Oncology Services

Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy & Counseling

Non-invasive relief & help for many of the challenges of

The cancer patient, family & friends

I help Oncology patients:
  • Create positive mind-body states
  • Reduce stress & anxiety
  • Reduce/eliminate pain
  • Reduce side-effects
  • Positively manage emotions
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Reduce need for medications
  • Improve sleep & relaxation
  • Increase motivation for healing
  • Increase energy
  • Sex therapy & intimacy
  • Pre-surgical preparation
  • Reduce pain of treatments
  • Reduce/cope with symptoms
  • Aid in rehabilitation
  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Couple counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Counseling for friends
I assist individuals diagnosed with cancer, as well as their families, friends and care-givers.

Cancer is a very difficult situation to deal with – on many levels – for the patient and for those who are related closely to the patient. 

I provide a variety of highly effective, efficient and caring interventions to help those who are affected.

Regarding the information in the accordions below:

I can help my patients with each issue addressed below – with or without  the use of hypnosis.

As a clinical and medical psychologist, I utilize a variety of psycho-therapeutic approaches, interventions and tools including  – C.B.T. (cognitive behavioral therapy),counseling, psychotherapy, biofeedback, N.L.P. and others.

Although each issue addressed below can be treated non-hypnotically, I do recommend using hypnosis in treatment (for those who hypnosis is appropriate for)..

The fact that I am an expert in the utilization of hypnosis and self-hypnosis and have a lot of professional experience in the treatment of cancer patients, enables me to offer help that is usually more effective and safer than many standard therapeutic interventions.

Although, of course, I also provide counseling and psycho-therapeutic services which do not utilize hypnosis, because hypnosis can be significantly more helpful, effective, efficient and even enjoyable, I highly recommend to my patients that they consider using hypnosis and self-hypnosis as part of their treatment. 

  1. Reduce or eliminate pain or discomfort – as a result of the cancer
  2. Reduce or eliminate side-effects of medications
  3. Reduce or eliminate pain or discomfort from invasive medical procedures – (biopsy, etc.)
  4. Reduce the need and dosage of pain medication
  5. Eliminate or reduce addiction to medication
  6. Reduce or eliminate side effects from medical procedures
  7. Reduce and or eliminate physiological stress
  8. Reduce or eliminate fear and anxiety from medical procedures (needles, doctors, etc.)
  9. Increase compliance with medical and healing requirements (medication, activities, restrictions)
  10. Reduce need for anesthesia and pain medication for surgery
  11. Reduce medication and enhance healing after surgery
  12. Enhance length and comfort of sleep (when necessary) feel more energetic and less fatigue
  13. Overcome sexual difficulties – enhance sexual response and enjoyment
  14. Reduce eating difficulties (chewing, swallowing)
  15. Increase motivation, compliance and enjoyment regarding diet and eating
  16. Increase effectiveness of the immune system
  17. Increase motivation, ease and success when certain activities must be stopped (smoking, etc.)
  18. Enhance rehabilitation compliance and enjoyment
  19. Avoid and eliminate somatization caused by psycho-emotional dynamics
  20. Efficiency of medical treatments are increased when the patient is prepared with hypnosis
  21. Physicians and staff work more effectively and comfortably when patient is prepared with hypnosis

Hypnosis For The Treatment of Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation

             Most of the symptoms and difficulties that cancer patients face result from the above invasive treatment strategies. Hypnosis helps the oncology patient by reducing or eliminating these symptoms, and /or by coping with the negative psychological and emotional conditions and difficulties they cause.

Hypnosis & Self-Hypnosis can be helpful for the following side effects experienced from commonly used chemotherapy drugs such as: carboplatin, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and others.

  • Pain in the jaw, joints, mouth, headache, abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ringing in ears and hearing loss;
  • Decreased appetite
  • Taste changes
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Fertility impairment

Radiation therapies cause the following side effects, for which hypnosis can be helpful:

  • Skin changes (may include dryness, itching, peeling, or blistering),
  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea,
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sexual changes
  • Swelling
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Urinary and bladder changes
  • Infertility
  • Joint problems
  • Lymphedema
  • Secondary cancer

It has been clinically proven that hypnosis and self-hypnosis can be effective in pain reduction in cancer patients. Hypnosis has the important advantage of not having the undesirable and often dangerous side effects of pain medication. For more additional information please read the professional articles that I have written on hypnosis for pain management. See the Pain Reduction & Management page on this website.

