Transforming Suffering Lesson Five CE Profession Group Learning Guide

Transforming Suffering Series

CE Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson Five: Hope


-The first step is ACT ONE. This interactive form section will give you an opportunity to delve deeply into the concepts behind our lesson and reflect on how they connect to your life and your role as caregiver. A critical element for the success of an ACT Learning Group is to provide some time and space for personal reflection and journaling.

-After completing this step, ACT TWO is a period of group discussion and reflection. All participants must be given a safe space to express themselves during this time. This portion of the interactive form is filled out with insights gained from your community exploration.

-Next, your group will move on to ACT THREE, the Best Practicesreal-world habits, ways of thinking, or behaving that can increase personal well-being. Goals to incorporate best practice suggestions can be made on the group or individual level and support systems can be developed during this time.

ACT Step One: Individual Reflection

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

1. “Through employment of specific coping strategies, optimism exerts an indirect influence also on the quality of life. In a sample of women with breast cancer it was found that optimistic women presented coping strategies characterized by acceptance of the situation, emphasis of the positive aspects and attempts to alleviate their condition with a sense of humor, showing evident positive results on their quality of life. In contrast, the pessimistic women reacted with sentiments of impotence and loss of hope which significantly worsened their quality of life.” – (Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being, 2010)

2. “Care providers who incorporate the P.D.Q. in their patient relationships note several of the following outcomes that benefit both caregiver and receiver:
a) increased trust
b) healthier advocacy
c) increased empathy  
d) are better able to cope with challenging circumstances.” 
—Dr. Harvey Chochinov

3. “We were blown away by what happened when we routinely asked ‘What matters to you?’ Our cognitively impaired patients become calmer, less withdrawn, and less depressed.” – (Small Questions, Big Improvements in Patient-Centered Care, 2016)

4. “…I said be still and wait without hope, for to hope would be to hope for the wrong thing.”—T S Eliot

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Three: Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

Required Lesson Materials: Spiritual Assessment Form

1. “Hope lays dormant until its amazing strength is beckoned, supplying a sheer belief that you will overcome, you will persevere and you will endure anything and everything that comes your way. Hope is the belief that circumstances will get better. It’s not a wish for things to get better — it’s the actual belief, the knowledge that things will get better, no matter how big or small.” – Dale Archer, M.D.

Take special note of the “hope” section of the Spiritual Health Assessment Form you are filling out on a daily or weekly basis. Observe your own level of hope and courage. Notice what factors and patterns are influencing this important dimension of your own well-being. Record your observations in the margins of your spiritual assessment form or write about them in your journal.

2. “The findings of this [Patient Dignity Question] pilot study provide understanding into the provision of care that treats people with dignity, and as individuals – core principles of the basic human rights of patients. . . Results suggest that the PDQ [Patient Dignity Question] has the ability to make improvements to two elements of care as perceived by patients: the person-centered environment and empathetic care.”- (The Dignified Approach to Care, 2015)

Watch for opportunities in both your personal and professional interactions to engage with the P.D.Q.  Phrase your questions in ways that are fresh and appropriate — keeping your focus on listening more deeply to the needs of others.  In the process, encourage those you care for (as well as yourself) to advocate for each other’s needs as well.

3. “It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn’t get confined…”-Richard Phillips Feynman 

Examine a specific challenge you are facing and ask how it may bring change to your life. Imagine all the possible outcomes but make no effort to choose one as “the best” or “most likely” result. Write down each outcome and try to find a place of peaceful acceptance of every possible result. How could you find hope and courage in each possible scenario?  Be sure to include a big question mark on your list to represent the unimagined outcome. Does this type of exploration bring fear or peace? How can this change in thinking impact your view of the future?

Closing Thought

“My greatest hope is to learn to laugh as much as I cry– and have the courage to accept both.”
—Maya Angelou

Additional Resources