Deanne Brown

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  • CAMFT's 2024 Annual Conference
    May 3 - 4, 2024 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott


Deanne Brown, LMFT
Deanne Brown

Deanne Brown is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She has her own private practice in Southern California helping people navigate the stress and uncertainty that can come with major life transitions such as relationship change, a new job, mid-life, loss and major illnesses such as cancer. As a cancer survivor herself, Deanne helps individuals navigate the anxiety, depression, exhaustion, isolation, and existential angst a person may feel when facing a cancer diagnosis. Deanne is also a writer. She has written for Kris Carr’s Home of the Crazy Sexy Wellness Revolution for cancer survivors and Esteem Yourself E-Magazine which gives women tools to build self-esteem, confidence & self-worth. You can find her most recent book Not Now, Cancer, I’m Busy on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Deanne has also made television appearances on The Dr. Phil Show, The Great School Debate, and CBS’s, The Talk, discussing her unique philosophy on education and raising happier humans. Deanne is the mother of three young adults. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, taking long walks on the beach, and playing guitar in her all-mom rock band.

Coping with Cancer: Addressing the Unique Needs of Young and Middle Adult Cancer Survivors
Saturday | May 4, 2024
1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
(1.5 CEs)

Workshop Description:

More than a million people below 50 die of cancer annually, according to a study which projects another 21 percent rise by 2030. While once an anomaly, cancer is now a leading cause of death among people under 50, and there is no evidence of slowing down. A cancer diagnosis at any age is traumatic, but 18- to 49-year-olds, young and middle adults (YMAs)—are particularly unprepared. YMA’s carry a unique set of challenges compared to children and older adults. Cancers more frequently go undiagnosed, clinical trials are rare, balancing cancer treatments with family and career is a dizzying hire-wire act, then add fears of communicating diagnosis with loved ones, chemo brain and fatigue, hair loss, body image and scars, pain, infertility, bankruptcy, fear of cancer recurrence and the possibility of death. Anxiety, depression, exhaustion, hopelessness and feeling isolated and misunderstood can sap one’s mental and physical health – and therefore the reserves of strength for the fight of their lives. Unfortunately, providers are also often unprepared to assist this population. Resources for mental health professionals treating clients diagnosed with cancer are scarce and not typically addressed in graduate school or professional trainings. This creates a dangerous gap in understanding how to treat this population effectively. Given the rising rates of cancer for this population, it is unlikely a question of if a clinician will treat a cancer survivor, but when and how often.

As a profession committed to empowering individuals to improve their mental and emotional well-being and offer healthy coping mechanisms, understanding the unique needs of this group, and how to treat them, is critical. This workshop will offer the latest research on the trauma of cancer, the mind-body connection, and the most effective treatment interventions including but not limited to emotion-focused coping skills, existential therapy, ACT, mindfulness practices and the expressive arts with the ultimate purpose of helping the client create and sustain a fighting spirit, build a social support network, gain resilience, cultivate post traumatic growth and reclaim one’s power, creativity, meaning, and life purpose. The workshop will also include case examples as well as personal stories from presenter’s experience, and insights from other young cancer survivors collected in presenter’s research. The instructional approach used in this workshop will include a lecture/presentation format aided by PowerPoint slides, video clips, hand-outs, and references. Participant discussion will be encouraged throughout the presentation and an opportunity for questions will be held at the end of the presentation.


Learning Objectives:

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Conceptualize cancer as trauma and identify 5 challenges unique to early and middle adult cancer survivors.
  •  Acknowledge the cutting-edge research on the mind-body connection, chronic stress, and coping mechanisms.
  • Identify 3 of the most effective treatment interventions used to help cancer survivors create and sustain a fighting spirit, build a social support network, gain resilience, and cultivate post traumatic growth.

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