  • Safe (when administered properly)
  • Effective (many evidenced based studies have proven hypnosis to be effective for pain reduction, etc.)
  • Non-invasive
  • Side-effect free (almost never has any dangerous side effects when used properly)
  • Non-iatrogenic (treatment does not produce negative consequences or side-effects)
  •  Reduces dangers and side effects of other procedures and medications
  • Expeditious – therapeutic goals are reached more quickly
  • Reduces patient’s pain, anxiety, fear and stress
  • Aids in the success of healing treatment and recovery (deep relaxation, better sleep, confidence…)
  • Inexpensive – (often costs less than other treatments  are  for a given medical or therapeutic goal)
  • Can be administered anywhere and anytime
  • Can be used in conjunction with other concurrent treatments
  • Patients’ general compliance and cooperation is increased
  • Pleasant (people report that hypnosis can provide the most relaxing and pleasurable experience in life)
  • Increases patient safety & health (by reducing the need of dangerous medications)
  • Works well as a complimentary treatment with standard medical procedures (enhances effectiveness)
  • Provides a good alternative (when other interventions fail or cannot be utilized – e.g. anesthesia).
  • Promotes physiological, cognitive, and emotional states of well-being
  • Empowers – increases self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, self-love
  • Depression can be avoided, reduced or eliminated
  • Positive attitudes, beliefs, and habits are created and/or enhanced
  • Motivation is increased – to comply with various aspects of treatment, to live, to be positive
  • Hypnotherapy is proven effective in pain reduction, for pediatric, adult,and geriatric oncology patients
  • Saves the patient and the health system money
  • Medical condition (pain, symptoms, side-effects)
  • Medical treatments (pain, swelling, physiological stress, gagging, etc.)
  • Medication issues and side-effects (reducing pain medication, reducing psycho-active drugs..)
  • Psychological-Emotional Difficulties & Goals
  • Social Challenges
  • Spiritual & Existential Questions, Issues & Goals
  • Recovery & Rehabilitation
  • Re-adjustments to life
  • Treatment and recovery are enhanced
  • Can be utilized upon need – no overdosing
  • Reduces discomfort from side effects of treatments & medications
  • Increases calm, relaxation, positive mind-body-emotion states
  • Preparation for medical appointment and procedures – calm, relaxed, positive
  • Medications for pain as well as psycho-active drugs are decreased and/or eliminated
  • Side-effect free (no negative side-effects; many positive side-effects)
  • Medical staff can work more effectively, efficiently, and pleasantly when the patient is in a positive state
  • Pro-active participation is engaged – this makes the patient a partner and not an object
  • Independence is enjoyed
  • Reduced need for medical intervention and office appointments (increased self-regulation)
  • Convenience – self-hypnosis can be done anywhere, anytime, and does not require any assistance
  • Self-control and self-mastery are increased
  • Helplessness and dependency are decreased
  • Self-esteem and confidence are increased
  • Aids in creating positive self-image
  • Increases self-confidence and self-esteem
  • No cost what-so-ever (except learning how to use self-hypnosis)

Hypnotherapy, Self-Hypnosis, Psychotherapy & Counseling help cancer patients get relief from a variety of psychological & emotional challenges, including:

  1. Fear
  2. Anger
  3. Anxiety
  4. Identity and roles changes
  5. Confusion
  6. Aloneness & alienation
  7. Conversion reaction (physical pain and discomfort caused by psychological dynamics)
  8. Decreased appetite and enjoyment of food
  9. Decreased confidence – decreased self-esteem – self-worth
  10. Depression
  11. Disability
  12. Disappointment
  13. Embarrassment from side effects (e.g. Hair loss, disfigurement, etc.)
  14. Fatigue (psycho-emotional)
  15. Fear of being abandoned
  16. Fear of being further disabled and fear of recurrence
  17. Fear of secondary malignancies (recurrence after recovery)
  18. Fear of death.
  19. Fear of pain, medical interventions, needles, surgery, anesthesia, doctors
  20. Financial worries
  21. Guilt
  22. Helplessness
  23. Hopelessness
  24. Infertility
  25. Intimacy – fears, embarrassment, performance
  26. Life style changes – less time, fewer activities
  27. Loss – of control, self, health, identity, 
  28. Negative consequences due to secondary gain motivations
  29. Night terrors
  30. Obsessive negative thoughts
  31. Pain from being constantly “on guard,” or from hyper-alertness to pain sensations,
  32. Performance anxiety
  33. Poor sleep
  34. Psychogenic symptoms related to relationships with family, work, or friends
  35. Psychosomatic symptoms caused by unhealthy beliefs and attitudes, religious issues
  36. Relationship difficulties
  37. Resentment
  38. Self-esteem, self-respect & self-love issues
  39. Sexual issues and difficulty functioning
  40. Side effects from medications (psycho-emotional)
  41. Suicidal & other self-destructive thoughts & psycho-emotional breakdown
  42. Psychological addiction to medication

