Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Storytelling Method with Breast Cancer Patients

The Storytelling Method was examined with breast cancer patients (DeCicco, Lyons, Pannier & Wright, 2009) and found to show that patients gained valuable insight from the method. For example, they found deep meaning in their illness with dream imagery and they found helpful coping strategies as well. How would you expect these discoveries to actually help patients in their waking life and, how might clinicians use this information when working with patients?

64 comments:

  1. Because dream interpretation offers insight that the conscious self may be unaware of or is attempting to ignore it will bring to the surface these coping strategies that the patient could benefit from if utilized.

    With a cancer diagnosis comes much fear and it may be the patient's fear that is holding them back from treatment or coping strategies to work through their illness. By interpreting their dreams they may discover ways to work through their illness effectively while also tackling issues of anxiety and nervousness around their diagnosis.

    Clinicians can benefit from the type of information in the cancer patients' dreams as each patient can respond differently to various forms of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical oncology. It can also help with the anxiety, fear of the unknown, and upsetting emotions that come alongside a cancer diagnosis.

    Clinicians could add TSM of dream interpretation to a patient's "prescription" in that, it could provide the patient insight at home whether that be a treatment to attempt, a medication to try, or depending on their disease, coping mechanisms for the end of life for themselves and their loved ones.

    Samantha Lewer

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  2. As Samantha discussed above, a cancer diagnosis requires an impacting life adjustment on all levels of an individual. That is, cancer patients are affected emotionally, physically, socially, and even spiritually and existentially. As discussed in the text books and lecture, dreams also have multiple levels. By cancer patients using The Storytelling Method to examine their dreams they are given more insight on these multiple levels of their person.

    With the stress going on in their waking life individuals with breast cancer may not recognize other issues they may be experiencing on different personal levels that have to do with their illness. By patients taking the time to analyze their dreams they can gain more insight into what factors they are facing on multiple levels of their being and not just the obvious ones.

    Furthermore, by addressing these issues it may help the patient recognize them and find ways to deal with them, for example different coping strategies that may be beneficial for the individual. The recognition of dream imagery and discovery towards meaning may motivate the patient to seek help and more understanding towards the issues they are facing with regards to their illness.

    Stacey O'Brien

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  3. During waking day, our minds often become 'cluttered' with many racing thoughts and feelings, making it difficult to focus in on our true feelings at times. Dreams however, can clarify and bring light to some issues that a person has been struggling with. In regards to a breast cancer patient, there may be several different routes they are able to go for treatment – radiation, lumpectomy, chemo, no treatment, etc. This decision can be very difficult since there are pros and cons to each. During waking day a patient may find it difficult to decide what to do because of all the distractions of everyday life. However, while in dream state the answer may become clearer through dream analysis and The Storytelling Method. This may help take a lot of pressure and stress off of the patient as they may find their answers from a dream. Clinicians can use this information to help monitor how the patient is doing, progress with the cancer treatment, and to determine how well the patient is coping with the treatment.
    -Megan MacDougall

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    1. Talking about the 'clutter' in every day thoughts is definitely a great way to think about how we can become too overwhelmed. A cancer patient would have more overwhelming concepts to think about as well, and this would prove why writing down their dreams and sitting with a therapist would be beneficial to their mental, emotional, health.

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    2. I really like this approach to why the Storytelling Method is so beneficial to Breast Cancer treatment! I agree that Dream Interpretations are very important in letting suppressed emotions and ideas out.

      Like Megan mentioned, breast cancer can be a very stressful event, which means very difficult decisions. Our bodies know what is best for us even if our brain does not register this consciously, so to be able to peek into our subconscious mind and begin to understand what patients need or want through interpreting certain dream imagery, is very beneficial to the treatment of these patients.

      I have experienced people with cancer and realized how much of an influence others have on their decisions for treatment. Patients will do certain treatments because friends, family, and/or doctors told them it was best for them even if it sometimes isn't. but by analyzing dreams, we can begin to see what they truly need or want in treatment!

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  4. Among the reasons listed above, another aspect that the TSM gives to dreamers is the ease of use. Unlike other methods it doesn't need another person around to interpret the dreams of the dreamer allowing the cancer patient the ability to understand their dreams and how they reflect their waking life. The TSM also has a high success rate which is quite useful because even if a patient is unable to interpret every dream they have, they are likely to be able to interpret at least a few, and the more practice they get with it the better they will become.

    Additionally, as those above suggested with the TSM being able to help choose a type of therapy to use, it will also let patients know when it starts to work on them since dreams reflect how our bodies are doing as well as our minds and emotions. With the knowledge of their dreams about their bodies recovering, comes hope and faith, which has been shown to further increase patients ability to recover from cancer.

    Patrick Edgar

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  5. As with any trauma or health concern, there is more than just the body to confront when attempting to cope with illness. For cancer patients, I imagine that the struggle to understand "why me?", to face family, to face death is very difficult and placed in the wrong hands, could end in mental health concerns (Depression, ASD, etc). For mothers with young children, I would imagine feeling grief over the loss of time spent with children and the inability too know whether new memories will be formed in the future is very stressful. There are so many concerns, I'm sure it weighs heavily on the mind.

    I think all of these feelings could be manifested from waking life into dreams, and I also think that many cancer patients may not have the insight to understand or identify all of the feelings that are present. Using STM to interpret the dreams of people with breast cancer could first, help with cope with existing feelings; and second help them to live a full life with family and friends, leaving the burden of there weighing emotions behind.

    As a side note, I believe that positive thinking and good mental health could share a link with better bodily health outcomes. In some cases, people with breast cancer may benefit from resolving some of their emotional issues through STM, not just for their mind, but for their body as well.

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    1. Jessica, I strongly agree with your statement about the importance of positive thinking for bodily health! We tend to underestimate the power of our thoughts. You make a great point that TSM can assist individuals in resolving their emotional issues and thus change their thoughts from negative (e.g., fear, anxiety, anger, etc.) to positive (e.g., hope, gratitude, courage, etc.), which will benefit them on the road to recovery.
      - Lindsey Martin

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  6. Dream interpretation gives people the ability to bring the unconscious to consciousness. Since the mind and body are irrevocably connected, the unconscious can inform the conscious mind about bodily problems (such as breast cancer) which could aid in early detection if the individual has not yet been diagnosed. If the patient has been diagnosed, the mind-body connection could inform the individual through health imagery in their dreams about possible alternative coping methods. As Samantha mentioned above, cancer patients experience conflicts in all areas of their lives (emotionally, physically, socially, spiritually, existentially etc.) and thus there are various "issues" they must cope with. Dreaming can provide possible coping methods that the conscious mind may not have considered. For example a closed-minded patient may not consider going to group-therapy to discuss their cancer treatment and progress as they may feel it is "silly" and won't accomplish anything. However, if their dreams indicate that this may be a coping option, they may open up to the thought of group-therapy and it may change their life.

