Cover image for Cancer self-help groups: a guide
Title:
Cancer self-help groups: a guide
Author:
Kelly, Pat.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Buffalo, N. Y. : Firefly Books, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
176 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published by Key Porter 1999 under the title: "Guide for cancer self-help groups: leadership from the heart"-- t.p. verso.

Includes bibliographical references and index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781552094785
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library RC262.K35 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Thousands of new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year in North America. Along with the diagnosis, people often experience feelings of fear and loneliness. Many people with cancer have found support and information from self-help groups for cancer patients and survivors, and have learned how to change the loneliness and fear of their diagnosis into a journey of hope and healing. A measure of the success of cancer self-help groups is their ever-increasing numbers.

Creating and maintaining an effective support group is not always easy. This manual -- written by and for cancer patients, in collaboration with researchers and other experts -- outlines strategies cancer survivors have discovered and the skills they have developed to meet the challenges of forming and working with their own support groups.

Cancer Self-Help Groups: A Guide builds upon the lessons learned from cancer patients who have started groups and participated as group members, and their stories have been included to help illustrate points in the text. The purpose of this manual is to offer encouragement and ideas to:

people who want to start a cancer self-help group people who are members of an established group people who are thinking about facilitating a group and people who are struggling with problems in cancer groups.

This extraordinarily helpful guide offers a wealth of useful information for those whose lives are affected by cancer. Chapter titles include the following:

The Self-help Spirit: Connecting as a Way of Healing Getting Started Organizing Your First Meetings Challenges Facing Groups Grief, Loss, Bereavement Using Humor Using the Internet for Information, Support and Advocacy Making Connections Beyond the Group


Author Notes

Pat Kelly is president of PISCES -- Partnering in Self-help Community Education and Support, established in 1994 to provide training, education and consulting services to self-help groups. She is the founder and former executive director of The Ontario Breast Cancer Support & Resource Centre (Willow). Kelly has been a keynote speaker at many conferences throughout North America, and is a frequent guest on radio and television programs.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Cancer self-help groups provide practical information and emotional support to patients and family members learning to live with the disease. In this how-to manual, Kelly, a breast cancer survivor and founder of the Ontario Breast Cancer Support and Resource Centre, blends professional research with the support-group experiences of cancer survivors. Clear, concise, and comprehensive, the book contains a wealth of ideas and solutions for those thinking of beginning a group or already involved in one. The basic strategies and specific skills crucial to starting and running a self-help group are neatly outlined, yet the book's great strength is the inclusion of sample, step-by-step plans for running and planning meetings, writing an evaluation questionnaire, and creating a personal skills inventory checklist. Less beneficial is the chapter "Using the Internet for Information, Support and Advocacy," which contains some inaccurate information (CancerLit is not a part of Medline) and fails to annotate its list of recommended web sites. Overall, however, this is a worthwhile purchase that provides useful patient-oriented advice not found elsewhere. Recommended for public and consumer health libraries.DGail Hendler, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Introduction In 2000, more than 1,221,800 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Along with the diagnosis, people often experience feelings of fear and loneliness. Many people with cancer have found caring, support, and information from self-help groups for cancer patients and survivors, and have learned how to change the loneliness and fear of their diagnosis into a journey of hope and healing. A measure of the success of cancer self-help groups is their ever-increasing numbers. In the eighties, the United States had few cancer self-help groups. Today, there are thousands of established groups across the country. The beauty of a support group is that you don't have to explain anything. Many people with cancer try to shield family and friends from what they're going through. Sometimes they hide how scared or angry they feel. In a support group, you don't have to protect anyone. They're there to support you. Creating and maintaining an effective group is not always easy. This manual -- written by and for cancer patients, in collaboration with researchers and other experts -- outlines some of the strategies cancer survivors have discovered and the skills they have developed to meet the challenges of forming and working with their own support groups. The manual builds upon the lessons learned from cancer patients who have started groups and participated as group members, and their stories have been included to help illustrate points in the text. The Purpose of this manual The purpose of this manual is to offer encouragement and ideas to: people who want to start a cancer self-help group; people who are members of an established group; people who are thinking about facilitating a group; people who are struggling with problems in cancer groups. There are high expectations placed upon self-help groups to deliver services in a timely and effective manner -- a task that requires an understanding of group skills. At the same time, groups need to be able to stay in touch with their simple, grass-roots nature. This manual uses the expertise of cancer patients, survivors, and researchers to teach the group skills that will be appropriate to the unique needs of people with cancer. Right from the start, it is important to understand the basic nature of self-help work. Helping is not done for others. It is done with others, for ourselves, recognizing that helping others creates meaning in our own lives. Simply put, self-help is a way to help both ourselves and others by paying attention to the suffering caused by cancer. When we see our own fear reflected in the eyes of someone who has just been diagnosed, we remember how important it was for us not just to learn more about cancer and its treatments but also to find someone to talk to about it. When we see relief and hope begin to strengthen that person again, we are rewarded. That is the spirit of self-help: helping others helps us. All of us are interdependent. Whether we realize it or not, each of us lives eternally in the red. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some initial "words of wisdom" for anyone who is starting or helping out with a cancer self-help group: Think "share" from the beginning and reach out to others who share your vision. Take risks and be forgiving of your own mistakes and those of others. Remember that the most important gift we can bring is the quality of our attention. Last but not least, remember that there is no one right way to do this, This manual is intended to be a guide, not a book of rules, You are not expected to do everything the way it is described here. Take what you need and leave the rest, You can come back when and if you need something else. We have tried to combine the "art" of living with cancer with the "science" of building effective groups to sketch a road map for a journey that we hope will enlighten you -- both intellectually and spiritually. Excerpted from Cancer Self-Help Groups by Pat Kelly All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Purpose of This Manual
1 The Self-Help Spirit: Connecting as a Way of Healing
2 Thinking It Through Before You Start
3 Getting Started
4 Different Kinds of Groups and Group Structures
5 Organizing Your First Meetings
6 How to Keep Your Group Working Well
7 Challenges Facing Groups
8 Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
9 Using Humor
10 The Healing Journey: Using Your Mind to Foster a Healing Environment in Your BodyAlastair Cunningham
11 Using the Internet for Information, Support, and AdvocacyJuanne Nancarrow Clarke
12 Planning, Reviewing, and Evaluating with Your Group
13 Making Connections Beyond the Group
14 Closing
Notes
Resources
Index

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