Cancer patients sometimes lose the ability to function in a normal sexual way. Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis can be used to create alternative ways of enjoying sexual intimacy and pleasure.

Cancer can affect many aspects of a person’s life.
Therefore, help is provided in the following areas:

  • Physiological
  • Psychological
  • Emotional
  • Behavioral
  • Sexual
  • Social
  • Spiritual

Although the cancer patient is the focus of treatment, others are also affected and need help and support. Those who need support, and often treatment, include:

  • The person who has cancer
  • The patient’s family, loved ones, friends, co-workers
  • The patient’s support system
  • The health professionals who are treating the patient

Sometimes the patient’s unhealthy psychological response to the cancer experience causes medical, psychological and emotional complications

  Such responses can:

  1. Create, increase or maintain pain
  2. Interfere with medical treatment
  3. Keep the patient from being proactive in healing, which could make his condition worse or even fatal
  4. Develop into psychological disorders, such as clinical depression        

Hypnotherapy can be utilized prevent and treat such reactions in a number of ways:

  1. Discover and treat cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders, triggers & root causes which cause, contribute and/or maintain symptoms
  2. Discover, examine, and correct unhealthy and destructive beliefs, thought patterns, and past conditioning
  3. Create and reinforce positive and healthy beliefs and thought patterns, as well as positive emotional states, and behavior patterns
  4. Access, release and treat repressed experiences which interfere with proper functioning
  5. Learn and reinforce new healthy defense mechanisms and patterns
  6. Heal trauma
  7. Help patients to healthfully cope with conditions that seem to be unable to be changed

Dealing with serious illness often presents the patient and others with difficult existential and spiritual questions and issues.

Appropriate counseling can help individuals, couples, families, and friends better deal with these challenging issues, including:

  1. Existential meaning of life questions
  2. Spiritual questions, difficulties or crisis
  3. Values clarification
  4. Identifying end-of-life goals
  5. Identification and dealing with unfinished business (self, family, friends)
  6. Setting priorities
  7. Preparation for dying and death
  8. Saying good bye to loved ones, family, friends, co-workers

Contra-Indications for the use of hypnosis

          

At times hypnosis is not recommended or appropriate for a particular patient. Whether hypnosis is utilized in the treatment of my patients is determined after consultation and evaluation of the patient, including the patient’s medical history, specific issues, goals and preferences.

Hypnosis is often contraindicated for individuals who suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, such as psychoses and schizophrenia.

Also, proper diagnosis needs to precede hypnotic pain management, (for example, in cases such as headache pain, to rule out the presence of a  tumor).

A proper diagnosis and evaluation of each patient must be made before hypnosis is utilized.

It is only with my evaluation and approval, and written consent by the patient, that hypnosis will be utilized in treatment.

Often I consult with other physicians treating the client/patient as part of creating the proper treatment strategies and to ensure that there is harmony, coordination and consistency among treating health professionals.                         

Unexpected responses and consequences when using hypnosis.

            Occasionally, during hypnosis the patient may feel physical or emotional discomfort; the hypnotherapist can guide the patient to correct this. Sometimes the hypnotic experience can yield unexpected results, including spontaneous regression, dissociation, abreaction, and the discovery of psychological and emotional difficulties the patient may be experiencing on an unconscious level, such as low self-esteem, fear, rage, etc.

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are effective in helping the oncology patient in many ways, from pain reduction to increasing quality of life. Research and clinical experience show that the increased use of hypnosis and self-hypnosis in cancer treatment can reduce risks and negative side effects, enhance and accelerate treatment goals, and save money for the patient and the health system.

