational Therapists
  • Dieticians
  • Medical Assistants
  • Many others

The Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence has partnered with local and national experts to develop curriculum and training opportunities. The COPE advisory board consists of local professionals with expertise in oncology and psychology training. If you are interested in serving on the COPE advisory board, please contact Nicole.E.Taylor@du.edu.

The Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence will also have a clinical training program on site at the University of Denver.

Who do we serve:

  • Individuals diagnosed with cancer
  • Caregivers and family members of people with cancer
  • Professionals who work in oncology and may be experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout
  • Cancer survivors

Everyone is uniquely affected by cancer and we provide support for people at many different stages of the cancer journey. These include:

  • At diagnosis
  • During treatment
  • After treatment is completed
  • Making meaning out of the cancer process
  • When patients are experiencing a fear of recurrence
  • Long term survivorship
  • Terminal cancer diagnosis
  • Bereavement

We will offer individual, couples, family, and group counseling for individuals affected by cancer and their friends and families. These services will be provided at the Professional Psychology Clinic by advanced doctoral students in the clinical psychology program at the University of Denver. In addition, some services will be provided at community agencies and on-site at cancer treatment facilities. If you are interested in finding out more, contact Dr. Nicole Taylor.