Need support for yourself or a loved one? The Cope Well Foundation is here to help. We’re dedicated to providing our members with programs that will help them overcome the emotional challenges of cancer survivorship through positive coping and uniting the cancer communities into one unified support team to bring awareness to ALL survivors of ALL cancer types.
Once an individual is diagnosed, their life will forever change. From the moment of their diagnoses, their own unique survivorship journey begins. Not only will they experience physical affects, but they’ll experience emotional affects as well. Although the emotional affects can also be life altering, they are often overlooked or ignored because so much attention is placed on the physical recovery from cancer and its long-term affects. Some survivors even think that because cancer is a physical disease, they shouldn’t have emotional challenges, nor should they need help dealing with those challenges. However, here at The Cope Well Foundation we know that’s not the case. We know that survivorship is about taking care of the whole person, including both physical and emotional health. Therefore, our foundation focuses on providing those affected by cancer with programs that will help them recognize, cope with and overcome the emotional challenges of cancer survivorship by creating positive coping outlets to help address and relieve the emotional stresses and pressures of survivorship, and to alleviate some of the financial burden that comes along with it.
The core principles of The Cope Well Foundation are, and will continue to be, inspired by the needs of cancer survivors and our members, and the challenges they face throughout their survivorship journey. It’s our members and the true difference that we’re making in their lives that is the driving force behind this foundation, and it is our ultimate goal to help our members ‘Cope Well to Live Well.’
We believe that from the moment one is diagnosed with cancer, the survivorship journey begins, so no matter what stage of the survivorship journey one’s in, our program is here to help. We also understand that although not diagnosed, the affects of cancer also have an emotional impact on those who support those in need. For that reason, our services are available to those individuals as well to show how grateful we are for their support and commitment.
Below you will find an overview of the Cope Well Survivor Support Member Program. Please review the program details and then visit our Become a Cope Well Member page to fill out the membership form if you are interested in applying for support through our program.
We thank you for your interest in The Cope Well Foundation, and we hope that we are able to help you effectively cope with the emotional affects of your survivorship journey.
Cope Well Survivor Support Program Overview
Cope Well Program Benefits
As a Cope Well Member, you will have access to the following program benefits:
Cope Well Program Levels
Because each of our members has their own unique set of survivorship needs, we created the different Cope Well Program Benefits & Program Levels to allow our members to participate in our program in a variety of ways. The goal is to give our members the freedom to create their own unique set of resources to help them ‘cope well’ during their survivorship journey.
Cope Well Counseling Plan
The Cope Well Counseling Plan is meant to serve as a coping outlet that gives our members the opportunity to recognize, and address and effectively cope with the emotional challenges of their cancer survivorship in order to enhance their overall well-being.
Cope Well Counseling is an essential part of our program and a key element that determines not only the success of our program, but the overall effectiveness and impact that we have on the lives of our members. Because our goal is to help our members truly cope with the emotional challenges of their cancer survivorship, we encourage our Cope Well Members who participate in Program Levels 1 or 2 to receive up to six Counseling Sessions from a Cope Well Certified Counselor or a Preferred Certified Counselor of their choice, although it’s not required.
Counseling Sessions through our Cope Well Counseling Plan may be with one of our Cope Well Certified Counselors (Counseling Plans 1 or 2), or with an outside Preferred Certified Counselor (Counseling Plans 3 or 4). A Cope Well Certified Counselors is a Counselor who has officially partnered with our foundation. A Preferred Certified Counselor is an outside Counselor who is not a partner of our foundation, but is an individual that our member feels comfortable working with.
Counseling Plan 5 is for members who have already received previous counseling relating to their survivorship, or who do not want to receive Counseling Sessions at this time but still want to participate in our program. Receiving previous Counseling Sessions outside of our program does not make you ineligible to receive additional Counseling Sessions through our program if you need them.
Below you will find a list of the counselors that The Cope Well Foundation has partnered with and are currently available for you to work with through our Cope Well Counseling Plan. If you do not have your own Preferred Certified Counselor that you have worked with or would like to work with, you may choose one of the following counselors who will be your Cope Well Counselor during your participation in our program. If you do not have a preference in which Cope Well Counselor you work with, we will assign a counselor to you.
To schedule a visit with one of our counselors, please visit our Become a Cope Well Member page to fill out and submit the Cope Well Member Form. For questions regarding any of the counselors that we work with or for terms of our program, please contact us directly. Please do not attempt to contact any of the counselors directly if you wish to participate in our Cope Well Counseling Plan. All correspondence should be made through The Cope Well Foundation.
If you are a Certified Counselor and would like to partner with The Cope Well Foundation to become a Cope Well Counselor for our members, please visit our Become a Cope Well Partner page or contact us today!
