Transforming Suffering Lesson One CEU Professional Group Learning Learning Guide

Transforming Suffering Series

CE Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson One: Suffering

Directions:

-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. "There is an outer journey that patients take—consisting of medical tests and treatments but just as importantly, care receivers and their providers experience a profound inner journey that also needs therapeutic support." –Richard Groves

2. "If we could peer into people’s brains and understand that there are different kinds of pain created by very different brain systems, maybe we could do a better job in tailoring our treatments in dealing with their suffering and pain."  —Soul & Science Lesson

3. "Pain that is not transformed is transferred." - Richard Rohr

4. “Is emotional pain worse than physical pain? The simple answer to the question is yes. A study carried out in 2008 confirmed that emotional, or social, pain is more easily relived and re-experienced by individuals than physical pain. At the time that the event happened, physical pain may be equally, or even more painful than emotional pain. However, the after-effects of emotional pain are more severe than physical pain.” - (Is Emotional Pain Worse than Physical Pain? / 2016)

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)

1. “Suffering could be defined as the story we tell ourselves about our pain…” Soul & Science Lesson

When you are in the presence of suffering try to identify the emotional story that might be behind the suffering. Ask yourself: How does it compare to your own story of suffering? How is it the same? How is it different?

2. Test the wisdom that healing is often found on the other side of leaning into the pain. When you or someone you care for is stuck in emotional-spiritual pain, inquire about whether and how it might be possible “to find a way out— by going though”… the suffering. – Soul & Science Lesson

Start to become more curious about this antidote to suffering.  Try your success with smaller, more manageable issues. Acknowledge when new approaches work by writing them down or recording them in some way. Write down when those approaches fail and examine why. Set goals about how you can expand those successes to larger issues.

3. A Spiritual Health Assessment Tool is a practical way to become better acquainted with the diagnoses of emotional-spiritual wellness and suffering.

Consider using the following tool for yourself by ‘taking your spiritual pulse’ on a regular (daily or weekly) basis.  Notice the patterns of what create wellness or suffering in your daily life.  This is a way of noticing the story you tell about your own suffering.  Imagine how the tool might open up healing conversations with those you care for.

 

Closing Thought

           “To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
—Mother Theresa

Additional Resources