Sixty cancer chemotherapy patients were randomly assigned to one of four treatments: (a) relaxation training with guided relaxation imagery (RT), (b) general coping preparation package (PREP), (c) both RT and PREP, or (d) routine clinic treatment only. All patients were assessed on self-report, nurse observation, family observation, and physiological measures and were followed for five sequential chemotherapy treatments. Results indicate that the PREP intervention increased patients' knowledge of the disease and its treatment, reduced anticipatory side effects, reduced negative affect, and improved general coping. RT patients showed some decrease in negative affect and vomiting, but not as great as in past studies. The data suggest that a relatively simple, one-session coping preparation intervention can reduce many different types of distress associated with cancer chemotherapy and may be more effective than often-used behavioral relaxation procedures.