Dr. Ken Carlson, PHD
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Dr. Lee Lipp, PHD
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Dr. David Lommen, PHD
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Dr. Malva Waters, PHD
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Dr. Marty Witucki, PHD
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Dr. Jonathan Whalen, PHD
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Dr. Brenda King, PHD
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Below you will find the Cope Well General Counseling Guide, which contains basic information regarding the general idea of counseling. This information is not intended, nor should it be interpreted as providing professional medical, financial or legal advice. This information is meant to be a general introduction to the topic of counseling and the type of counseling that may be available through The Cope Well Foundation’s Counseling Plan or through other outside programs. This information is based off of a collaboration of research on the general topic of counseling. The purpose is to provide you with a starting point to become more informed about important challenges that may be affecting your life as a cancer survivor, and to provide ideas about steps you can take to learn how to affectively cope with those challenges.
In this document and throughout this website, the terms counselor and counseling are used in a general way to refer to ANY type of professional counseling or therapy setting. Again, because there are many different forms of counseling, the following information is meant to serve as just a general guideline.
General Counseling Guide
How can a cancer survivor benefit from counseling?
Survivors are often faced with many different emotions and life changes during their survivorship journey. Although the emotional challenges of cancer survivorship can have a negative effect and lasting impact on a person's overall well-being, it is possible to counterbalance those effects and improve one’s overall well-being through counseling and positive coping. Working through emotional challenges is sometimes easier with the help of a professional counselor. A counselor will listen to you and help you understand the emotions that you’re feeling during your survivorship journey and will teach you how to effectively cope with those feelings.
Cancer, and the effects that come along with it, can create unique challenges for survivors and their loved ones. Some survivors may begin to wonder how to cope with challenges such as physical and emotional changes or concerns about practical issues, while others may just want to discuss their concerns with someone who is outside their circle of family and friends. There is not a specific point in time during the survivorship journey when survivors begin to encounter their own unique challenges. Sometimes, it’s at the time of diagnoses or during treatment, while other times the full impact of survivorship may not be felt until after treatment has been completed. Because each survivor and their experience are unique, the type of counseling, and the time at which they may need to receive it, will vary from one survivor to the next.
Sometimes, people dealing with cancer may feel that they do not have the time, money, energy, or need for counseling. Some survivors may even have concerns that seeing a counselor means that they are weak, mentally ill, or a failure at solving their own problems. However, talking with a counselor does not mean something is wrong with you or that you are a failure. Instead, talking with a counselor is often a sign that you are willing to take care of yourself and find healthy ways to respond to challenging situations. Talking about concerns, no matter how big or small, can help you cope with them more quickly and more effectively. Counseling can help survivors prevent, minimize, and respond in healthy ways to the expected and unexpected stressors that may occur during the experience of cancer survivorship
The following are just a few examples of concerns that could be addressed during your counseling sessions:
Is there a difference between counseling and therapy?
The terms "counseling" and "therapy" have different meanings, but are often used to describe the same activity. Both counseling and therapy involve talking with a trained professional, many of which are licensed by the state in which they work.
What types of counseling services are available?
Counseling is a service in which you receive guidance with emotional and practical concerns by talking with a knowledgeable and trained professional. The goal of counseling is to learn how to relieve and manage distress about any concern.
Although counseling may be provided in a variety of settings, The Cope Well Foundation currently offers the following counseling types:
What types of counseling professionals are available?
Many different professionals offer counseling services. Some of them may refer to themselves as "psychotherapists," "therapists," "counselors," or "mental health specialists." Although at The Cope Well Foundation we refer to our trained professionals by using the general term counselors, professionals who are trained and licensed in most states to provide counseling services can be referred to as any one of the following:
How can I find a counselor?Although The Cope Well Foundation offers select counseling services, there are a variety of different ways that you can find a counselor that is right for you.
If you are interested in working with a counselor, you may consider asking your health care team for recommendations. Many hospitals and clinics include social workers or other mental health specialists as part of their team, and sometimes offer select services without an extra fee. If your hospital or clinic cannot help you, you may also be referred to a private counselor in your community or to a local family service or nonprofit cancer organization such as The Cope Well Foundation.
You may also ask others for counselor referrals. Support groups are a good place to get referrals for counselors from other survivors. Some cancer organizations and counseling associations may also provide referrals and information about counselors in your area. If possible, ask for several referrals so you can interview the counselors and find the one who best meets your needs.
Regardless of where you find your counselor, look for a counselor who is experienced with cancer survivorship issues. If possible interview a few counselors before you choose one. Let the counselor know what you want to talk about and then ask if he or she can help you with those issues. If the counselor is not knowledgeable about your areas of concern, ask if you can be referred to someone who has this knowledge and experience.
What type of questions should I ask when selecting a counselor?
Whether you decide to pursue an individual counseling session or a group counseling session, be sure to interview your counselor and ask questions before your counseling session to help ensure that you will feel comfortable once you finally meet. You are making an investment of time, energy, and money when you see a counselor, so it’s okay to talk to a prospective counselor before scheduling an appointment to make sure that the counselor will be a good fit for you. Also, be sure to choose a counselor who you can get to easily and who has hours that work for your schedule. If counseling isn't convenient for you, it will be harder to go consistently. Below are a few questions or topics that you may consider addressing when selecting a counselor:
Working through problems may bring up a variety of emotions. It often requires a shift in how you think about situations. The counselor's job is to guide you through this process. The counseling process may take time, but it is likely to require much less time than if you had tried to do the work by yourself. You will find that the benefits are well worth the effort.
