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Friday, November 03, 2006

Moore talks about healing through illness

Following last month's presentation at the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing, Thomas Moore offers a Q&A interview for the centre's online service Taking Charge of Your Health. Moore talks about healing through illness:
"When people get a serious illness they go through a lot of changes. Relationships to family members change. Friends become very disturbed. Work is threatened or suffers or ceases. An awful lot of things happen to a person when they become ill beyond just the physical condition. One of the things people do is struggle with how to maintain their identities. With cancer they may lose their hair. All those things have a social impact.

Out of all that comes a deepening -- not automatically – but a gradual deepening of their sense of who they are as a person. Illness is an opportunity to ask difficult questions. People ask what is important and what isn’t. By working through these things they are healed of many of the problems they had."
When asked about things that people with serious illnesses can do to help themselves heal, Moore responds:
"They should follow their intuition first of all. If their inclination is to trust the medical world, they should. It could be very valuable. If their inclination is to seek out alternative and complementary medicines, they should and feel good about it. Another good step would to be to find someone – a friend, counselor, priest, a rabbi – someone who they can trust and confide in. They have to decide who this person is for themselves. This movement toward congruence and honesty with saying how we feel is an important step. Sometimes families will try to cover up and won’t talk. Sometimes medical people won’t talk straight. The patient can set the tone. Be honest.

Some people have turned to writing. People have written about their illness, and it’s important for them and important for those who read their experience. Writing expressively would be really valuable."
Ater talking about common mistakes people make that might prevent healing, Moore describes his two recent writing projects, including Opus: Finding Your Life's Work, to be released next autumn.

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