Integrative Psycho-Oncology Program (IPOP) at Life with Cancer

Managing cancer is hard.  Strong, difficult feelings are normal and are part of everyday life. And, strong feelings are certainly part of a life lived with cancer.  The Integrative Psycho-Oncology Program (IPOP) focuses on the connection between mind, body, and spirit as a way to help you handle those feelings.

There are four courses in the IPOP program, all offered to anyone impacted by cancer free of charge.

1) Mind over Matter (5 weeks)
2) Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (7 weeks)
3) Compassion Cultivation Training (8 weeks)
4) Meaning Centered Psychotherapy Group (8 weeks)

We highly recommend taking the courses in this order.  For the latest offerings, please see our Events calendar.

Mind Over Matter

This 5-week class gives you specific tips and tools to deal with the fears, worries, and sadness that can come with a cancer diagnosis.  You will learn new tools each week, so please plan to attend for all five weeks.  Participants are expected to actively participate in exercises and group discussions.


Week 1: The Mind-Body Connection
Learn about the connection between our thoughts, feelings, and body, including relaxation strategies to combat cancer-related stress.

Week 2: Our Values
Explore how we can make choices aligned with what is most important to us.

Week 3: Reframing
Learn how to use our personal strengths to gain a new perspective on challenging situations.

Week 4: Power of the Pause
Learn how to intentionally stop and pause during times of stress.

Week 5: Making a Plan
Create a plan for managing tough situations using all the new skills in your toolbox.


After finishing Mind Over Matter, you can join monthly drop-in sessions with other past participants.  Each month, we review tools and keep the concepts from Mind Over Matter fresh in your mind.

Learn more about our research program on Mind Over Matter for Black & African American Women.

If you are a mental health provider interested in offering Mind Over Matter at your institution, click to learn more about our Facilitator Training Program.


Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR)

Interested in taking a closer look at mindfulness and meditation? Following Mind Over Matter, over seven weeks, learn different meditation practices and explore how mindfulness can help you deal with the stress of a cancer diagnosis.  Weekly attendance, home practice, and reading assignments are important parts of this course.  Please get a copy of the book Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery by Carlson & Speca before the first class (or contact the IPOP Coordinator for assistance if this is a financial strain for you).

Once you have completed MBCR, you will have access to additional resources and events:

  • A half-day silent meditation retreat is offered twice a year
  • Monthly drop-in sessions with other past participants to continue your meditation practice.
  • Option to receive a monthly MBCR e-newsletter with a message from LWC IPOP staff, continued education, special upcoming events and resources.

Compassion Cultivation Training

Over this 8-week series, you will learn practices to support your health, increase self-compassion and self-care, and enhance connections with others. This program was developed at Center for Compassion and Altruism Research at Stanford and is open to people who have completed Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery.

Meaning Centered Psychotherapy Group

This 8-week series is designed to help patients foster a sense of meaning, peace, and purpose in their lives.  The program was developed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and  is open to people who have completed Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery.


Have more questions?  Contact the IPOP Coordinator, Kim Lowery Walker at or call 703-206-5433.