    Every cancer patient responds to the various standard treatment methods differently, as certain treatments may work for some patients but may not work for others. Since the mind and body are connected, the dreaming mind can inform the conscious mind if a particular treatment method is working or not through health imagery in the individuals dreams. If a treatment is working, the patient should experience positive health imagery (or at least health imagery that is more positive than previous health imagery). If a treatment is not working, the patient could experience negative health imagery. This illustrates the importance of paying attention to your dreams! These patients could stop treatment that their dreams indicate is not working and not waste precious time and money on continuing treatment that is not doing anything.

    Clinicians could use this information when working with patients to develop personalized treatment/therapeutic plans. For example, researchers have already developed a method of detecting gene expression called microarrays to determine the individual pattern of expressed genes within an individual. Cancer researchers are now using these microarrays to scan patient genomes to unveil their individual patterns of gene expression, which is shown to have an impact on which types of treatment work. For example, those with the gene expression pattern "A" only respond to treatment "C", while those with gene expression pattern "B" respond to treatments "A" "B" and "C". Knowing which treatments will work on an individual beforehand allows the clinician to begin a treatment they know should work on the patient without wasting time and patient money on other treatments that will fail. This microarray example mirrors the potential use of TSM of dream interpretation with cancer patients. Much like oncologists are using patterns of gene expression to determine which treatments will work, clinicians can use the information derived from patients' use of TSM to determine which treatments will work best for the patient in question.

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    1. My views fall strongly in the same aspect as Laurens and I feel as though she put it perfectly in words. I feel as though dreams help to bring the unconscious to the conscious.
      I say this with confidence due to personal experience as well. Many a times when I am under stress I have dreams which although seem scary and make no sense, I go through them under difficult situations.

      It is a known fact that cancer patients, specifically breast cancer patients go through a traumatizing experience during this phase. Many questions come to mind such as why me, and how will i cope. Depressive phases, denial, anger are all part of the journey and I think that with the right kind of help, exploring more in to dreams may help them face their issues and fears and understand them better.
      Once these thoughts and fears have been accepted, patients can get proper help that will enable them to cope better.

      Further reading into this aspect of TSM, I found a number of studies that use the story telling method as a strategy to cope in breast cancer patients. Although not all the strategies involve dream interpretation, I think this step would be an excellent advancement and should be included.

      I do however beleive that this method may not work over night but rather may take several nights and results may not be seen instantly. A patient too focused on it may force dreams on too strongly and become conscious during the process.

      I do however beleive that i used correctly and under supervision with the right care, breast cancer patients can help discover thoughts about them selves that will help them to face and accept the situation that they are going through and help answer questions that will help them cope much better and even recover faster with a newly gained confidence.

      -Nabiha Hassan

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  7. I would expect these techniques and imagery found in the dreams of breast cancer patients to work as dreams have doors to whats happening on the waking life. If the mental and emotional states of the patients are found to be happier and more at ease in their dreams i would find that their illness would be either getting better or their thoughts on their illness has been released from the negative side of things and more into the positive side. I would think this would help boost the moods of patients and signify to them that they are getting better in more ways than one. It would help them see the positive side of life instead of the negative and would just make the patient more happier with themselves.
    With this information I would expect the clinician to be expecting the patient to slowly get better, telling the clinician the treatment is working and the patient is recovering. I would expect the clinician to not change what they are doing as it seem to be now working on the patient and i would expect the clinician to encourage more of the storytelling method for his patient as it is giving them a better look upon life.

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  8. The Storytelling Method (TSM) of dream interpretation can be quite useful for breast cancer patients. As Patrick stated above, TSM can lead to discoveries about physical health, such as information about the body recovering from treatment. Cancer patients often undergo very painful and exhausting treatments, which can leave them feeling hopeless. TSM could lead a patient to discover that the treatment is working and that their body is entering a state of remission. This type of discovery could do wonders for the cancer patient in terms of restoring their hope, invoking positive thinking about their treatment, and giving them the emotional strength to endure their treatment further.

    TSM could also lead to discoveries about the meaning of having cancer, or coping strategies to use for dealing with the physically and emotionally demanding aspects of having and treating cancer. These discoveries could lead the patient to change aspects of their lifestyle; for example, as mentioned above, discoveries about the treatment working (or not working) could lead the patient to further endure the treatment, or change their treatment plan.

    A clinician could discuss the patient’s dreams and interpretations with them. As mentioned in lecture last week, dreams can lead to insight about therapy, including if the therapy is working, and when the client is ready to terminate their therapeutic relationship. Clients might not be aware of this type of information until they engage in dream interpretation such as TSM.

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    1. Jodi,
      I really like your idea about using TSM to determine whether treatment is working or not to aid in decision about whether to continue or or to change treatment types. This was something I didn't consider in my post.

      However, I must respectfully disagree with your (and others) idea about using TSM to find the "meaning" of having cancer. I think how you meant it is that you can gain insight about your life as a result of having cancer, but at a very basic level, cancer is a biological illness and there really is no "meaning" to it. For example, I'm not going to have a discovery one day that makes me go: "I have cancer because it was my destiny to get it". Illness is biological and is not determined by some omnipotent being. But I may find meaning through a discovery like: "I am going to devote my life to cancer research and raising awareness so others with my disease don't feel so alone". Knowing you Jodi, I'm sure the latter is how you meant it, but I just wanted to clarify how I felt about the different between the two types of "meaning".

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    2. Michelle brings up a great point. I found the term "meaning" to be ambiguous and it is important to be careful when using it in this subject matter.

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    3. Hi Michelle and Chris,

      I intended to use "meaning" to refer to the way cancer and cancer-related dream imagery relates to the person's life:
      -What does cancer mean to them?
      -How it is impacting them and their relationships? …and so on.

      When I read over my writing before I posted it, I knew what I was trying to say, but now that I'm re-reading it, I’ve realized just how ambiguous "meaning" is; which is interesting because the "meaning" is so different for every person, which sort of maintains its ambiguity.

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  9. Individuals suffering from breast cancer (or any illness, for that matter) likely experience a vast array and mixture of overwhelming emotions (e.g., sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, fear, etc.). Individuals may struggle with consciously identifying these feelings in their waking life, along with identifying what it is precisely generating these emotions.

    Through The Storytelling Method of dream interpretation, individuals may then be able to identify their emotions and learn why exactly they are feeling this way. For example, they may learn that they feel guilty for putting their loved ones through pain and suffering, as well. They may learn that they are fearful of death and the unknown. Gaining this insight may then lead to the individual learning how to cope with – and possibly release – their fears, anxieties, and other painful emotions that are not serving to benefit or assist them throughout their journey to recovery.

    Interpreting their dreams through The Storytelling Method may also help individuals understand the confusing experience of being ill, as well as the thought of death. For example, one’s dreams may provide insight into their spiritual beliefs or faith that they may not have given much thought in waking life, which may be incredibly reassuring and comforting during such a distressing time.

    The Storytelling Method of dream interpretation may also provide insight into how the individual is responding to treatment, which may also be beneficial to clinicians. For example, if one discovers through dream interpretation that they may not be responding well to a specific treatment, clinicians can then use this information to explore different treatment options.

