Call toll free: +1 (304) 900-6229 or Request a call

Instructions: · Use APA-style format for references, peer-reviewed · Respond to two peers’ responses with a minimum of 250 words


· Use APA-style format for references, peer-reviewed

· Respond to two peers’ responses with a minimum of 250 words

Peer 1:

Raquel Riley

PSY 3425

7.2 Discussion: Chronic Illnesses

The documentary “Healing from Within” was profound and groundbreaking when it was recorded. The documentary covers the topic of social support and the effects it may have on breast cancer patients and also talks about how meditation and mindfulness help patients cope with their chronic pain. I found this piece very interesting and personally motivating. The film introduces doctor Jon Kabat-Zinn, who left a successful career in molecular biology and has begun treating patients with chronic pain through Buddhist meditation, yoga, and mindfulness in a stress reduction clinic. Kabat-Zinn uses yoga and mindfulness to become more attuned to the body, what it (the pain) is doing, and how each individual may feel (Moyers, 1993). One part that stuck out to me was the resistance and reluctance from some to try while simultaneously being so desperate for relief from their ailment that they were willing to try this new way. The interviewed participants said they felt better and were more in control of their bodies and pain regardless of their skepticism (Moyers, 1993). This part of the film inspired me to get back to meditation and yoga practices consistently so my back pain does not bother me as much, and I, too, can be more in control of my mind, pain, and body.

The second part of the film follows a support group of women who all have metastatic breast cancer. The group is led by psychiatrist Dr. David Spiegel from Standford Medical Center, who holds weekly sessions for this group of women and creates a space to talk about their cancer, their symptoms, and mostly their feelings about what is going on (Moyers, 1993). Interestingly, because this is a voluntary study, some of the women are reluctant to talk about their feelings or go into detail about who they are now with cancer. One participant, an older woman named Ramona, was very reluctant to engage or show her feelings because it went against everything she was taught as a child. She was raised to be tough and deal with issues alone. The group of women showed her over time that it was okay to be weak and vulnerable at times, and this connection helped Ramona become part of this social group of women. Something very touching to me was how the women became seemingly closer over the weeks of going to these group sessions and started socializing outside of the meetings (Moyers, 1993). This social support was a huge factor in most women’s worlds; they could be who they were and openly talk about what they were going through without trying to mask it from family or hide that they were hurting. The importance of finding someone who was going through what they were was astonishing. Some women looked visibly happier as the weeks passed, and I could tell they looked forward to their time together. This was precious and profound to me because I never considered the isolation and masking that someone with cancer must experience to try to protect their loved ones from pain, when in reality, talking about it and leaning on those who love them will help them to feel better while they are still alive.

I loved this documentary, and I found it to be very inspiring. I also appreciated the stories of the participants and the feedback from the therapists and doctors on the benefits of social groups for healing. The underlying concept was the ability to feel emotions and pain while at the same time gaining the ability to cope through mindfulness, meditation, and connecting with oneself and others as a primary source of healing.


Moyers, B. (1993). Healing From Within.

Peer 2:


According to Gurung (2019), most people eventually contract a chronic illness. Those who do contract a chronic illness not only need to cope with their own affect, behavior, and cognition, but they must also adjust their lifestyle to deal with the illness while also coping with how others respond to them due to their illness (Gurung, 2019). The documentary
Healing from Within by Bill Moyers follows Jon Kabat-Zinn, who runs a stress clinic that helps people with chronic pain learn to live with their pain. Kabat-Zinn teaches people how to deal with pain through meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. At the beginning of the study, many patients were resistant to the idea that yoga and meditation would help, even though many of them were desperate to find relief. However, toward the end of the study, many patients stated that yoga and meditation allowed them to control their pain better, and many even expressed that their pain diminished or stopped at times. This is where social support can be invaluable when helping people cope with illnesses.

The second part of the film followed Dr. David Spiegel, who led a group of women who were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer through weekly support sessions to see if social support could help them better deal with the illness. According to Roohafza et al. (2014), social support refers to the experience of being valued, respected, cared about, and loved by others. Social support can come from different sources, such as family, friends, community, or other social groups you affiliate with (Roohafza et al., 2014). Many women were reluctant to share their feelings at the beginning of the group sessions and struggled to open up with strangers. Over the course of these sessions, the women slowly started to get comfortable and started sharing their feelings. One thing that really stood out to me in the video was how close the women became after one of the women had passed away. Many of the women expressed survivor guilt and wished that they could have had more time. This unfortunate death allowed the women to break down their barriers and allowed them to support one another, and develop a sense of belongingness.

According to Gurung (2019), people with more social support positively adjust to chronic illness. Also, having a socially supportive environment allows patients to better cope with illness and maintain a higher quality of life, which Gurung (2019) explains is especially important for low socioeconomic individuals. Dr. Spiegel talked about how when people aren’t connected, their bodies struggle to heal themselves because it has to deal with the stress and anxiety instead of fixing themselves.

This made me think back to when we learned about tending and befriending. Gurung (2019) mentions several studies of animals where they turned to female friends rather than male friends for support when stressed. One study showed that female rats lived 40 percent longer when housed together than alone. According to Giano et al. (2019), social support may be a protective factor for many illnesses. This shows the profound effect social support can have on health.


Gaino, L. V., Almeida, L. Y., Oliveira, J. L., Nievas, A. F., Saint-Arnault, D., & Souza, J. (2019). The role of social support in the psychological illness of women. O papel do apoio social no adoecimento psíquico de mulheres.
Revista latino-americana de enfermagem,
27, e3157.

Gurung, R. A. R. (2019).
Health Psychology: Well-Being in a Diverse World (4th ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.

Moyers, B. (1993). Healing From Within.

Roohafza, H. R., Afshar, H., Keshteli, A. H., Mohammadi, N., Feizi, A., Taslimi, M., & Adibi, P. (2014). What’s the role of perceived social support and coping styles in depression and anxiety?.
Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences,
19(10), 944–949.

Share This Post


Order a Similar Paper and get 15% Discount on your First Order

Related Questions