How much does counseling typically cost?
Although select counseling services are free through The Cope Well Foundation, counseling fees can be expensive and may vary from one counselor to the next. Therefore, it is important to ask about the cost when you initially speak with a counselor. You should also ask if any free or low-cost services are offered through that counselor. The information below is to be used only as a guideline.
Assistance with costs for counseling services may come from sources such as the following:
What type of concerns should I address when meeting with my counselor?
Regardless of the concerns that you want to address when meeting with your counselor, remember that a counselor will not solve your problems for you. However, he or she should be able to provide a safe and non-judgmentalenvironment where you can talk about your concerns. Your counselor should be able to guide you through a process of learning and finding solutions and ways to deal with challenges. The general goal for all counselors is toprovide support and guidance as you discover ways to understand and respond to your concerns, therefore you should decide ahead of time what you would like your counselor to help you with.
Because each cancer survivor will have their own unique set of concerns that they will want to address with their counselor, below are just a few examples that you may want to consider addressing when meeting with your counselor:
Addressing these types of concerns and working through your problems may bring up a variety of emotions, and it often requires a shift in how you think about situations. Again, your counselor's job is to guide you through the counseling process, which may take time, but it is likely to require much less time than if you had tried to do the work by yourself. If you take the time to be prepared and consider your needs before meeting with your counselor, you may find that the results of your counseling session may be more effective.
How do I know if my counselor is a good match for my needs?
In an individual counseling session, not every counselor is a good match. Even if a counselor has expert credentials, his or her personality or counseling approach may not fit your individual needs. Sometimes counselors and their clients have very different personalities and views on life. If you do not feel comfortable discussing your survivorship with your counselor, that might be a good sign that the counselor may not be a good fit for you, and it may be best to find another counselor. Some people are more comfortable finding support through a faith-based relationship with a spiritual leader such as a rabbi, pastor, priest or hospital chaplain. This may be a relationship that existed before the diagnosis or one that begins after. Although some may not have formal counseling licenses, they may still be experienced enough to provide support in matters that are of concern to you, and you may be most comfortable opening up to these individuals.
In a group counseling session, it is possible that the counselor may seem to be the right fit for you, but the group itself is not a good fit. If this happens, talk with the counselor to see if another group exists or if individual counseling might be more helpful.
Below are a few examples of questions that you should ask yourself to decide if the counseling relationship is working for you:
If you cannot comfortably talk with your counselor about your feelings, or if the counselor's responses to your questions are not helpful, you may want to find another counselor. Regardless of why you may or may not feel comfortable with your chosen counselor, finding the right counselor and getting the help you need is the ultimate goal, so select your counselor carefully.
You do not need to have a major crisis or concern in order to talk with a counselor. Counseling can help to make decisions, build self-esteem, and deal with stress. Even if you only have concerns about general daily challenges, you can benefit from talking with a counselor by clarifying and prioritizing needs or finding answers to a problem. Counseling is a healthy choice for people from any background or experience. When you want to findways to manage and understand your concerns, counseling can help.
As you continue your counseling, there should be an on-going evaluation of your counseling sessions. You can accomplish this by talking to your counselor about your progress. You have a right to ask questions and to receiveanswers to them.
You, the client, are always in charge of your counseling process, and you have the right to refuse what your counselor is offering you if you’re not satisfied. You have the right to change counselors and the type of counseling that you’re receiving.
(Sexual conduct and/or contact between therapist and client is NEVER acceptable conduct. Outside relationships such as business, friendship and socializing with your therapist are also not recommended because they create barriers to the therapeutic process.)
Institute of Medicine, National Research Counsel. Meeting psychosocial needs of women with breast cancer. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2004. Holland, Jimmie, ed. Psycho-Oncology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Cope Well Activity Support Plan
The Cope Well Activity Support Plan is meant to serve as another coping outlet that gives our members the option to get involved with their favorite activity as either a Participant or a Spectator. The Activity Support Plan provides our members with the chance to temporarily free their minds of their survivorship stresses and worries to help rejuvenate their emotional well-being. We will do our best to provide our members with a variety of activities to choose from by collaborating partnerships with our Cope Well Partners and through contributions made by our Cope Well Donors.
Below are a variety of activity types that may be offered in your area in which you may be able to participate. Please review the different activity types and determine if any of them fulfill your interests.
If you or a loved one could benefit from The Cope Well Foundation and the Cope Well Survivor Support Member Program, please visit the Become A Cope Well Member page to fill out and submit the Cope Well Member Form to apply for support through our program and to become an official Cope Well Member today! For questions or to make a suggestion regarding our program, please contact us directly. Thank you again for your interest in The Cope Well Foundation. We look forward to your participation in our program!
The Cope Well Foundation is applying for 501(c)(3) status according to federal guidelines. PO Box 12502 Grand Forks, North Dakota 58208 701.738.4897 Legal