Let me start off with a statement: I like making use of Wikipedia. It might be because it was not seen as a legitimate reference or source whilst studying, that I am now using it liberally. That being said and now out of the way, I can proceed by making use of this very easy reading resource. It defines cancer as “a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumours, which do not spread.”
I am obviously not a doctor, so how do I link this theme of this month’s newsletter to my occupation, if it is not something that I often work with? Well, what about the psychological version of cancer. This can be viewed as a group of behaviours, thoughts, relationships etc. involving abnormal growth or attention with the potential to influence or invade other areas of ones’ functioning.
How often does something like this go unnoticed or even undiagnosed? An area of your life that consumes the rest of it, impacting your functioning almost relentlessly. It spreads. It grows. It consumes. Could it be as simple as time spent on social media or even as innocent or important as your work? What about a single thought, intrusive in nature and bordering on the obsessional, that becomes more than just a thought?
Cancer, then, seems to be more commonplace in our everyday lived experiences than what we might be aware of. Part of the process of therapy, or rather psychotherapy, is to awaken this awareness in order to facilitate change. So, to link it to this month’s theme, I invite you to engage with me in the therapeutic process to become aware of the psychological “cancers” that might be affecting your functioning, and from where change can begin.