Living Your Life with Cancer through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy : Flying over Thunderstorms book cover
1st Edition

Living Your Life with Cancer through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Flying over Thunderstorms

ISBN 9780367549244
Published June 22, 2021 by Routledge
128 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This valuable self-help book for people affected by cancer, their loved ones and friends focuses on self-care when life hurts. It explores the impact of cancer and explains why the usual ways of coping may leave people stuck.

The first book of its kind to focus on the scientifically based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach, it helps people to find ways to cope with painful thoughts and feelings, and to rebuild a meaningful life despite the cancer. With an emphasis on value-based living the book illustrates skills such as mindfulness and the development of acceptance to help people affected by cancer to participate in a fuller life and gain a greater sense of well-being. It combines evidence-based practice with the experiences of people who are living with cancer in the form of numerous quotations throughout, as well as paper and pencil ‘thought’ exercises.

Living Your Life with Cancer through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps people affected by cancer to feel more able to sit with the uncertainty of their future, show themselves kindness and compassion and to learn to be true to themselves, no matter what the cancer throws at them. It is also important reading for psychological therapists working in oncology.

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Part 1: Understanding the Impact of Cancer Part 2: Living a Meaningful Life After a Diagnosis of Cancer - An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Approach to Living with Cancer Part 3: Looking After Yourself Part 4: Making a Difference Index

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Dr. Anne Johnson is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has worked in cancer and palliative care with adults and children in the NHS.

Dr. Claire Delduca is a Principal Clinical Psychologist who has worked within specialist cancer and palliative care services for adults in the NHS for seven years.

Professor Reg Morris is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and director of clinical psychology training who has worked therapeutically and researched with people affected by long-term conditions since 1995.

About the artist:

Mark Harvey, an artist and illustrator originating from Southampton, provided the illustrations displayed in this book.


"This book is an incredibly useful resource for handling the enormous stress and suffering that cancer always brings with it. Facing your fears, practicing self-compassion and living by your values are just some of the practical strategies you’ll encounter within these pages. Highly recommended for anyone dealing with this devastating diagnosis".  Russ Harris, author of the international bestseller, The Happiness Trap

"This book offers a wealth of wisdom and advice, solidly rooted in cutting-edge psychological science, but always clearly and practically explained, and beautifully illustrated. It could make a big difference at some of life's darkest moments. I will happily recommend it within my own service". - Dr. Ray Owen, Consultant Clinical Psychologist; author of Facing the Storm and Living with the Enemy

"As a clinician who deals with the impact of cancer on my patients and their loved ones on a daily basis, I know how important our mind is in making sense of unwelcome news. This book, written by trusted colleagues, creates a very structured way to deal with that flood of our worst thoughts, when the going gets tough. It also amplifies the understanding of our mind’s potential. Readers can expect to learn new terminology, such as Defusion and Urge Surfing, which can help create recognition and strategies to deal with crises. I heartily recommend it to people dealing with serious illnesses, those close to them and health and social care professionals who deal with these situations". - Dr. Mark Taubert, Palliative Care Consultant, Velindre Cancer Centre; Clinical Director, Consultant Physician and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Palliative Medicine, Cardiff University

"Cancer and its treatments can affect people in many different ways – physically, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually. These effects can be felt by the person who has been diagnosed with cancer or those close to them. I very much hope that this book with all its helpful, practical content and suggestions will support people to keep their sense of self and to live well with more fulfilment and a sense of control, through what can be difficult times. Health care professionals would also benefit from reading this book, to help them develop a deeper understanding of how their patients may be affected, in order to improve the care they give". - Dr. Mick Button, MA (Cantab), MBBS (Lond), MRCP (2001), FRCR, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Lung Cancer Clinical Lead, Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff; Associate Medical Director, Velindre University NHS Trust