Iris Mini: Preparing for an Iris Oncology Mental Health Therapist Visit

How to Prepare for Your Visit

  • Take a few moments to think about (and possibly write down) what is going well since your diagnosis/treatment and where you might need some extra support. Is there a particular change or concern that is taking up a lot of energy or is recurring in your thoughts?

  • Allow all your feelings. If mental health therapy is new for you, it is normal to feel anxious and wonder what to say or do. Don’t be afraid to voice these feelings to your therapist and the two of you can work together to explore your support needs and goals.

  • If it feels helpful, consider inviting your caregiver or close loved one to join you for the visit. While some topics may be better for a solo visit, others may lend themselves to a joint discussion. If your support person is not in the same location as you, message your therapist for a Zoom link to share.

Virtual Visit Tips

  • Find a quiet and private space where you will feel comfortable sharing personal information.

  • Choose a spot to sit with plenty of light and a sturdy, flat spot for your phone or laptop.

  • Silence mobile devices and consider using headphones / earbuds.

  • Consider having comfort items easily accessible such as water and tissues.

  • Feel free to bring a notebook and take notes during your visit. Sometimes having notes can help you better process and remember what was discussed.

What to Expect During Your Visit

  • Our priority is to get to know you and learn how we can best support you as you navigate cancer.

  • In your first visit, your therapist may ask you about how you’ve coped with your cancer, as well as your strengths, support system, mental health history, and other factors that impact your emotional wellbeing. While there will be more background gathering in this first visit than in follow-ups, this information will help the therapist to better understand your specific concerns and strengths and how best to assist you.

  • You will work together to define goals for your mental healthcare which may include length of treatment, priority topics, and additional resources.

What to Expect After Your Visit

  • After each visit you will receive an in-app Iris message from your therapist with a summary of your visit including any resources that were discussed and between-visit tasks. Reflect upon the goals of the session and any take-away or action items.

  • Talking about how you are coping with your cancer can bring up a range of feelings. Give yourself permission to care for yourself in whatever way feels best to you. Some people find it soothing to have reflective time or take some deep breaths after a session, while others find distraction, getting outside, physical movement, or talking with a loved one helpful as they transition to the rest of their day.

  • Please reach out to your therapist using Iris messaging for additional support or questions as needed prior to your next scheduled visit.