    - Lindsey Martin

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  10. Ashley HutchingsMay 22, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    The Storytelling Method (TSM) as we now know is a type of dream interpretation that helps individuals find meaning from their dreams and then be able to directly link them to waking life. A woman who has be diagnosed with breast cancer and is suffering from negative imagery and negative emotions, TSM could help the individual to clarify/understand issues that the person is struggling with. For example, my mom was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma and her big question was "why me?" Through TSM, cancer patients may be able to shed light on their illness and be able to find ways to help them cope with their illness. These discoveries would be very helpful for patients living with cancer because they will hopefully be able to find meaning from their dreams and be able to develop coping strategies to use in waking life.

    Clinicians may be able to use this information while working with patients because as mentioned above, patients can respond differently to various types of treatment. The clinician and patient would be able to work together to be able to find a treatment that would work best for the patient. In addition, as previously mentioned in the above postings, TSM could also help cancer patients better cope with the anxiety associated with the fear of the unknown that patients most often experience.

    Ashley Hutchings

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  11. Steffanie PorterMay 22, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    I, myself, am a cancer survivor, and can understand how the story telling method of dream interpretation can be helpful for cancer patients. The story telling method creates some distance between the dream and the person because of the narrative aspect. The questions relate to the story created by the patient, not the dream. In this way, a patient can look at the stories with a clearer perspective that is not clouded by the intense emotional and existential thoughts that persist in the dreams of cancer patients.

    The story telling method could definitely help develop coping strategies. Knowing why you feel a certain way or why you have various questions is comforting, and can take away some of the fear that is attacted to a cancer diagnosis, and can help promote a feeling of peace with the potentially negative prognosis.

    A clinician could help the patient by opening them up and getting them to talk about their feelings that are demonstrated in the narrative they create. Talking about it allows for clarity, acceptance, and grief. I found that I needed to grieve over my own life, and what I might be missing if my fight was lost. This was definitely reflected in my dreams as I often dreamt about my own funeral, and what I would have been wearing at my own wake, and various regrets that I had with different people. The dreams I had as a cancer patient gave me insight on what I had to do in order to have that peace should my chemotherapy fail. Of course, I did not know much about dreams at the time so I did not followthrough with what my dreams were advising me to do. Clinicians could have helped me by talking about these dreams with me, and encouraging me to resolve the images in my head by confronting certain things.

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    1. Steffanie,
      Thank you for sharing about your personal struggle, I really enjoyed reading about your insight. Your reflection about not following through with your dream discovery really goes to show how helpful dream interpretation techniques such as TSM can be. This is because they help the dreamer to make discoveries about their dreams, which (as I have found) can make the dreamer want to act on these discoveries.

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  12. When facing a chronic and/or serious illness such as cancer, it is especially important to remain positive and have a sense of balance in one's life. High stress levels can often result after being diagnosed with a illness like cancer, and high stress only adds to the difficulties one would face. High cortisol levels from prolonged stress can actually impede the immune system and make one more vulnerable to other pathogens.

    By using TSM to find meaning and useful coping strategies for dealing with cancer, it can help bring a sense of calm to one's life and reduce stress and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Clinicians, when dealing with patients with serious illness, should consider the mental and emotional influences on illness and suggest methods such as TSM as a way dealing with the stresses of chronic diagnoses. Since TSM is simple and can be done alone, for those who do find helpful discovery, they can continue to use this method throughout their treatment regime to aid in diminishing the negative feelings they may encounter.

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    1. Looking at the cortisol and biological factors also involved in dreaming is very intuitive. I never even thought of how those would factor in, but it definitely makes sense.

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    2. Very good point about the effects of srress on the body in the presence of disease. This is why TSM would be a great alternative therapy for breast cancer patients.

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  13. I have to agree with what Jessica has previously mentioned, that there is a connection between positive thinking health. By using The Storytelling Method patients can sort through their specific issues they are having, both those associated with their illness and the others that are just emotionally draining them. When emotional strain builds up it can manifest itself through other illnesses or symptoms, so by being able to identify and work on these external influences there is the opportunity to heal from within. Clinicians might use this information when working with patients as a form of therapy, and possibly decrease the severity of some symptoms without using medicine.

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  14. The Story Telling Method allows cancer patients to more directly face information that they might actively suppress or unconsciously repress. Dealing with the treatments and choices associated with cancer can be a tremendous task but both patients and doctors can use dream interpretation to their advantage by allowing the patient to express themselves more clearly. This can lead to a more clear-minded patient who can face treatment in a more positive and motivated light.

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  15. Using TSM with breast cancer patients allows them to have multilevel meanings with their dream imagery. Being able to understand their dreams through multiple levels is key because there may be dreams that are interpreted as passing on in life. These dreams where they have been interpreted to pass on, may have been quite peaceful for the patient. Therefore, understanding of dream imagery through TSM, allows for a more peaceful battle with cancer.
    There are many interpretations that a breast cancer patient could have with TSM and with the help of the clinician that would allow for further counselling in whatever way that dream is interpreted; being positive or negative. Whether it be fear of relationships diminishing or uplifted emotions in daily waking life, a therapist would be able to offer more insight on how to cope.

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  16. Using TSM with breast cancer patients allows them to have multilevel meanings with their dream imagery. Being able to understand their dreams through multiple levels is key because there may be dreams that are interpreted as passing on in life. These dreams where they have been interpreted to pass on, may have been quite peaceful for the patient. Therefore, understanding of dream imagery through TSM, allows for a more peaceful battle with cancer.
    There are many interpretations that a breast cancer patient could have with TSM and with the help of the clinician that would allow for further counselling in whatever way that dream is interpreted; being positive or negative. Whether it be fear of relationships diminishing or uplifted emotions in daily waking life, a therapist would be able to offer more insight on how to cope.

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  17. Dealing with Cancer is a very difficult situation not only for the patient but for friends and family as well. Cancer patients may try and hide feelings and emotions regarding their cancer in waking life. while dreaming they could discover coping strategies or unconscious insight into which treatment method they may wish to pursue such as chemotherapy or radiation etc. these are difficult tasks to think about in waking life. dreams can often help you think about what you really want and help to resolve your problems. using the story telling method one can definitely try and understand the emotions and feelings they have surrounding cancer. clinicians can use this information while working with patients to help them explore treatment options they wish to pursue. also help with therapy to help patients deal with some of their underlying emotions that are difficult to express in waking life.
    -Amanda Edwards

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  18. In my opinion, the storytelling method of dream interpretation would be an excellent tool for those with breast cancer to make sense of the nightmares they often experience. I have a friend who has passed away from breast cancer and she used to suffer terribly from nightmares after her diagnosis. I wish I had taken this course five years ago because perhaps I could have helped her to make sense of those dreams or at least cope better with them. She was always up for trying new things and would have welcomed this type of therapy if it had been presented to her. TSM should be added to the list of alternative therapies offered by clinicians for those suffering from breast cancer such meditation, guided imagery,yoa and massage. Whenever there is a possibility of relieving one's suffering, whether it be physical or mental, clinicians should be aware of and open to anything that may improve the well-being of the patient. TSM could be a from of self-therapy that might provide the person with breast cancer a feeling of having some sort of control over their waking life. It may allow them to work through their fears and become more at peace with their conscious and unconscious thoughts.

