Cancer Support and Education Self-Help Manual and Workbook (PDF download)
Used at the historic Cancer Support and Education Center
This manual was an important part of the program taught (and experienced) at the Cancer Support and Education Center – the second cancer support group center in the world, and the first offering training for health and helping professionals. An overview of the course and interviews with former cancer survivors who took the training can be found on Confronting Cancer – Facing, Embracing, and Thriving.
This manual/workbook follows the guidance presented on these two videos and is designed to provide you with practical tools to assist you in applying effective tools of Mind-Body Medicine.
The Chapters of the Manual are as follows:
- Mental Imagery Techniques
- Criteria For Effective Mental Imagery
- The Role of Stress in Illness
- Participating In Your Health
- Assuming Responsibility For Your Recovery Program
- Psycho Kinetic
- The Secondary Gains (Benefits) of Illness
- Beliefs, Expectancy & Self Image
- Early Life Decisions
- Family Sculpture
- Developing an Internal Guidance System
- Exploring Beliefs about Death and Dying
- Establishing Goals
- Using Mental Imagery to Reinforce Goals
- Review of Mental Imagery
- Letting Go of Stress
- Recognition of Individual Emotional Realities
- Active Listening
- Congruent Sending
This course is designed for self-help. The degree to which this course will be able to assist you is substantially dependent on your willingness to work hard and enthusiastically utilizing the concepts and techniques taught in the course. In particular, you will be taught a visualizing technique that you will be asked to practice three times a day, once before breakfast, once at noon, and once before you go to bed. Each practice session is approximately 15 minutes. In addition, you will be asked to keep track of your imagery and evaluate it so that you create a positive expectancy of health. It is essential to your success in this course that you establish a discipline of utilizing the visualization technique three times a day. Your visualization communicates your beliefs as to the outcome of your cancer, and, as you will be learning in this course, your beliefs significantly contribute to your health.
- Cancer patients and their support system
Although there are really no absolute contraindications for the use of this product, people who are severely psychotic or who do not want to at least try to follow the guidance offered will probably benefit little from listening. Listening is also not a substitute for needed medical care or psychiatric care for serious mental or emotional disturbance. In any undiagnosed potentially serious condition such as a head injury, again, there will not likely be any harm, but it would be wise to delay their use until an adequate diagnosis has been made.
Although no such problems have been reported, people with seizures of any kind, neurological, or severe neurorespiratory disease, should check with their primary care practitioner for suggestions regarding the use of this program. Likewise, if you are undergoing psychotherapy, share your use of these with your therapist, as he/she may want to integrate this use with your treatment.
And, of course, if you are driving or using equipment that requires your full attention, do not close your eyes and do not listen to any program that you find causes you to become drowsy, distracted, or incapable of functioning safely. Programs designated as “Drivetime” should be used with these precautions in mind.
The program involved a commitment of more than 60 hours of group work during which participants were taught concrete skills. They learned how to release their feelings about their illness and to live more effectively. Much of the staff was composed of ex-patients who were not cancer victims, but cancer victors, people who were far along in their own recovery program, or who had conquered cancer entirely.
You learned techniques to work with your medical treatments as an ally, to enhance its effectiveness, and discovered how to get in touch with your inner authority to choose the correct treatment options. Through the experiences here, you learned how to turn hopelessness and helplessness into a strong will to live and to be empowered with a new sense of being in charge of your life and your recovery program.
Physicians have known for years that some patients are able to draw inner resources which help them beat their odds. Our training program was aimed toward making you a better fighter – your medical treatment is an important part of your recovery program, but medical treatment does not show you what you can do personally to make a difference.
It’s easy to feel like a victim of cancer, to sink into feelings of helplessness. The statistics look overwhelming and the treatment frightening. You can feel friends and loved ones begin to treat you differently as if you no longer existed. After a while, it’s easy to just slip into a downward spiral. Our program is for people who still believe they can fight.
The program included more than 16 hours of group work, a medical intake interview, 9 massages, consultation with a nutrition consultant to set up an individual nutrition program, for one-hour individual, couples, or family counseling, and Radix.
Because cancer can also be devastating to family and friends, we always encouraged their participation. In fact, program tuition included a spouse or one support person.
The program was given in 2 forms – the 10-week intensive with people attending one day a week for 7 hours each day, or a 2-week intensive where participants attend each weekday for 2 weeks while residing in a local motel – large numbers of participants in this program come from all over the United States and foreign countries as well as local aid.
If you work in a cancer support program, perhaps you can integrate some of the principles and ideas into your program. In fact, we would be even more pleased if you chose to give this program a trial run. Even though the principles we used were, at the time, very new and unfamiliar (guided imagery, meditation, emotional releasing, affirmations, heart-to-heart sharing, etc.), you will find that there are many folks practicing essentially equivalent disciplines in your professional neighborhood.
We think you will be very greatly surprised and encouraged by the results. It is wise to have at least one person who is a therapist, or equivalent, by training, and who understands the flow of the program, and how each of the “interventions” contributes to the whole program. If you need any help with any of these, please do not hesitate to call on the resource people we are suggesting to you.
Supplementary and Related Programs:
Awakening The Healer Within - Dr. Miller’s presentation, originally delivered at the Cancer Support and Education Center, presenting the basic concepts of mind-body medicine.
Optimizing Chemotherapy - This program is designed to help enable you to maximize the use of your mind to support and facilitate the healing of your body while receiving any type of chemotherapy
Optimizing Radiation Therapy - Maximize the use of your mind to support and facilitate healing your body by providing healthy emotional and physical support and balance while undergoing radiation therapy.
Healing From Cancer - Imagery for empowering your immune system and creating a positive mental attitude. Learn how to use guided imagery and meditation to help you heal your body, mind, and emotions.
Accepting Change And Moving On - This program helps you through unexpected changes that you may encounter as you confront fighting cancer.
Deep Healing – The Essence of Mind-Body Medicine - This is Dr. Miller’s classic text exploring the holistic field of mind-body medicine, offering both the theory and a wealth of practical tools and imagery scripts for confronting cancer and other illnesses.
Touch, Caring, and Cancer – Simple instruction for family and friends - One of the most comforting forms of support you can give a person with cancer is the use of touch. This inspiring and authoritative program (DVD with illustrated manual) was developed as part of a research study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. It provides detailed instruction by leading experts in cancer support and oncology massage for safe and simple techniques anyone can learn and apply.