1st Edition

Effective Group Therapies for Young Adults Affected by Cancer Using Support Groups in Clinical Settings in the US

By Sarah Kurker Copyright 2021
    80 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    80 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Outlining the unique psychosocial and development issues faced by young adults affected by cancer, this text draws on qualitative data from two pilot studies conducted in the United States to illustrate how the needs of this often-overlooked population can be effectively met via group therapy in clinical settings.

    Drawing on 25 years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker supporting pediatric and young adult cancer patients and their families, Kurker focuses on the role of the clinician in structuring support group sessions. Chapters draw on patient perspectives to demonstrate effective application of interventions to help adolescents work through trauma associated with a diagnosis of cancer, treatment, recovery and the impacts on their development. Outcomes from these studies also include strategies for selecting support group participants, structuring group activities and securing funding.

    Effective Group Therapies for Young Adults Affected by Cancer will be a valuable text for oncology social workers and clinicians involved in adolescent support services. In addition, researchers and postgraduate students with an interest in the fields of social work, psychology and adolescent development will find the book of interest.


    Chapter Overviews

    1. Understanding Developmental Issues for Young Adults with Cancer

    2. Supporting Young Adults in a Closed Group Format: Insights from Practice at Massachusetts General Hospital

    3. Supporting Young Adults in a Group Format: Insights from Practice with the Candlelighters’s Community

    4. Pre and Post Evaluation Significance of Group Support Structures

    5. Life Lessons from the Young Adults


    Sarah F. Kurker, MSW, LICSW, is an Instructor in the Department of Social Work, Arizona State University, United States. She is also a practicing Clinical Social Worker and Oncology Teen and Young Adult Support Group Facilitator, Tuscon, Arizona, United States.

    "Sarah Kurker has beautifully illustrated a very practical resource for clinicians interested in providing a group therapy experience for young adult populations who have been affected by cancer. Her passion for as well as her wealth of experience shines through in the descriptions of her work with this group of young people. […] Sarah provides a summary of the research on key developmental, emotional, and physical challenges faced by this population as they navigate a cancer diagnosis and therapy. She provides very practical, step-by-step guidance on developing, facilitating, and evaluating groups for young adults who are in the midst of treatment or struggling with post-treatment issues."

    -- Wendy Pelletier, Pediatric Oncology Social Worker, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Canada