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  19. Many of us seem to agree that the benefit of dream therapy on cancer patients is helpful due to the holistic nature of dreams and the holistic effect that cancer can have on a person. There is a sufficient body of research looking at the mind/body connection. Particularly how the mind can aid in healing the body and vice versa (the body can heal the mind, for example some forms of depression can be cured by physical exercise and nutrition alone, no medications needed). Dreams take us to a level of consciousness that differs from our waking day consciousness. In waking life we are bombarded by sensory stimulation that affects our thoughts and feelings and even influences our behavior without our being aware of it. When dreaming, the influences of waking life might be lesser or even non-existent. This causes me to question whether perhaps we are able to tap into a more authentic and personally meaningful type of knowledge when we dream. I think that in our culture, cancer has become a word of fear; the word has become heavily loaded with assumptions. Dream interpretation throughout ones experience with cancer might allow them to transcend strong societal messages, the verbal and non-verbal messages of family, friends, and even clinicians. As mentioned in previous postings, this may be beneficial when one must decide which method of treatment to undergo, or whether they even wish to receive treatment. Dreaming helps us to tap into our unadulterated souls and to find our own way in the world, not the way we are told by others. Furthermore, dream recording and interpretation can provide a tangible record of the person’s inner experiences throughout their illness. Clinicians could monitor the dream imagery. Changes in imagery may indicate changes in cancer status. A patient who finds helpful coping strategies could share them with the clinician. The clinician could then suggest the strategies to other patients. Clinicians (if not already doing so) might conduct studies to discover whether there are commonalities in dream imagery between cancer patients at various stages of health and wellness.
    Thank you, Steffanie Porter, for sharing your unique insight. I thought that was beautifully written.
    Lindsay Dixon

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  20. Jazmine EtchellsMay 22, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    The Storytelling method has been proven to help people connect their dreaming states with waking life events. Therefore, a patient suffering from breast cancer may use this method to help understand what they are experiencing in their dreams and how these dreams can help them cope and deal with their current waking life situations. For example, this method may help a patient come to terms with the anxiety they are feeling after being diagnosed with the illness. It also may be a good coping method for individuals going through treatment as they can use their dreams as a source for understanding how they’re body is reacting and healing. Clinician’s may recommend this method to help their patients understand what their bodies are telling them, as well as, possible solutions to finding peace within the darkness. Suffering from breast cancer has profound effects on individuals, but this method may help them understand the illness that they are suffering from and allow their dreams to direct them through their treatment and help them stay grounded throughout. The Storytelling Method has led many people to gain a better insight into their waking lives, therefore, it will hopefully help someone suffering from breast cancer to find answers and coping methods when their waking conscious may be too overwhelmed to do so.

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  21. The main purpose of the story telling method is to bridge dream imagery to waking day circumstances for the dreamer. Therefore I feel this is a great method for patients who are ill to use. For instance, The Giant Compass talks about how the dreaming mind is very connected to the physical body. One particular example it gives is where a woman dreams about finding a lump on her breast and then a few weeks later is diagnosed with cancer. If our dreams are intune with our physical self, it seems vital that we listen to these dreams. Since the storytelling method offers a lot of insight and discovery it seems it would help the patients with overcoming fears, acknowledging ones sickness, and dealing with stresses that may accompany being sick. For instance, having reoccurring dreams about ones sickness would make a person feel uneasy about what is happening to them, but with the help of dream interpretation, it may offer some insight which can help the person through the experience.

    Clinicians can use this type of information to guide their therapy for any given person. Someone diagnosed with cancer and who suffers from bad dreams could potentially develop anxiety or depression. Using the storytelling method to interpret these kinda of dreams can be an important treatment method for these individuals. It can help the clinician expose and develop a better understanding for the patients troubles, while the technique itself leads to self discovery, which is the purpose of therapy. It is also another technique that clinicians can use to treat patients since, as we know, no one particular approach to therapy is effective for all people.

    -Nicole Hinan

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  22. In response to the previous blog, I also believe that the overarching goal of the story telling method is to make a connection between our dreams and what they are trying to tell us within our waking day life. 'The Giant Compass' introduces us as readers to the idea of our physical bodies relaying messages for us through our dreams. As a cancer patient, one's dreams can be very powerful as their physical body and symptoms may be trying to communicate to one's waking day life. The story telling method is generally successful in achieving discovery or connection to one's waking day life, so in accordance with the previous blog, I believe that the story telling method of dream interpretation is useful in connecting one's potential fears or concerns of cancer diagnosis with their waking day life, which can then be expressed and addressed with a professional.
    Clinicians can use the story telling method to connect with their patients in a way that is unique to their needs and concerns. By deeply interpreting one's diagnosis through the story telling method, clinicians can provide holistic care, in the sense that they are not primarily concerned with symptom relief but also concerned with other social, emotional, or spiritual stresses their patient may express from their cancer diagnosis

    Emily Nyboer

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  23. I think that the TSM is a great method of helping the ill deal with their emotions. I think that the emotions one feels when diagnosed with a serious illness are often too difficult to adequately deal without additional resources. I think in this case TSM could be one of the additional resources that someone suffering an illness could utilize in order to help dissect and in some cases resolve their negative emotions. More specifically, I think in that the TSM would be able to help a sick person effectively identify specific emotions and their causes which would then allow them to better deal with and possibly counter act these emotions.

    Its mentioned in The Giant Compass and many other academic sources that I have read in the past that dreams are indeed very related to ones own physical health. However I am still very skeptical to believe that we can use dream interpretation strategies as early warning signals to detect occult illness. Although my mind is not shut to the idea I am currently inclined to believe that if someone notices dream imagery that could be construed as related to bodily illness it is probably because the person has already noticed some sort of deficit in their waking life related to their illness and perhaps this knowledge is being translated into their dreaming life. Having said this just because I am skeptical doesn't mean my mind won't change by the end of the course. And of course there is no doubt that there is a very real connection between the body and the mind even the ancient Greeks knew that!

    Evan

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  24. As often discussed with dream interpretation, our dreams are essentially cryptic symbolizations of what is going on in our waking and unconscious lives. When a person has some form of serious illness the mind reacts to it causing strange dreams that can be even more puzzling than those of a healthy person. Seeing as when we dream we are often acting out our problems in an unconscious attempt to solve them, it stands to reason that people suffering from breast cancer would do nothing but benefit from the added assistance of TSM. Having such an illness causes all sorts of harsh emotions and uncertain feelings and so using the story telling method to further examine dreams could lead patients to a better understanding of how to cope with their illness and thus stress less in waking life. Less stress and a better understanding of their illness should arguably lead to a mentally and physically stronger patient which would do wonders in sustaining the will power to continue fighting breast cancer.

    Sean Stead

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  25. Stephanie WottonMay 22, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    The storytelling method TSM is extremely useful in navigating ones dream imagery, linking dreams to waking day circumstances and leads to discovery nearly 80 percent of the time. When used in breast cancer patients this method will be useful in providing insight into the meaning of ones dreams without overwhelming the patient as it is very easy to use and is not time consuming.

