A diagnosis of cancer and its ensuing treatment causes a great deal of stress for both patients and their families. The Paula A. Seidman Psychosocial Counseling Program at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center assists patients and families by providing support, coping techniques and interventions that help patients regain a sense of well-being and address personal and relationship issues resulting from the cancer experience.
The service includes:
Services provided by:
All counseling is individually tailored to meet the needs of patients and family members, and is available to any patients or family members of patients being treated at the Abramson Cancer Center.
To make an appointment with an oncology counselor, please call 1-800-789-PENN.
In addition to individual and family counseling a variety of support groups provide information on topics of interest in a supportive environment where patients and families can share experiences, gain insights and learn ways of coping with the uncertainty and changes that occur during the cancer experience.
Ruth Steinman, MD is a psychiatrist board certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry. In private practice since 1991, Dr. Steinman specializes in the care of individuals with medical illness and its impact on emotional disturbance. Dr. Steinman combines individual psychotherapy with psychopharmacologic therapies in the care of her patients. She joined the cancer center's counseling service in 2005.
Mark Francis, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who joined the Abramson Cancer Center Counseling Service in 2008. Dr. Francis created the Abramson Cancer Center’s Psychology Externship Program in order to expand the counseling services available to patients and family members. He was formerly a postdoctoral fellow at Pennsylvania Hospital where he was liaison to the Joan Karnell Cancer Center as well as creator and coordinator of the Behavioral Cardiology Program. Dr. Francis successfully secured substantial funding for Pennsylvania Hospital’s Behavioral Cardiology Program to ensure that indigent clients would have access to counseling services. He has years of experience with psychiatric illness in various settings, including psychiatric emergency rooms and inpatient psychiatric units.