Leading Supportive-Expressive Group Therapy for People with Cancer

A DVD series by Dr. David Spiegel

This important four-part series features Dr. David Spiegel, the pioneering therapist, author and Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The series illustrates the principles and techniques of Supportive- Expressive Group Therapy and enables viewers to see firsthand how a master applies this therapeutic method in actual sessions with the terminally ill - in this case women with breast cancer. The tapes emphasize group therapy techniques for the medically ill and their families, an often isolated patient population with unique and identifiable needs. The series is specifically designed to assist psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, MFTs, clinical social workers, PNPs, nurses and other mental health professionals who work with the medically ill.

Dr. Spiegel guides viewers through the therapeutic approaches and techniques he has developed over his distinguished career. Scenes of actual group sessions alternate with commentary by Dr. Spiegel, who explains his techniques and analyzes the crucial moments and outcomes depicted in the sessions.

Part 1: The Process of Forming a Support Group and Detoxifying Death

This video shows how to build mutual support in a group and establish an atmosphere in which people can be direct, open, expressive of emotion, and non-defensive. It then illustrates how to help patients deal better with their fears about dying and death by addressing them openly and directly. In particularly powerful segment Dr. Spiegel articulates a life-affirming philosophy in response to a woman contemplating suicide. ($150 each)

Part 2: The Process of Forming a Support Group and Detoxifying Death

Dr. Spiegel demonstrates how the proximity of death can be a creative occasion for patients to reassess their life priorities and make decisions about what to do with their lives. Then he works with patients to enable them to interact and communicate better with their families. ($150 each)

Part 3: Dealing with Doctors and Controlling Pain through Self-Hypnosis

Dr. Spiegel works with patients to enable them to deal more effectively with doctors and other health care professionals. Dr. Spiegel is noted for his simple methods of self-hypnosis, and in the second segment he demonstrates some of them with group members to help them manage pain. ($150 each)

Part 4: A Model Session

This video records a rich and complex session that demonstrates the principles of Supportive-Expressive Group Therapy and exemplary techniques of group therapy in general. The session focuses on patients' fears of death and dying and their hopes for the limited lifetimes left to them. Includes an intruduction and summary conclusion by Dr. Spiegel. ($175 each)

Order Information

Please call (650)725-5706 or email Victoria Castro if you have questions or if you would like order these DVDs.


"These videos are excellent guides, not only for mental heaIth care professionals who want to learn how to run Supportive-Expressive groups, but also for all health care professionals who are interested in the psychosocial aspects of serious medical illness. The segments on dealing with doctors and detoxifying death should be required viewing for all who work with oncology patients. David Spiegel is a wonderful teacher and therapist, I highly recommend the whole series."

-Dr. Susan M. Love, Dir., Revlon/UCLA Breast Center


"These videos combine clear instructions for group leaders with vividly real examples selected from group therapy. They will be extremely useful in training psychotherapists for work in difficult but highly advantageous circumstances." 

-Dr. Mardi Horowitz, Professor of Psychiatry, Langley Porter Center, UC San Francisco