    In waking day circumstances the dreams of breast cancer patients and provide guidance into which treatment path the patient should follow. There are many options available now and these can be overwhelming. Some guidance may help the patient to first, make a choice and second either feel comfortable in the choice or decide to go down a different path based on their discovery using TSM.

    As far as clinicians are concerned, it has been proven that dream imagery reflects the individuals health status (ill imagery for ill individuals and healthy imagery for healthy individuals). Examining dream imagery may provide insight for the clinician regarding the patients health status. For example, if a patient continues to experience ill imagery the clinician may need to reexamine the treatment or try another treatment path.

    Stephanie Wotton

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  26. My views parallel those of Stephanie's. I agree that the storytelling method could help breast cancer patients to gain insight about their waking life through their dreams and that this procedure will be unlikely to overwhelm a patient given that it is simple to perform and that it remains personal to the dreamer.

    By using this method, breast cancer patients could recognize the true source of their anxieties and frustrations. Through their dreams, patients may learn how to develop strategies for coping with the stressors that consume their everyday waking life. Some patients may focus solely on the physical aspect of their disease, while neglecting their mental well-being. This can have serious detrimental effects on an individual and the storytelling method is a way in which a cancer patient could understand that the unconscious feelings that they have repressed are causing them added stress and exhaustion.

    The storytelling method may enable patients to recognize hopeful feelings that help them to feel empowered and that prevent them from expriencing depressive thoughts as they are dealing with this difficult life situaiton. The storytelling method could be used a personal therapy that assists a patient in overcoming negative dispositons.

    Clinicians can use the storytelling method to understand how their patients are managing their disease on a physical, mental, or spiritual level. In realizing how a patient is coping with their diagnosis and treatment plan, the clinician can ensure that the best care is provided to the individual.

    Alicia Holding

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  27. The Storytelling Method of dream interpretation is the easiest method and works at least 80 percent of the time, which is just what someone needs when they are going through a rough time. Cancer patients have enough going on in their minds, so they need something easy, something that works, and something that is not time consuming. All these new thoughts and emotions regarding cancer can cloud the person's judgement on what type of treatment to go through, when to start and stop treatment, and so on. The Storytelling Method of dream interpretation is perfect because the worries and thoughts about these things will be reflected into that person's dreams through imagery. Dreams have meaning behind them, and are known to help with health related issues that the person may not even be aware of, so the Storytelling Method of dream interpretation would be perfect for cancer patients.

    If patients listen to their dreams, they can find insight into what type of treatment is working and what is not and when to start treatment or when to stop. This could be very beneficial because, otherwise, the cancer patient would have to wait until the follow up made by the doctor to see how effective the treatment is. Even if this assessment is done at an appropriate time, the Storytelling Method of dream interpretation is a way to let the cancer patient feel partially in control when he/she may feel like life is spinning out of control. This aspect of dream interpretation is very important because this will help the cancer patient focus on what type of treatment to go through and when to start or stop treatment in waking life.

    Clinicians can use this information to their advantage. By telling their patients to listen to their dreams, they could be giving the cancer patients a better chance at conquering their cancer. By prescribing the Storytelling Method of dream interpretation to their patients, they are helping the cancer patient be more focused and more calm, and they are making their job of checking that treatment is working a little less stressful. Therefore, when cancer patients are given the chance to interpret their dreams, their thoughts and emotions show through in those dreams and they are able to become more focused and calm in waking day life.

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  28. I agree with Lindsey that, "If patients listen to their dreams, they can find insight into what type of treatment is working and what is not and when to start treatment or when to stop". Dreams hold a great deal of information for each of us giving us information from our subconscious mind to help us. In our dreaming state our subconscious reveals to us our personal private and our confidential worries, concerns and health issues into a narrative story basis (telling us stories that relate to "ourselves" and "our" lives). The storytelling method (TSM) is a dreaming interpretation method which has been tested, it was tested by Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD. The basis of the TSM method is is to reveal a story to ourself that the dream may be telling and the story is written out through a 5 step method of interpretation. This 5 step method done with a worksheet is done in order not putting one step before another and it is done by the dreamer as it is meaningful to them and not a therapist or a friend can interpret their dream into a story for them.

    The Storytelling Method for Breast Cancer Patients would be helpful because this method is practical, useful and user friendly and most importantly it leads to discoveries 80% of the time (as stated by Teresa DeCicco). Through using the TSM method cancer patients can make associates from words and phrases from their dream. Through making these connections the breast cancer patient can then create a personal story from their associations. In creating a story discoveries can come about for the cancer patient revealing items that can be significantly helpful to the patient in their waking day life. The cancer patient can find out through their dreams their deepest worries and concerns revolving their cancer and they can reveal if they are truly pushing for recovery or giving up (they also may have even found out that they have cancer through their dreams). For me I believe the most important discovery to the patient would be the discoveries about whether the treatment is working or not working. The discoveries in a caner patient (or any patients dream interpretation) can reveal if a specific treatment is working for them or if it is not.

    ...cont'd

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  29. In this week's lecture, a diagram is included that depicts the different level of a person's body and mind that dreams affect. These include: physical body, mental, emotional, relational, and existential/spiritual. Living with a cancer diagnosis and all that it includes also affects each of these aspects of a person. Therefore, TSM and consequent discoveries have the potential to offer a tremendous amount of insight into the patient's experience with cancer.
    TSM, as well as other dream therapies, may help patients create meaning of their dreams, as well as decrease any negative imagery that may occur. As mentioned in many previous posts, dreams often explore the health of the dreamer,which is crucial for people with cancer. Positive outcomes from using TSM for dream interpretation could include decreased stress and anxiety, increased understanding of inner resources and healing and different levels, as well as increased confidence and control. Additionally, Lyons (2009)states that effective work with dream therapy decreases distress that negatively affects a person's immune system.
    A patient participating in dream therapy may provide insight for clinicians. The results of TSM can indicate whether or not a patient is responding well to a certain treatment, or if another option should be explored. The idea of a "positive response" can also be explored on the multiple levels described at the beginning of this post. Furthermore, clinicians may use information they have gathered to help develop programs for other patients, or to further research.

    Ann-Marie Harris

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  30. (......cont'd from above paragraph, it would only let me paste so much)

    The discoveries would help the clinician because they would be able to recognize through their dream interpretation if the treatment was working or not. Through knowing if a treatment is not working they could possibly change it slightly or try something entirely new to save the patients life. Their discoveries would help the clinicians understand the persons self concepts, defines mechanisms and core concepts and they can help them cope in the best way possible for their ongoing pain and concerns. I also believe the discoveries would help the clinician in waking life because they can recognize through their dream interpretation if the patient is ready to stop therapy or not, or when they are improving. This is important because if they did not realize this it could cause significant personal strain on the patient, or false hope (thoughts from the patient that "I am never improving" when in reality they are, good to see this through dream interpretation).

    Overall the implementation of the TSM model for breast cancer patients can significantly help them in their treatment process and waking life issues. Patients who receive help from clinicians with breast cancer should definitely seek dream interpretation methods (TSM method) to help with their tough situation. Through the individual seeking dream interpretation they can find many insights into their personal self, they can become aware of their subconscious thoughts and their discoveries can help to deal with those in waking life. Not only are they helping their emotional side through their discoveries in dream interpretation they can also help with their treatments (as previously stated above) due to recognizing if a specific treatment is working through their dreams.

