Presentation on theme: "A Spiritual Journey through Breast Cancer"— Presentation transcript:
1A Spiritual Journey through Breast Cancer Chi-Mei HorngAssociate ProfessorDepartment of Clinical PsychologyFu-Jen Catholic University, Taiwan
2Body-Mind-Spirit We are all made up with body, mind, and spirit. There’re a lot of researches done on the relationship between body and mind.In treating breast cancer patients, the spiritual perspective was less explored and hardly addressed by medical professionals.F research
3Research in TaiwanA Study on Efficacy of Body-Mind-Spirit Empowerment and Education Group for Women with Breast Cancer：A Pilot Study.Mei-Ya SuUnpublished thesis for School of Nursing, National Taiwan University, 2008
4Results Group process effectively reduced patients’ feelings of anxiety, depression, and uncertainty.increased their confidence about recovery.improved their sense of hope toward future life.established social support network.helped patients to discover the meanings and purposes of their lives.
5Research in U.S.(1)Religious Practice and Spirituality in the Psychological Adjustment of Survivors of Breast Cancer.Purnell JQ, Andersen BL, Wilmot JP.Couns Values Apr 1;53(3):165.
6ResultsSpiritual well-being was significantly associated with quality of life.Religious practice was not significantly associated with quality of life.
7Research in U.S.(2)Effects of Spirituality in Breast Cancer Survivors.Meraviglia M.Oncology Nursing Forum.2006 Jan 1;33(1):E1-7.
8ResultsMeaning in life was positively related to psychological responses and negatively related to physical responses.Meaning in life mediated the impact of breast cancer on physical and psychological well-being.
9Research in U.S.(3)Examining Spirituality among Women with Breast Cancer.Reynolds ,D.Holistic Nursing Practice.2006 May-Jun;20(3):
10ResultsWomen with breast cancer tried to ascribe meaning for cancer’s occurrence and search for mechanisms to cope with it.Spirituality is utilized to gain a sense of control, reduce stress, and achieve inner peace.Underlying premise: Taking care of the soul is a necessary element in healing the body.
11Research in U.S.(4)Ethnicity and Spirituality in Breast Cancer Survivors.Levine EG, Yoo G, Aviv C, Ewing C, Au A.Journal of Cancer Survivors Sep;1(3):
12Results 83% of the women talked about spirituality. A higher percentage of African-Americans, Latinas, and Christians felt comforted by God than the other groups.
13ResultsThe traumatic experience of a breast cancer diagnosis help survivors todeepen their faith and appreciation of life.change the way they see themselves and their lives.change how they relate to people around them.change how they relate to God.
14Research in CanadaReflecting on Spirituality in the Context of Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment.Gould J, Wilson S, Grassau P.Journal of Canada Oncology Nursing Winter;18(1):34-46.
15Results Three spiritual themes were revealed: Relationship with a Higher Being.A deepening sense of self .Spiritual connection with others.
16Research in IranMuslim Breast Cancer Survivor Spirituality: Coping Strategy or Health Seeking Behavior Hindrance?Harandy TF, Ghofranipour F, Montazeri A, Anoosheh M, Bazargan M, Mohammadi E, Ahmadi F, Niknami S.Health Care Women Int Jan;31(1):88-98.
17Results Spirituality is the primary source of psychological support . Many survivors attributed their cancer to the will of God.
18Research in MalaysiaReligion and Spirituality in Coping with Advanced Breast Cancer: Perspectives from Malaysian Muslim Women.Ahmad F, Muhammad M, Abdullah AA.Journal of Religious Health.2011 Mar;50(1):36-45.
19Results Survivors take illness as an awakening sign. Hope and freedom comes from surrendering to God.The common emphasis of spirituality may significantly influence how people learn to live with cancer.
20What is Spirituality?Spirituality is an individual approach of searching for the meaning of life, finding inner peace within oneself through a very personal connection between oneself and the entity that one believes in, whether it is called God or some Higher Being.Spirituality is broader than religion.
21Spiritual BeliefsBelief in a Higher Being/God gives people hope in the most difficult times in their lives.Spiritual beliefs make a difference in how people view their breast cancer experience.Survivors might realized that this experience is very meaningful to them.
22Developing the Spiritual Self ReadingPrayingMeditatingRelaxation practicesBeing connected with a Higher Being/God
23Hearing the “body talk” Finding spiritual meaning underlying diseases.Listening to your heart to find out who you really are and what you really want in your life.
24Cure vs. Healing "Cure" is about eliminating disease. "Healing" is about recovering a sense of inner peace.Focusing on healing process rather than hoping to get cured.
25My personal experience I have been working as a clinical psychologist since 1978 and considering myself as a scientist-practitioner.Doing psychological assessment by administering standardized psychological tests.Making diagnosis following certain criterion.Practicing psychotherapy with evidence-based therapeutic techniques.
26Earned doctoral degree at Boston University in U.S. in 1994. Teaching at clinical psychology department of Fu-Jen Catholic University sinceServed as chairperson of clinical psychology department during 2002 to 2005.
28A psychologist who knows all Quite calm the moment I heard this diagnosis.In the beginning, ” Everything is under my control.”I actively participated in the decision of my treatment plan: understanding every option I have.Following treatment procedure cooperatively and energetically.
31On the surface, I was at the peak of my career and in the prime time of my life. But deep inside, I felt exhausted and depressed.I was not satisfied with what I’ve been doing in my profession.I tried to resolve my problems by myself.However…….
32My psychological knowledge couldn’t help myself at all !!!
33Encountering Spirituality Reading books discussing spirituality such as“The Healing Power of Illness” ,“Seth Material” , “Conversations with God” ,“A New Earth” , ‘The Power of Now”……. (Material that were not “scientifically validated”)Attending workshops on spiritualityPracticing “Qigong”(自發功)
34Spiritual Awareness Acknowledging my beliefs in a Higher Being Exploring spiritual meaning of my illnessDiscovering inner beauties of myself and othersFinding out who I really amRedefining purpose of my life
35Transformation Realizing breast cancer is a blessing in disguise. Experiencing deepest appreciation for the sacredness of suffering.Knowing that one must hold life gently and learning to let go.Living in the very present moment. Much healthier and happier than before.
36Be a “person” first, then a “psychologist” Shifting professional interest from empirical psychology to human spirituality.Teaching “Spirituality and Psychotherapy” ever since.Addressing more on the spiritual aspects of the clients. Focusing on their strength rather than seeing them as mentally ill.
37Sharing my spiritual journey with my colleagues, students, fellow psychologists….. Getting many feedbacks from them and inspire a lot of self-introspection among them.