How to Heal: A Guide for Caregivers

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9781581152678: How to Heal: A Guide for Caregivers

The ability to heal is not reserved for a gifted few. Anyone aching to ease the suffering of a sick friend or loved one can learn to become unconditionally present to the sick person rather than to the disease. Through stories filled with compassion, wisdom, and gentle humor, Dr. Jeff Kane shows readers how to use mindful attention, therapeutic listening, and truthful speech to help others heal.

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About the Author:

Jeff Kane is a physician and pioneering facilitator of patient support groups. He is the Director of Psychosocial Education at Sierra Nevada Cancer Center and founder of the support program at Sutter Cancer Center. He is a frequent lecturer on sickness and healing and has had dozens of articles published in trade publications. He lives in Nevada City, California.

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In 1976, after 10 years of medical practice, Kane realized that, though he knew a fair amount about diseases, he knew little about how patients experienced them. He left his practice and developed group discussions with patients of what it was like to be sick. He differentiates disease (what the patient has) from illness (what the patient feels). Overwhelmingly preferred for dealing with illness is communication consisting of open, understanding conversation; physical closeness; and "being there." Both attentive listening and "hearing" what is not said are vital. Diseases may be cured, he says, but it is people who are healed. Furthermore, healing is a process, not a goal. He gives many practical suggestions for enabling truly healing relationships, and he reinforces them with end-of-chapter notes. William Beatty
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