Additional Resources
Testimonials

“My oncologist on a recent visit, stated that had I not both the physical and emotional strength that I now do, I would possibly not be here now. I know that the emotional strength that I now have is in a great part thanks to the support of Simcha.”

I was first introduced to Simcha around 8 months ago, some three years post my diagnosis with an inoperable slow-growing malignant brain tumour.

At this time I was just at the early stages of treatment, having completed six weeks of radiotherapy and with six months of chemotherapy about to start.

Having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and a brain tumour, I was at a particularly low point emotionally, and had no formal outlet or support. This was having an impact on my relationships with close family – I was distressed, angry, scared, angry, and totally lacking the self-confidence needed to make even the smallest of decisions. 

Having spent my working career in very demanding roles, I was used to being described as a “Wonder Woman”, perceived as being skilled at juggling all aspects of personal and professional life – being totally in control.

The new elements of my life over which I had no control and could only have faith – in the medical professionals and in the greater power – was an extremely frightening time for me and one which I do not feel I would have managed without the support, techniques and memories I explored with Simcha.

Through weekly meetings we discussed my feelings, my use of language and my inability to say no – my constant “pleaser” stance.
I was encouraged to think before speaking and not to just throw out words designed to satisfy the audience, but to be honest both with myself and others. “I think” became “I am” or “I will”, and as a result I became more confident inside.

I explored some previous destructive relationships and behaviours and learned to either commit them to the past, or to manage them in a way that made me more comfortable, using more meaningful words. I tackled the relationship with my mother which had been eating away at me probably since childhood, something which I had been unable to do until I spent the time with Simcha. It enabled us to move to a different point in our relationship and for me to re-manage my expectations of her and of our relationship.

I now know that it’s okay to have “down days”, and that the world doesn’t need another Wonder Woman! I am happy with who I am and what I am and the balance in my life is the best it has ever been.

I can say “no” now without feeling guilty – and mean it and follow it through, without offering an explanation.

Simcha also helped me significantly with pain management. At the time I was taking a cocktail of drugs every day, and was literally counting the hours until my next dose. Simcha introduced me to techniques whereby, through visualisation and retrieving control of my life, I was able to overcome some of the pain and to disallow it to control me. I still practice this technique to help manage my pain. 

I was in a very different place, and felt like a very different person, when I first met Simcha. I had, by that time, made a new circle of friends here in Israel, and been far more open with a small group of them, but I had also received the news that the tumour was growing and medical intervention would be needed. 

My initial diagnosis took place whilst we were living in the UK and I made a conscious decision at that stage not to share this diagnosis with anybody outside of limited extended family. I was working full time in a high pressured role, I was mostly asymptomatic and felt that I could cope well without needing to share any further.

Since my diagnosis I had never self-pitied, nor asked “why me”, but I suddenly felt that I had somehow caused these conditions due to my adolescent behaviour, and, through intense sessions with Simcha, I was able to make peace with my mother, my daughters and husband, and most importantly, with myself. 

I learned with Simcha, how to control some of my emotions, how to use (and not to use) certain expressions which could either self-damage or allow me to hide my true feelings, and some techniques for relaxation and personal review of myself. It was at times painful, and I frustrated both myself and I’m sure Simcha too, but he was both patient and dogmatic, not allowing me to hide behind untrue euphemisms. 

Simcha also showed true chesed by visiting me,along with his wife, unexpectedly during one of my stays in hospital. He brought his guitar and sang some uplifting tunes as well as some prayers. This kind act helped me to redevelop some of my self-confidence and positivity, which I know is so important to maintaining strength during medical procedures. 

As I now need to meet with Simcha less regularly, we still maintain telephone contact, and I know that he will be available to meet again if I feel that this may help. 

I am writing this testimony for Simcha to use as he sees fit, and would simply ask that he doesn’t use my full name or exact location in Israel to allow my husband and children some degree of anonymity. 

I know that the “matching” of supporters and patients can be a difficult and inexact science but I am glad that I was referred to Simcha and thank him for supporting me and indirectly my family, from the bottom of my heart.

My oncologist on a recent visit, stated that had I not both the physical and emotional strength that I now do, I would possibly not be here now. I know that the emotional strength that I now have is in a great part thanks to the support of Simcha.

