Written by Lieve Vanschoubroek, Michaela Sieh and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated February 8, 2017

Simonton Method

Is it safe?

No data on adverse effects, contraindications and safety of the Simonton method as a combination of mind-body modalities can be found. Concerning the different elements of the Simonton method (cognitive-behavioural therapy, relaxation, guided imagery, mindfulness-based meditation), it can be said that each of them used separately has a good safety record as part of supportive cancer care.

Adverse events

None known.


None known.


In general, people with a condition of a psychological dysfunctional nature could be potentially disqualified from receiving standard counselling for cancer.


The Simonton method is sometimes recommended as an alternative to conventional cancer care.

Dr. Simonton pointed to the possible risks of counselling practices that do not take into account the patient’s existing coping mechanisms. He did not elaborate on what the detrimental effects of the counselling program had been on some of the patients enrolled in the trial.


Lieve Vanschoubroek, Michaela Sieh , CAM-Cancer Consortium. Simonton Method [online document]. http://cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Mind-body-interventions/Simonton-Method. February 8, 2017.

Document history

Assessed as up to date in February 2017 by Barbara Wider.
Assessed as up to date in January 2015 by Barbara Wider.
Summary first published in September 2012, authored by Lieve Vanschoubroek and Michaela Sieh.


  1. Mary Lou Klisch, R.N., M.S.N., The Simonton Method of visualisation: nursing implications and a patient's perspective. Cancer Nursing 3:295-300, 1980.
  2. Simonton OC, Matthews-Simonton S, Sparks TF. Psychological intervention in the treatment of cancer. Psychosomatics 21:226-233, 1980.
  3. Simonton OC, Matthews-Simonton S. Cancer and stress: counselling the cancer patient. Med J Aust 1: 679, 682-683, 1980.
  4. Simonton OC, Matthews-Simonton S, Creighton JL. Getting Well Again - A Step-by-Step, Self-Help-Guide to Overcoming Cancer for Patients and Their Families. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing; 1992.
  5. Simonton OC, Hampton B, Henson R. The Healing Journey. Authors Choice Press; 1992.