Cheryl Krauter, MFT, is a cancer survivor with over 35 years of experience as a depth-oriented Humanistic Existential psychotherapist whose personal experience with cancer brought her to this work.
She offers you a place to explore the uncertainty, isolation and insecurity that accompany a cancer diagnosis. Her intention is to help you discover a deeply personal awareness and understanding of how you have been altered by your experience of cancer. You have all the knowledge within you to understand and create your own healing, but sometimes you need guidance to help you find where you are and to support you in discovering where you want to go. You did not create your cancer. It is not your fault that you got the short straw. You can find the light of transformation in the darkness of your fears and sorrows.
Cheryl works with people who have been diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, their partners, family members, and caregivers. She is experienced with survivor care, living with cancer, and end of life issues.
She has published two books: Surviving the Storm: A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story (Oxford University Press 2017) and Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide and Workbook for Providing Wholehearted Care (Oxford University Press 2018).
Welcome to a place for cancer survivors
You’ve gotten the free and clear. Hurray, right? But no. You’re reeling, wondering what to do next….
You’re concerned about who you are now and how your life will unfold as you live with the joys, sorrows, and uncertainties of cancer survivorship. It’s common to feel lost in the often impersonal shuffle of post treatment.
You are not alone
I’m Cheryl Krauter. My own trek through breast cancer and my work as a psychotherapist in the cancer community gives me a personal understanding of the issues and concerns we face as cancer survivors.
How this site can help
I created this site to help you find your own, unique voice in the wilderness that is cancer survivorship. All too often the healing of the emotional distress of a cancer diagnosis is left out of post treatment survivor planning. On the Reflections page you will find a humanistic, contemplative perspective that offers support, information, and resources. Please post your comments to join in the dialogue, ask questions, and connect with others. Sign up on my email list to receive notification of new Reflections.
Books by Cheryl Krauter
Surviving the Storm: A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story introduces readers to a contemplative perspective and offers a pragmatic structure to help anyone touched by cancer—from the patient to the caregiver to the family—express their unique story of surviving or living with cancer.
Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide and Workbook for Providing Wholehearted Care is a clinical resource for healthcare practitioners that presents person-centered care as an antidote to the distress both patients and clinicians face in cancer survivorship.
Both books are available to order below.
Currently there is a crisis occurring in healthcare involving clinician burnout, emotional exhaustion, lack of inspiration, and loss of personal meaning. For clinicians caring for cancer survivors, these feelings are aggravated by facing the largely unknown realm of survivorship and the issues it brings to patients and clinicians alike.
As the number of cancer survivors grows, psychosocial oncology clinicians are increasingly called upon to work with the long-term aftermath of a cancer diagnosis, which requires the capacity to address the emotional and psychosocial issues that are not part of a traditional medical education. Clinicians have plenty of textbooks, but fewer hands-on, interactive guides that teach these kinds of experiential lessons that can be used in their day-to-day work lives. This accessible workbook offers a way to think about these important ideas while providing a structure to implement humanistic clinical practices. Clinical skills, communication tools, empathy as a learned capacity, cultural humility, reflective and mindful exercises designed to increase relationship skills-all of these depend upon this mode of experiential learning, as it teaches useful practices and solutions in order to increase the efficacy and satisfaction of clinical work with cancer survivors and their communities.
Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide and Workbook for Providing Wholehearted Care is a clinical resource for healthcare practitioners that presents person-centered care as an antidote to the distress both patients and clinicians face in cancer survivorship. It addresses questions of how to bring a humanistic approach and quality attention to the growing needs of patients in the post-treatment phase of a cancer diagnosis. As a workbook, it’s both a guide and an applicable resource for daily clinical practice. It provides a needed structure for clinicians to help them reconnect with the meaningful aspects of their work.
Designed for busy psychosocial oncology clinicians who may feel disconnected but don’t fully understand why, this workbook addresses the need for a humanistic and pragmatic approach to the psychosocial issues that arise in their work with patients. Based on personal interviews with clinicians, written feedback from clinicians, and research describing the formidable demands facing professionals working in cancer healthcare, as well as the dangers of burnout, this is highly practical, interactive guide addresses the emotional and psychological concerns of both patient and clinician. This workbook will be a much-needed resource for humanizing cancer survivorship care.
The book is presented in two parts:
– Part I focuses on skillful means for providing humanistic patient care.
– Part II offers clinicians pragmatic structures and methods they can start using with patients right away, and provides a humanistic clinical framework that benefits them both personally and professionally.
Clinicians will gain:
– Clinical skills vital to forming healing clinical relationships:
– Communication tools to enhance effective collaboration, such as personal and professional boundaries, the essentials of a healing relationship, stages of the clinical interview, collegial collaboration.
– Exercises designed for personal reflection and the implementation of the abovementioned clinical skills and communication tools.
– Useful practices and solutions to increase the efficacy and satisfaction of their work.
Written from the perspective of a clinician-survivor, Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors is about the healing power of relationship for both patient and practitioner as they negotiate the complex world of cancer survivorship.
Surviving the Storm presents a humanistic psychological perspective on how to support cancer survivors by offering an individualized narrative structure designed to help them tell their stories. This is a book for people who need to tell the story of how they’ve been touched by cancer. It doesn’t tell what to eat, or how much to exercise, or what to think and feel. Instead, it introduces a contemplative perspective and gives readers a pragmatic structure to help them tell their unique story of surviving or living with cancer. It helps them discover their authentic voice, giving them a way to speak in their own words. Workbook sections are the core of this book and offer a narrative structure created for patients, partners, families, and friends with an emphasis on the different needs and questions of each group.
This book focuses on the whole person, their potential, and their natural drive toward authenticity. A contemplative perspective emphasizes shared human needs such as love, belonging, and personal meaning, and expands beyond the learning-based behavioral and psychosocial resources that are currently available to cancer patients and their families. The book provides options that differ from the support group and medical models of treatment, opening up an alternative to the mode of managing or tolerating the issues of cancer into the realm of awareness, exploration, acceptance, and transformation. While it is tempting to find solutions and try to” there is much to be gained from learning how to live with uncertainty and from delving more deeply into the emotional residue of cancer.
Included are definitions of the different phases of cancer survivorship, material that gives survivors a viewpoint that normalizes the challenges they face, and current research and literature. Personal stories of cancer survivors are highlighted, and poetry and writings related to cancer are interspersed throughout the book to make it more personal.
Please explore the site for other resources, and to share your story. Thank you for visiting Cancer Survivor Support.
Cheryl’s private practice is in Albany and San Francisco.