BRCA Research Project

Could Integrative Psychotherapy be useful to BRCA gene mutation carriers?


This research study explored the actual lived experience of thirty BRCA mutation carriers, regarding their emotional support. It aimed to establish whether integrative psychotherapy could be useful to BRCA mutation carriers.

The study employed a qualitative design in the form of an online questionnaire. Thematic analysis revealed six main themes. A key finding identified that more than half of the participants suggested they received ‘hardly any’ emotional support and that talking therapies would have been useful.


Participants comments included:

“I would have liked to have been put straight in touch with a counsellor or someone who would sit and have a few one to one's with me when I found out, so that I didn't feel like I was being swallowed into a big black hole”. (ID 29)

“Counselling after surgery would have been very useful, as none was given at all and I was just left to deal with all the emotions that came after surgery. Not even the nurses on the ward were very nice with comments that were given such as "wish I could have a boob job”. (ID 28)

“I don't think there is enough counselling offered at all to deal with the impact psychologically, following surgeries”. (ID 2)


This study introduces a BRCA six-stage integrative psychotherapy intervention to emotionally support BRCA mutation carriers throughout each stage of the BRCA journey.