    Dream discoveries help breast cancer patients in waking life and can significantly help clinicians when working with the patient.

    ~Abby Ross.

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  31. Christine McAteerMay 22, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I feel the storytelling method (TSM),as mentioned many above,will allow the cancer patients a way of looking at their treatment in a more positive light, or it would help them see that the treatments they are currently undergoing are not reallly helping them.
    The mental health of a person goes hand in hand with the physical health of a person. The patients dreams will be able to show them how their body is feeling toward the medication and treatments they are going through. Patients with cancer can often be in denial and not want others to know they are in pain, but by having them use their dreams to help them see how it is effecting their waking life they may be able to see that they need a change in the way they are going about dealing with their cancer, or they may be doing exactly what they need to be to help themselves.
    TSM will allow cancer patients a great way of understanding what is running through their head that they may not notice, something that could help them out in the long run.

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  32. The Storytelling Method can lead to discoveries that are applicable to one’s waking life. Insight found by breast cancer patients may actually help in their waking lives in several ways. Finding deep meaning in their illness through the use of dream imagery can help the patients to gain a better understanding of what they are going through. A deeper meaning can allow patients to become more aware of the physical, mental, and emotional impact that the illness will have on them. It can also help patients to better cope with all of the stresses (like the impact that it will have on relationships for example) that come with the burden of an illness like cancer by guiding them to make helpful and positive decisions. Discoveries can also inform patients on the progress that their treatment is making. The unconscious mind is often well aware of the state that the physical body is in. Through dream imagery, the patient can be shown if the treatment being used is most appropriate for their body, and thus should be continued, or if treatment is not working and another method should be attempted.

    When working with patients, clinicians can use this information to get a better understanding of how an illness like cancer impacts those who have it. By looking at the types of imagery being created in the patient’s dreams, and how these images are then translated into waking life insight, the clinician can then help guide therapy in a way that most suites what the patient needs and wants.

    - Chealsie Pierson

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  33. Using dream therapy can help cancer patients and the clinician in many way. Cancer patients might have mixed emotion and also fears about what they are leaving behind, what is not accomplished, etc. Using dream therapy patients can come to terms with how they are feeling as well as figure out what their emotions are meaning to them. It can help them sort out the meaning of the dreams and how to change or correct something that they feel the need to correct. It could be with a family member, past friendships, etc. By putting a positive spin on the dreams it could lead to more positive thinking.
    Clinician can use the research and findings about how dream therapy can help them with coping strategies by going over the process of dream therapy and let them determine what would work the best with treatment or how to make their life more positive.
    -Sarah McFadden

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  34. The high amount of trauma experienced by a person being diagnosed with cancer can cause so many negative (though not always) feelings and problems with coping. Diagnosed individuals can also fall into depression. I took a Health Psychology course last term and learned the importance of learned coping strategies. Proper coping and maintenance of positive outlooks are incredibly important to the healing process which can in turn aid in recovery of illnesses, including certain cancers. By using the Storytelling Method of dream therapy, cancer patients can quite easily learn to link their dreaming life to their waking life and, as Dr. DeCicco has pointed out, TSM leads to discovery 80% of the time. Dream therapy should be more prevalent in these types of cases because of it's low cost (the patient can do it themselves), its' timely manner, and its' ease; as a few previous bloggers have pointed out. TSM can greatly help patients come to terms with things that may be pushed to the back of their thoughts, and deal with the issues that are really devastating them.
    Margaret-Anne Warr

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  35. After using TSM to navigate one of my own dreams, I was surprized at what was revealed. What seemed to be obvious really uncovered something much deeper and unrealized in my waking life.

    This approach might be useful to breast cancer patients and the clinicians treating them. By allowing the amalgamation of the obvious fears of the disease (will I survive? Who will take care of my children?)with the underlying feelings revealed by TSM of dream analysis (Will my husband still be attracted to me?)patients will become more aware of what multitude of factors are causing the dreams and the clinicians can focus on coping strategies for the appropriate stressors/emotions.

    Time spent in therapy could be utilized by implementing these coping mechanisms, not by finding the causes of the patient's anxiety, which would have already been revealed through TSM.

    Shauna Conway

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  36. The interesting thing I find with the storytelling method is the way that, just like dreams, even though there is a base in reality for most stories, from there the path can lead to wherever the teller would like it to go. This in turn allows for so much information to be conveyed and passed on. As well it allows the storyteller to focus on finding what things are important to them. Even if their dream did not directly relate to what worries or bothers them by allowing the freedom of a story it offers the person a chance to find their own meaning and something to work on. As well, the way that dreams are filled with emotional content allows the person to be drawn into the storytelling method, even if they are at first resistant. It is such a simple method to use that it allows for nearly any person to use it. This is important when someone does not necessarily have a large amount of time or mental energy to devote to the task.

    Finally, something to keep in mind is that the total cost of the illness must be remembered, and if a doctor presents this option to a parent who has contracted cancer, they can choose to pass it along to their children allowing for them to also gain ways to express their emotions. This, I feel, could greatly help with the emotional health of the family.

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  37. I wish I knew more about the research itself. I would have liked to know some examples of the deep meaning that patients discovered and some examples of the coping strategies they found helpful.

    I believe that not all people would gain something from The Storytelling Method, but for those that do, it could help them in their waking lives. Processing the diagnosis of cancer is tough for most people. It is dreaded news that some people even choose to ignore and avoid. When you are dreaming you think of things that you may push aside in your waking life. Looking at your dreams may bring the situation of having cancer to the surface and make the person more aware that it is their reality.

    Some people also hold in their feelings about such a diagnosis and feel depressed and anxious. Being happy and positive does not cure cancer, but if a person is happier and more positive they are more likely to seek the appropriate treatments to help them stay alive. Getting meaning out of some dreams may help those people who are feeling depressed and anxious; it could be very therapeutic for them. If people also do not want to share their insights and fears with others, this method allows them to cope and not have to go to another source, they can write their dreams in journals and analyze them for themselves.

    Clinicians could use information from people’s dreams to help them understand what they are going through and maybe what their needs are. Dreams change all the time and it could give a clinician some perspective on the person and their mental and emotional states.

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  38. As we have looked into the insight of our dreams through the storytelling method, this way of dream interpretation can help a patient in many ways. We know that as a healthy human being, finding insight to our dreams by ourselves without anybody’s help, as well as not having to discuss private matters are positive aspects to this method. As a patient, I could imagine that they would feel at ease with understanding their own dreams. The discoveries that patients make can help in their waking life by the difference of coping style. Cancer patients could be stronger in a sense, because they may have even heard someone talk to them in their dream from their past, maybe a past friend or relative. Discoveries that are made could also take away from the factor of fear. Usually when a person thinks they are sick and keeps telling that to themselves, they only get sicker. Taking away fear helps them deal with whatever they must go through in a confident manner.
    Clinicians can use this information when working with patients by possibly reducing the number of different things a cancer patient must go through. This is not to say that clinicians have to relate their science to their discoveries. A patient’s coping style will alter the way they want their clinician to change their procedure. Therefore, it is easier for the clinician, and the patient.

