Sexual Wellness Enhancement and Enrichment Training Program (SWEET)
Several types of cancer and cancer treatments can negatively impact intimacy and sexual wellness. Across sites, estimates of sexual dysfunction after various cancer treatments have ranged from 40% to 100%. There may be changes in body image, desire levels, and/or physical ability (Rossen, Pedersen, Zachariae, & von der Maase, 2012). It sometimes becomes difficult to communicate these changes to one’s partner or explore new avenues toward intimacy. Unfortunately, many health care providers do not address the issues of sex and intimacy with their patients (Olsson, Berglund, Larsson, & Athlin, 2012).
The Sexual Wellness Enhancement and Enrichment Training Program (SWEET) builds upon the Mind-Body Skills Group model developed by Dr. James Gordon and The Center of Mind-Body Medicine, a program that has already shown great promise as an adjunctive therapy for cancer survivors through combining research-based healing modalities, including conscious breathing, mindfulness meditation, mindful eating, movement exercises, autogenics and biofeedback.
The Absenger Cancer Education Foundation SWEETs further tailors this program to incorporate targeted sexuality education for cancer survivors and their partners into the didactic portions of the group sessions and themes of intimacy into integrative, experiential mind-body-spirit exercises. The supportive group environment helps to deliver the powerful message that no one is alone in her need for emotional and physical intimacy, nor in her challenge to balance this with treatment and survivorship.
8-Week SWEET’s Program Starts in January
Please join Alexzandria Baker and the Absenger Cancer Education Foundation for an upcoming 8-week SWEETs program. Together, let us explore the world of relationships, intimacy, and holistic sexual wellness and what that might look like for you and your partner. Learn evidence-based stress-reduction techniques that will also help boost your immune system, increase self-awareness, improve coping skills, and potentially reduce some of the physical symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment.
Olsson, C., Berglund, A.-L., Larsson, M., & Athlin, E. (2012). Patient’s sexuality – A neglected area of cancer nursing? European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16(4), 426–431. doi:10.1016/j.ejon.2011.10.003
Rossen, P., Pedersen, A. F., Zachariae, R., & von der Maase, H. (2012). Sexuality and body image in long-term survivors of testicular cancer. European Journal of Cancer, 48(4), 571–578. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2011.11.029