A Practical Guide for People with Life-Challenging Diseases and their Caregivers

By: Rubin Battino


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 234mm x 154mm
Pages : 192
ISBN : 9781899836680
Format: Paperback
Published: November 2000

A practical guide for those living with or dealing with life-challenging diseases. Detailing the many effective coping strategies that Professor Battino has encountered during his extensive professional experience, this work features a wide range of techniques and exercises that have proved to have a healing influence. These include:

  • Guided Imagery
  • Nutrition
  • Alternative medicine
  • Meditation
  • Support Groups
  • Structured Writing
  • Art Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Relaxation Methods.

Picture for author Rubin Battino

Rubin Battino

Rubin Battino MS has a private practice in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He is an Adjunct Professor for the Department of Human Services at Wright State University, and has over twenty five years of experience as a facilitator of a support group for people who have life-challenging diseases and for caregivers. He is a Fellow of the National Council for Hypnotherapy (UK), and also a Fellow of two chemistry societies. Other publications by Rubin include: Healing Language. A Guide for Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Counselors; Howie and Ruby. Conversations 2000 - 2007;, That's Right, Is it Not? A Play About the Life of Milton H. Erickson, MD, and Using Guided Imagery and Hypnosis in Brief Therapy and Palliative Care.

Click here to listen to Rubin's interview with London School of Clinical Communications and Hypnosis.


  1. This book is a practice-based guide for all who have to live with life-threatening diseases and for those who care for them. It covers a wide range of topics, such as nutrition, meditation and supportive group therapies, and offers a varietv of alternative strategies, some of which are research-based, for alleviating the symptoms of serious illness and reducing the isolation which such illnesses often impose. Most importantly it argues for an holistic approach: psychological, spiritual and emotional dimensions have a major part to play in medical and nursing management and this fact is often unacknowledged.

    Battino also suggests that the patient or client takes a more active role in the decisions that affect his or her own well-being; you do have the right to ask questions, complain, say no, and clinicians need to recognize this. This is, on the whole, a compassionate and useful book which many nurses, particularlv those involved in palliative care, would benefit from reading. There is a cultural problem though. On a factual level the contact numbers and addresses are all American, and a British appendix would have been useful. Nonetheless, this is a valuable contribution to a difficult field.

  2. This book is a practical guide that is directed towards individuals with severe diseases. However, there is a lot of information that can be personally developing even for healthy people. Battino describes, in a very clear and simple way different stress management techniques. The simplicity is one of the strengths with this book. Further strengths are the “scripts” or texts for relaxation, healing and stress management that you can record on a tape by yourself and the listen. This does that the book can be used as a concrete tool for stress management rather than a theoretical manual.

  3. Rubin Battino has worked for many years teaching people to cope well. In Coping he offers a wealth of ideas and resources for people who wish to cope better with their own life-challenging illness, such as cancer; and for those who care for others with such conditions. A key challenge in all cases is in managing your own state, you ability to think through the current debilitating situation towards a more positive future. Battino says that “How you respond in adversity can have a profound effect on the physical course of the disease.” Simply by realising that you are not alone, that many people have been this way before, and that you can benefit from their learning, their knowledge of things that work will change your state.

    A life challenging disease can be very draining for both -˜client' and the carer. It often means not being able to cope not only with the illness, but with the day-to-day needs of life, and the extra burden of medium or long term care. It's easy to get dragged down. This book offers a variety of ways of pulling yourself up again.

    If you are a carer, you may ask yourself: “What can/do to help?” Battino provides a number of practical techniques and therapies that are established as having a positive effect on those who are suffering life-challenging diseases. The words you use are important; they play a vital part in personal healing, because they have an effect on the body and the physical symptoms. Are you a patient -˜patient'? Are you just going to wait for some miracle to happen. Or are you going to do whatever it takes to become healthier, not only in body, but in mind and spirit as well? The strategies in this book will help you develop a more positive state of mind, such as finding positive language to describe yourself, and for making clear agreements with professionals about how you are going to be treated. A positive state of mind makes it easier for carers and clients to avoid being sucked into the downward spiral of blame and guilt.

    Coping offers a number of surprising alternative ideas, techniques and strategies for coping more effectively. He covers Relaxation, Massage, Meditation, Guided Visualisation, Art therapy, Journaling, and many other effective approaches. Some will want to share their healing processes with others in a support group. Talking about their illness helps. There is the old saying: a trouble shared is a trouble halved, so forming or joining a support group may benefit them. Others prefer to contemplate alone, and write down their thoughts privately.

    There are several appendices including an extensive bibliography of research and popular treatments; and a list of useful websites - because these days the major sources of information on health and medicine is on the internet, so it is helpful to have some recommended starting points for your own research. However, the book has an American bias, and you would probably want to ignore the American phone numbers.

    Once you have gathered relevant information from whatever source, including health service professionals, you will need to sort it out. Battino provides a set of questions that you should ask that will help you understand it, and so that you can ask informed questions of those involved in the healing process.

    We still do not really know how healing happens. Much of the time our bodies just get on and do it, so long as we don't interfere too much by making demands on ourselves when what we need to do is actually very little. However, all of us can take more responsibility for improving our own health using some of the methods Rubin Battino explores.

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