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  39. It is important to consider that cancer is not a singular event. A diagnosis like this changes a person permanently. The Storytelling Method then could be multiply useful on both a personal and clinical level.

    Firstly, the mind-body connection could, through dreams, lead to diagnosis. The individual may, via interpretation, find that their dreams urge them to see a doctor; that somehow their body is unwell. Secondly, interpretation of one's dreams post diagnosis could lend insight to what the patient fears. For example, a patient may begin having dreams or nightmares that the cancer begins popping up everywhere in their body and that systematically her breasts, and limbs etc. are removed. She may derive from this that chemotherapy or radiation, may be a preferable first course of action to mastectomy.

    This of course would be crucial knowledge for clinicians (oncologists, psychiatrists etc.) in that the best chances of survival and adjustment accompany the patient's psychological well-being. Dreams could force to the surface what a frightened, busy, wakeful mind may have been unaware of. Clinicians would benefit from having their patients use TSM to help discover the best and most sensitive path to regaining health.

    Finally, TSM could contribute personally to the patient's sense of self beyond the diagnosis. It is not just the diagnosis, or just the cancer that changes these patients' lives. The aftermath of chemotherapy (hair loss, nausea, fatigue, depression, premature menopause etc.), or surgery (lump or mastectomy, or removal of lymph nodes), often brings with it pain both physically and emotionally. TSM during recovery, remission, or after being deemed terminal, could help patients discover what is really important to them. They may gain insight into existential truths, learn to be more of their ideal self, or how not to sweat the small stuff.

    Just like my mother.

    Alya Al-Joundi

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  40. I would think that the discoveries made from their dreams would help the patients come to terms with their illness and begin to find and understand many different coping strategies, and treatments that can help them through the difficult times.
    Many people go through several different states when they are diagnosed with cancer, and many choose to stop their treatments completely. the storytelling method could help the patient realize how important the treatments are to their health and just how much is available to them. their dreams once interpreted can show them many different meanings behind everything that is going on in their lives, and even more importantly help them get the assistance that they need. the clinicians could use this to their advantage, and help the patients fully come to terms with their diagnosis and open them up to even more possibilities to either new coping strategies or to bring their attention to newer technologies that will help them out.

    Sarah Craig

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  41. It has been mentioned in both The Giant Compass (DeCicco, 2008) and in the reading The Dreaming Mind (Van de Castle, 1994) that dreams can give important insight into your body, whether it be healthy or whether it be suffering with an illness. In the case of cancer, the insight gained from a dream may allow for an individual suffering with the disease to find comfort in the illness, find ways to relieve negative symptoms or to even give insight into how they can overcome the disease. It has also been discussed that dreams can sometimes allow somebody to understand their own mental state and suggest potential treatments or solutions. As mentioned above in many other posts, an important cursor to somebody being diagnosed with cancer are the symptoms that can sometimes appear before the actual diagnosis. In regards to dreams, a dream may tell the story or illustrate the actions that an individual needs to take, whether it be change their life style to prevent any type of illness or whether it be some sort of sign to tell the individual to seek medical attention.
    Clinicians could emphasize the importance of using dreams as either a coping method to deal with the disease by having insight into their dreams or as a new method to gain insight into why it happened. Any type of support or coping tools that can be used by an individual with cancer could help in any variety of different ways.
    Using your dreams to tell you the story of why it may have happened to you, or how to cope with it, or even how to help heal are very important and definitely worth a try if you have never used your dreams to gain insight about yourself.
    - Sarah Arthur

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  42. Cancer patients can suffer mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, poor sleep patterns and quality, difficulty coping with the diagnosis, illness and the mental strain associated with undergoing cancer therapies and treatment. Dream therapy can provide meaning and insight into waking life, provide meaning to their experience of illness.Mental health issues can affect physical health and wellness, dream therapy can serve to improve mental health through self-discovery, acceptance and coping. Clinicians can use such self-discovery and therapy to improve coping with illness, target areas of concern with the patient and overall mental health and wellness.
    -Charlotte Marcotte

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  43. My great Aunt just finished her treatment for breast cancer, and I know that the entire time she was ill she kept a positive attitude and positive thinking. This can have a very large effect on your physical being. By using the TSM, one can see deeper into their thoughts and apply their new knowledge to waking life behaviors. Any negative feelings or thoughts are able to be identified, when most of the other times, the person did not even know that their dream meant anything close to waking life.

    Clinicians can use the TSM to help their patients through any sort of rough time, and to try and turn around their attitudes or any negative thoughts, which may perhaps help the patient physically in the long run.

    Brittney Delves

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  44. Story telling method is a great discovery since it gives people a chance to learn their inner desire, thoughts, needs and other outcomes of life. I liked the idea that the mind and the body is connected and it interacts somewhat according to waking life. The breast cancer issue was a good example to use on this method. After taking this class I started to use the TSM way to interpret my own dream in a daily basis for guidance. Consciously and unconsciously we human always try to relate life event with anything that takes place. The story telling method is a great way to sense a direction towards the hint which is indicates someone. I use the TSM myself and it is very helpful. It relaxes my mind when I am able to solve unknown issues. Now, I write down my dream and interpret for guidance.

    Pavel Nazmus

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  45. The Storytelling Method is a very useful method for helping people discover their feelings that are influencing them to have certain dreams. Breast cancer patients may be more vulnerable to certain types of dreams than people without breast cancer, and The Storytelling Method can help uncover how breast cancer develops particular feelings in the patients that cause them to have dreams that people without breast cancer do not have. By using STM, breast cancer patients may discover that the way they feel in their waking life has been influenced by the cancer in them. Once they discover how the breast cancer has been affecting them subconsciously, they can work with their clinicians to overcome the feelings if the feelings are causing negative impacts on their waking life. Once clinicians are able to understand how the breast cancer is making the patients feel and what the breast cancer is doing to their mental state, the clinicians can work at helping their patients overcome those feelings so that they can live comfortably in their waking life with the breast cancer.
    -Sarah Aseerwatham

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  46. Dreams can give you insight about your unconscious thoughts, feelings and can also give insight into your body. Cancer patients are faced with negative thoughts and emotions accompanying their diagnoses and TSM can help them to make sense of their worries, fears and other confusing aspects of their diagnoses that may be too difficult to face directly head on or may be causing distressing dreams. TSM is an easy way of looking into the meaning of your dreams without focusing solely on the events of the dream. By stepping back and creating a story that is not directly from the dream, the patient may feel more comfortable approaching these concerns and feelings which can keep them as positive as possible.
    I although I do not have breast cancer, I have a chronic life threatening condition that flares up anywhere from 4-6 days to once a month without any warning. I know I have started using TSM daily in hopes to gain insight into when my body is about to have another episode, as they are usually the result of something happening a couple days earlier. My hope is that if I can gain insight when I am about to be ill than I could plan ahead and get treatment faster. By treating faster, it would greatly improve my quality of life and would not interfere with my life so sporadically.
    TSM can help notify cancer patients of what is going on inside their bodies and can help them to keep positive. I know for myself it is hard to stay positive and relaxed all the time and stress is the number one trigger of my condition for me. By gaining greater insight into my dreams, body and waking life, I hope that my experience living with this condition can become more positive.
    By becoming aware of what is creating the negative imagery in your dreams using TSM you can work on changing the way you approach these thoughts, which can help patients be more positive.

