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A New Approach

Wellness psychiatry is a new approach that brings clients into contact with their own innate wellness and our natural tendency for healing. The focus is on what is right with us and building on our strengths rather than only being absorbed with what is wrong.

Get to Know Us

Aleksandra Wirga, MD and Mariusz Wirga, MD are married physicians who are highly-skilled and compassionate. As residents in pathology, studying the biology and immunology of cancer, they realized that while all medical diagnosis and treatment was focused on addressing physical aspects of the disease, patients and families were also experiencing significant emotional distress. In 1988, they decided to apply their earlier study of mind-body medicine and psychoneuroimmunology to the establishment of a psycho-oncology intervention program in their native Poland, eventually delivering help to over 600 patients and their family members. Inspired by the work of Dr. O. Carl Simonton, a radiation oncologist and the pioneer of psycho-oncology, the Wirgas soon achieved impressive results with their patients and quickly became recognized experts in the field.

After coming to the United States in 1993, they trained with some of the world leaders in cognitive-behavior therapy and honed their skills and practice. Both are Board Certified Psychiatrists and in 2003 they moved to Long Beach, California. Aleksandra has a private psychiatric practice (http://awirga.com) which Mariusz recently joined. Mariusz also serves as the Medical Director of PsychoSocial Oncology at the Todd Cancer Institute of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, he is also on the Board of Advisors for the National Association of Cognitive-Behavior Therapists and served as the Medical Director of the Simonton Cancer Center after Dr. Simonton’s death. Since 2004, Mariusz and Aleksandra run Beat the Odds® – A Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Program in Long Beach, a course consisting of 10 classes teaching how to effectively deal with different aspects of cancer and its treatment. Mariusz and Aleksandra lecture and teach workshops in cognitive-behavioral medicine and psycho-oncology internationally.