THE IMPULSE OF CANCER PATIENTS IN NARRATIVE THERAPY
Harun, L.M., Abdul Kadir, R. and Yap, H.H., Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia
Cancer patients in one of the local hospitals in Malaysia were visited by a counsellor and were engaged in the narrative approach. Counselling in the clinical setting in Malaysia is quite a recent activity. Narrative approach creates space to hear the larger story and support, to bear what can be considered "the unconcealed" in every story: CKF: "I could not accept that fact that I have cancer. This could not be happening to me. Everything starts' turning in my head and my stomach was churning; I was beginning to experience acute depression. I was very worried. It is like a bomb". LAT:"I am ready to face death. My husband supports my decision, as he cannot bear to see me in pain. Every human being will face death. I have lived long enough; I have seen what needs to be seen in this world. I would rather end my life than having to suffer all these ." ASM (deceased): "Why me?? It feels like I was taken out from heaven and stashed to hell! This punishment is unbearable for me. I have not done anything wrong in my life, why choose me?!!!!" For us, a narrative focus is a way of coming to some understanding concerning another's reality; it is more a way of seeing and less a way of doing, done with respect, humble, and encompassing manner. The approach demonstrates a deeper level or a stage of advanced empathy. Narrative structure relies less on psychological jargon and apparata, and more on clients' own ways of using language to clarify and explore their worlds. Externalization of these feelings through narration eases options for dialogue rather than monologue, free individuals to take a lighter and effective less stressed approach to 'deadly serious' problems, new possibilities to retrieve their lives, to unite in a struggle against the problem, undermines the sense of failure, and decreases unproductive conflict between persons.