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  47. There are many stresses and fears that come along with cancer. As stated in the textbook, cancer patients tend to have dreams that involve anxious and fearful imagery. Using the Storytelling Method can help them interpret their dreams and result in discoveries that can lead to possible treatment decisions or coping with your everyday life.
    TSM is also good because it easy to do, and is completely interpreted by the dreamer. There is nobody else telling the dreamer what their dream means, instead it is completely personal. This gives cancer patients a personal connection to their dreams and confident with solutions they may find within this method.
    As stated before, the Storytelling Method is completely interpreted by the dreamer themselves. A clinician could use this interpretation to help their patient come to a conclusion of what treatments are in their best interest. Also, they can use TSM to help patients cope with their cancer.

    Kristin Vieira

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  48. Breast Cancer Patients would find the Story Telling Method useful in finding meaning in their dreams and their relation to waking day life. These patients may have a decreased morale or impending fears about a decline in health. Being able to take control of a part of their life could help them feel more confidence and give them strength in their battle against cancer. By working through their dreams, they can learn what manifestations are troubling them in waking day life and shed light on problems they may not have been aware of before. Coming to terms with a disease process is one of the hardest things to accept when being ill. Perhaps knowing what obstacles are blocking the road to full recovery for a patient could help them begin to fix issues that can be fixed and also cope with issues that cannot be readily fixed. Acceptance of the unknown may be difficult and having dreams about death could indicate what part of dying they are uneasy about. Working through such fears could help a patient in the end stages of life, or could motivate a patient to fight the disease. Either way it's going to increase the patient's self awareness !

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  49. My beliefs about dreaming are changing week by week with this course. I defiantly feel that dreams hold important information about us while we as humans can’t really understand what to make of our dreams. I feel from the previous assignment and readings on The Storytelling Method (TSM) have been a way of interpreting dreams and allowing us to discover things that we may have never been aware of.

    I know that breast cancer for women is ongoing battle and at times a struggle to deal with. Women continue to fight this battle knowing it’s one of the deadliest cases of cancer for women. Women in the beginning of uncovering of their disease they fight to understand on why or how did this happen to them. What this means for them and even the dreadful thought of death or the “end”. These emotions and thoughts cause great distress and troubling sleep patterns.

    Patients should look to TSM as a way of coping and understanding what they are going through. Though the process may need more time to understand there certain behaviors I feel writing down and recording their dreams will give them more of an active role allowing the patients to feel they are creating their very own opportunity on what is happening to them. Furthermore, I feel TSM will give them a more of a personal insight or allowing them to rediscover themselves. Therefore, the hands on approach and pushing yourself to understanding what this cancer is doing to you will give the patients a better chance of fighting their disease and even helping them progress through this difficult time. TSM may also help answer questions to their previous feelings at them time when they found out they had breast cancer. Furthermore, this will strengthen previous behaviors they might have had such as confidence, strength, independence, grit, basically causing the breast cancer patients to have a change of heart about their circumstances and ensure they will beat this.

    Daniel Dosen

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  50. The Storytelling Method gives cancer patients discoveries such as coping strategies and deep meaning in their illness. These discoveries can help patients in their waking life because being diagnosed with cancer is very stressful and TSM could be a way for patients to alleviate some of that stress and open up the conversation with their clinician to things they might have had trouble bringing up without it being based on a dream. TSM can be an easier way for patients to open up about issues that may be hard to bring up otherwise.

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  51. Jennifer Cheznowski 0376917May 24, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Storytelling Methods helps cancer patients to gather a further meaning into their feelings around their illness. Cancer is an extremely scary disease since many are unsuccessful in their recovery. TSM might help cancer patients to cope with their disease. It could help them to understand and confront the way they truly feel about their situation. This confrontation may develop into a strength towards their pain. TSM might actually help patients to overcome their fears towards cancer and develop courage of their state.
    Before TSM, patients might be in denial of their feelings, or even confused and overwhelmed by the way they feel. Understanding the way one feels can grow into an action being made about the way they feel. This may lead them to gathering the strength to want to make a change about their situation which may result in some kind of treatment. TSM just might be the reason a patient overcomes their cancer.

    Cancer is not an easy disease to deal with. It can be a great time of confusion and frustration. Knowing that your left is coming to a quick end can definitely take at toll on an individual. Keeping your thoughts and feeling in line with the help of TSM can greatly improve the awful situation of having cancer.

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  52. As The Storytelling Method of Dream Interpretation has been shown to be effective for individuals coping with various health-related issues, I feel that breast cancer patients are fitting candidates for this type of dream therapy. TSM specifically would be beneficial in the sense that it would give patients the opportunity to observe and fully understand the likely negative imagery that arises in their dreams. Clinicians could then utilise this information in order to help patients develop strategies for learning how to deal with these emotions in constructive ways.

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  53. Janine LownsbroughMay 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    After being diagnosed with cancer, the individual would likely have many new and scary emotions that need to be processed. When they dream, it will likely be anxious or scared dreams, as they are unsure and confused with this news. The Story Telling method would allow them to sort through and understand the different emotions that they have, and begin to understand and come to terms with their disease. Once they begin to grasp what is happening to their bodies, they should be able to adjust their daytime living so that they can find more joy and comfort with how their life has changed, and how they can cope with the day to day. Death is for most a terrifying thought, especially for those with cancer. The STM may allow these individuals to understand their true feelings on death, and what about it scares them (having their loved ones grieve, not knowing what happens when we die, suffering etc) and learning to adjust and become more comfortable with it. Clinicians can use this method to help the patient adjust, and even perhaps understand the different treatment methods and how the patient is responding to it, though the mind body connections.

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  54. I would expect these discoveries to help patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer into their waking life by understanding what is going on with their bodies . By using the story telling method, dreamers are in there dream bodies and by using this method, cancer patients can become aware of what is going on in their bodies physically and mentally. By going through the TSM steps they can become aware to what their bodies are trying to tell them. Also, the can experience and learn to deconstruct their emotions. This can help in waking life as the pressure and anxiety of going through the processes of being a cancer patient can be explored and patients will be better equipped to cope. This can help clinicians in the sense that they can learn about typical dream motifs that can cancer patients may experience by going through the storytelling method of past cancer patients. Though each dream in unique to the individual clinicians in waking life can use this information to other patients and learn what caner patients go through in the dreams by what their bodies and minds are trying to tell them.

    As the previous poster has mentioned, the story telling method can also allow them to explore their emotions and this can be both beneficial to the patient and the clinician. To the patient, it can help them explore and understand their emotions and the clinicians can learn to what is going on mentally and as physically with their patients and future ones. Patients can alter their waking life routines from what can be learned through the TSM and clinicians can help them achieve this.

    -Erin Hillier

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