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Interventions for Clients Coping with Cancer
Interventions for Clients Coping with Cancer - 10 CEUs

Section 10
Track #10 - Giving 3 Key Reasons that Help your Client Restore Hope

CEU Question 10 | CEU Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Cancer
Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs

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On the last track we discussed hope.  The three factors effecting hope are myths about cancer, type of cancer, and intuitive feelings. 

On this track we will discuss making plans for the future as a technique for restoring hope.  I find that there are three reasons for making plans for the future. 

3 Reasons for Making Future Plans

Three Reasons for Making Plans for the future are:
1. It is fun
2. Making plans for the future counteracts the giving up instruction clients may have unconsciously been giving the body
3. Clients may be instructing the body to do everything it can to be around when that day comes, and there’s precedent that the body may comply with those instructions.

I stated to Jeremy, “If you are not making plans for the future it may be because you don’t see any future.  You may have unconsciously given-up because you unconsciously believe that there is no chance of recovery.  If you believe that, you may, without meaning to, be instructing your body to not work so hard- that no matter what it does it won’t make a difference.”  Jeremy thought about it.  I felt that Jeremy may have resigned himself to the fact that there was no way he could recover from his cancer.

I stated to Jeremy, “There are some steps you can take.  I could suggest that you merely change your mind set, but how realistic is that?  But I do know a trick.  The trick is to make plans for the future.  There are at least three reasons for consciously making plans for a trip two years from now or for how you will spend the next several New Year’s Days or be around to see all of your children have children. 

Share on Facebook Reason # 1. Fun
First, making plans is fun. 

Share on Facebook Reason # 2. Counteracts Giving Up
Second, making plans for the future counteracts the giving up instruction you may have unconsciously been giving your body.”  I find this to be an interesting and convoluted concept. 

For example, let’s assume Jeremy had in fact unconsciously given up hope.  Based on all the facts he knows and the myths he believes, Jeremy may be convinced that there is no hope.  Do you agree that it is difficult if not impossible for Jeremy to just turn around and tell himself that there is at least a chance for recovery?  However, if Jeremy starts to plan for the future, he bypasses the myths and beliefs and takes action by giving orders to his psyche.  Therefore, it is as if those myths and beliefs were no longer controlling him.  Jeremy’s psyche may deal with the concept of the future plans without reference to the unpleasant myths and beliefs. 

Share on Facebook Reason # 3. Instructions to the Body
I continued stating to Jeremy, “The third reason to make plans for the future is that you may be instructing your body to do everything it can to be around when that day comes, and there’s guides that your body may comply with those instructions.”  Jeremy was skeptical.  He stated, “Are you trying to tell me that I can will myself healthy?”  How might you have responded to Jeremy? 

I stated, “I have treated clients with limited prognoses who outlived that prognosis so that they could attend a wedding, a graduation or see a grandchild.  Why did that happen?  How did those people extend their lives by the sheer force of will?  Cynics hold that they would have lived that long no matter what they did, and maybe in some cases that’s true.  But I have spoken with several professionals, including medical doctors who believed that there was a real possibility that those people instructed their bodies to survive until that date and their bodies complied.  Perhaps you can give your body the same instructions.”

Think of your Jeremy.  Could he or she be motivated by making plans for the future? 

I also stated to Jeremy, “Make many and continuing plans for the future, not just one.  That’s exactly what you did when you were well.  Don’t stop now.”

On this track we discussed making plans for the future as a technique for restoring hope.  I find that there are three reasons for making plans for the future.  Three reasons for making plans for the future are it is fun, making plans for the future counteracts the giving up instruction clients may have unconsciously been giving the body, and clients may be instructing the body to do everything it can to be around when that day comes, and there’s precedent that the body may comply with those instructions.

On the next track we will discuss breaking the news.  Techniques for breaking the news will include timing, delegation and methods for telling children. 

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 10
What are three reasons for making plans for the future? To select and enter your answer go to CEU Answer Booklet.

 
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