Psychotherapy by telephone. A therapeutic tool for cancer patients

Psychosomatics. Fall 1991;32(4):407-12. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(91)72042-2.


Medically ill patients who cannot come to the psychotherapist's office on a regular basis frequently are encountered in consultation-liaison settings. For these individuals the telephone becomes the only link to psychological counseling. The two cases presented in this article of successful telephone therapy with cancer patients exemplify and highlight the effect of this mode of interaction on the therapeutic process and relationship. Telephone communication also differs from face-to-face interaction in areas of therapist-patient accessibility, control, formality, and anonymity, which make it an especially effective psychotherapeutic tool for the medically ill patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology
  • Adjustment Disorders / therapy
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Support
  • Telephone*
  • Terminal Care / psychology*