CSC-RB: A Safe Venue for Cancer Patients and their Families

The following was written by Ruth Schriebman, PsyD, MFT, a long-time group facilitator at CSC-RB.

First I must say that working at the Cancer Support Community is an honor and pleasure. I work with a group of dedicated professionals all who care about the well being of the cancer patients and their loved ones. I began my career at the CSC as an intern co-facilitating groups. Now 14 years later I have earned my doctorate in psychology. During this time I have learned so much about the group process. I have facilitated cancer patient groups as well as the family caregiver groups. Each is so different yet so similar. Whether one is the patient or caregiver, each has feelings regarding the treatment and the emotional aspects dealing with the cancer journey. The group provides a safe venue for one to express one’s self and to hear what others are going through.

The participants all agree that being in group is the one place where everyone “gets it”. “Friends and love ones are supportive, but unless you are going through the process or have been there, you don’t understand.”

For the past six months I have been the intern supervisor. We meet and discuss the individual clients the interns see privately. We offer one-on-one private counseling in addition to the two hour support groups. The interns are supervised by a licensed therapist and are given training as to how to work with clients. During intern supervision, we help each other regarding questions about the therapeutic process and how to handle situations that may arise. The focus of the individual therapy is in regards to cancer and how it is impacting one’s life.

For 26 years, we at CSC have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to facilitate groups in such a beautiful atmosphere on the Redondo Beach Pier and to meet the wonderful participants that come through our doors.

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