Better coping (reduced anxiety, depression, and pain
Longer life expectancy (doubled for metastatic breast cancer)
Writing about trauma
Feel better, seek less medical treatment, and improve immune response
More translates to greater well-being
Metaphors for what is happening here
Venting: not really the issue. Venting can make things worse
More along the lines of the traditional Greek notion of Catharsis: not purging, but understanding
Exploring the self through communication
in this case exploring the implications of trauma
loss of meaning
expectations about how the world works
assumptions about your place in the world and the meaning of life
Index card assignment due Friday: What is the meaning of life? (your view; the meaning of life for you) Other ways of looking at the question: Why are we here? Why are you here? What do you value that can act as an organizing principle in your life? What should we be doing that justifies our being here?
Our emotional communication can help us
create some distance from the experience
Don't bury it, but get some perspective
Look at the bigger picture
At the things found as well as the things lost
At the opened as well as the paths closed
Writing, conversation, and even a professional listener can all help.
integrate the event into a coherent story
We can't stop things from coming back
But we can create a sensible context that helps us deal with them.
Simple labeling can help, as labels carry lots of other stuff along that helps give a story coherance
Be careful with this, as this road can lead to bias and stereotyping too
unify feelings and thoughts
meaning is found in unifying our emotions and experience
provide a sense of control
putting yourself in the position of an empowered actor
Sometimes none of this works. Some things just don't make sense.