May 24, 2017

All endorsements and testimonials reflect the experiences of those who wrote them.

Some couples just need a “tune up”, better communication, more passion, etc.

Other couples need a way of getting out of depression, anger, disappointment or hell and want to find joy, love, partnership, and intimate friendship in their lives again.

 

Almost all of my clients and patients see improvement within a couple of sessions. In fact I tell all of my new and prospective clients and patients that they will know within two meetings if I am the right therapist for them.

Of course specific results cannot be guaranteed, and vary from client/patient to client/patient. Motivation and positive participation, as well as suggested homework are required of the patient. The work is a partnership between therapist and client/patient.

I want to give my patients the best treatment I can, and create the best treatment strategy for each patient. To do this, it is important for me to have the necessary information regarding their condition, medical history, and past and concurrent treatment, with other health professionals. I, therefore, request consultation with my patients’ medical doctors, when I treat them for medical or psychiatric diagnoses, or at least a copy of their medical report, so that I can offer the best services possible.              

At times hypnosis or another modality of therapy is not recommended or appropriate for a particular client/patient. Whether hypnosis or another modality is utilized in the treatment of my client/patient is determined after consultation and evaluation of the client/patient, the specific issues presented the preference of the client/patient, and the client/patient’s medical history.

Regarding hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy and hypnosis are usually very good treatment interventions. However, hypnosis is contraindicated under certain circumstances. For example, hypnosis is usually contraindicated for individuals who suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, such as psychoses and schizophrenia.

A proper diagnosis and evaluation of each client/patient must be made before hypnosis is utilized. It is only at the request of the client/patient and at the evaluation and discretion of Dr. Sheldon that hypnosis will be utilized.

Often Dr. Sheldon consults with other physicians treating his client/patient as part of the evaluation and the creation of the proper treatment strategies, as well as to ensure that there is safety, harmony, coordination and consistency among the health professionals treating the client/patient and the treatment modalities utilized. Dr. Sheldon will also ask the client/patient to provide information regarding any medications or other drugs taken.

Regarding Testimonials and Endorsements: Of course what is written in testimonials and endorsements and professional recommendations represents the author’s experiences and opinions.

All of the above is for the well-being of the client/patient, and to make sure that all work is done with high ethical and professional standards, legally, effectively. I want to give excellent service and wants each of his clients/patients to be as successful as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact me.

DISCLAIMER:

Of course specific results cannot be guaranteed, and vary from client/patient to client/patient. Motivation and positive participation, as well as suggested homework are required of the patient. The work is a partnership between therapist and client/patient.

I want to give my patients the best treatment I can, and create the best treatment strategy for each patient. To do this, it is important for me to have the necessary information regarding their condition, medical history, and past and concurrent treatment, with other health professionals. I, therefore, request consultation with my patients’ medical doctors, when I treat them for medical or psychiatric diagnoses, or at least a copy of their medical report, so that I can offer the best services possible.              

At times hypnosis or another modality of therapy is not recommended or appropriate for a particular client/patient. Whether hypnosis or another modality is utilized in the treatment of my client/patient is determined after consultation and evaluation of the client/patient, the specific issues presented the preference of the client/patient, and the client/patient’s medical history.

Regarding hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy and hypnosis are usually very good treatment interventions. However, hypnosis is contraindicated under certain circumstances. For example, hypnosis is usually contraindicated for individuals who suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, such as psychoses and schizophrenia.

A proper diagnosis and evaluation of each client/patient must be made before hypnosis is utilized. It is only at the request of the client/patient and at the evaluation and discretion of Dr. Sheldon that hypnosis will be utilized.

Often Dr. Sheldon consults with other physicians treating his client/patient as part of the evaluation and the creation of the proper treatment strategies, as well as to ensure that there is safety, harmony, coordination and consistency among the health professionals treating the client/patient and the treatment modalities utilized. Dr. Sheldon will also ask the client/patient to provide information regarding any medications or other drugs taken.

Regarding Testimonials and Endorsements: Of course what is written in testimonials and endorsements and professional recommendations represents the author’s experiences and opinions.

All of the above is for the well-being of the client/patient, and to make sure that all work is done with high ethical and professional standards, legally, effectively. I want to give excellent service and wants each of his clients/patients to be as successful as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact me.