Over the centuries, medical prescriptions included animal dung, lizard blood, frog sperm, crab eyes, and countless potentially deadly substances. Patients actually got well on these and hundreds of other useless and dangerous substances. The reason patients recovered was because what they were actually being administered was hope and an expectation of getting well. Surprisingly often, when the patient trusts the physician and the physician believes in the treatment, the patient […]
In a large study of oncologists, the doctors were all asked what single attribute among all the cancer patients they had ever treated, was most strongly a contributor to the patients’ recoveries from cancer. The patients had a wide variety of types of cancer. Yet, ninety percent of the queried oncologists reported that the most […]
When oncologists diagnose patients with cancers that carry a very high fatality rate, they need to give them hope. They can do this by focusing on the patients who got well rather than on the ones who died. For example, with cancers that carry a 97% fatality rate, it would be good to tell the […]
Psychologist Lawrence LeShan spent his entire adult life practicing psychotherapy with advanced metastatic cancer patients. When he threw out the old Freudian model in which he had been trained, his patients began to unexpectedly go into remission. By helping these patients, all of whom had been given very dire prognoses, to fine meaning and purpose […]
In one study, oncologists were asked what they considered to be the single most important patient attribute that makes the greatest difference in patient outcomes. In treating over a hundred thousand cancer patients, over 90% of the oncologists said that the presence of hope is what makes the greatest difference.
The most powerful treatment any doctor can administer may be that of offering sincere, authentic hope. The most deadly treatment may be that of delivering a dire prognosis without giving the patient any chance of recovery.
Doctors who emphasize hope with their patients care have better results than doctors who ignore helping their patients believe they have a chance for a positive outcome. Also, doctors who are engaged with the patient’s process often have better results; fighting with the patient to get them well.
Every thought and every emotion catalyze and are catalyzed by biochemical, electrochemical changes. One of my mentors, Dr. Jeanne Achterberg taught us that: “No thought, no emotion, is without biochemical, electrochemical activity; and the activity leaves no cell untouched.” When controlling for all potential confounding variables, such as genetics, environmental exposures, and health habits, unhappy […]
There are many case studies of patients like Mr. Wright, who cured themselves of cancer and other deadly diseases as a result of a profoundly deep belief in a placebo. The mind is powerful enough to cure us of almost any disease. The problem is that no one has ever figured out how to create […]
The work I write about and teach has to do with learning how to disengage from being negatively affected by our dysfunctional or troubling thought processes and beliefs. One of my mentors, Professor Erik Peper, coined the following: “The limits of our experience and potential are the limits of our beliefs,” and also: “negative attributions […]
- Authenticity, Transparency
- Body Centeredness
- Cancer and the Mind
- Chronic Illness and the Mind
- Gratitude and Well-Being
- In Your Own Hands
- Living by Personal Values
- Meaning and Purpose in Health
- Mindfulness Practice
- Practice is Everything
- Practice Living by Choice
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- Self-Efficacy and Self-Mastery
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