Lessons for Caregivers
Lessons for Caregivers
The Art of Conversation in Cancer Care: Lessons for Caregivers offers practical suggestions for health professionals, families, and friends about talking to one who has cancer.
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Every day, thousands of people are diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. Despite the best of intentions, it is not always easy to communicate well under these circumstances or find deep empathy for something one has never experienced. When is it best to speak, and when to be silent? How can someone provide real comfort, and how can relationships with loved ones facing serious illness be enhanced in this most difficult time?
Written by a psychosocial oncologist and psychologist-theologian, The Art of Conversation in Cancer Care: Lessons for Caregivers offers practical suggestions for health professionals, families, and friends about talking to one who has cancer. This revised and updated second edition is organized around the themes of mortal time and healing conversation with cancer patients and their caregivers. Mortal time is not so much a specific period, but rather, the psychological experience encountering
mortality that often accompanies the diagnosis of cancer.
The first section of the book articulates the many ways people experience mortal time, including a range of adaptive and less adaptive methods. Next, the basic elements of healing conversation are delineated, with an emphasis on the hope that can spring from talking with a trusted companion. Empathy, listening carefully, and responding thoughtfully and compassionately are discussed. In the final section, the authors offer guidance for caregivers. This section includes material on the risks
and costs of companionship as well as personal virtues that help a person navigate the demands of mortal time with their loved one. The authors discuss resilience and the consequences of absorbing suffering including empathy shift where the cancer caregiver becomes less empathic with minor illnesses
in others. They conclude with the power of healing conversation in mortal time as a source of hope. Throughout, numerous patient vignettes illustrate the art of conversation in cancer medicine.