eISSN: 1644-4116
ISSN: 1429-8538
Psychoonkologia
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4/2015
vol. 19
 
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abstract:
Review paper

Speaking the unspeakable – the use of the Scenotest in the work with a 7-year-old patient with acute lymphoblastic leukemia relapse in the pediatric oncology unit

Marta Rusek

Psychoonkologia 2015, 4: 161–168
Online publish date: 2016/03/10
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One of the most essential experiences while working with cancer children is the existential fear of death and dying. It becomes particularly strong when patient and his family face a diagnosis or deterioration of child’s health. Sometimes it is possible to speak about the fear but in most of the cases it remains unspoken, noticeable only in patient’s activities or plays. Suppressed fear can enhance the feeling of isolation and emotional suffering. There is no best way of speaking with pediatric patients about death. Child can give us discreet hints of his fear but the question remains: are adults – doctors, nurses and psychologist – ready to hear about dying? Certainly, adults do not accept children’s death easily.

In this case study, we consider the existential aspects of cancer and discuss the use of projective techniques in work with pediatric cancer patients. The study illustrates how the tools like Sceno-test can capture patients’ inner experience when words and other measures are not able to.
keywords:

leukemia, Sceno-test, projective techniques, fear of death

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