The Art of Strengths Coaching

S is for Carl Simonton: His Work on Health

Dr. O. Carl Simonton lived from 1942 to 2009. His pioneering work regarding the mind-body connection encouraged thousands of people across the world.

He also founded what became known as The Simonton Center. This continues to help patients to harness their inner strength and take more charge of their lives.

http://www.simontoncenter.com/about.asp

Carl worked as a radiation oncologist treating cancer in the 1970s. He became fascinated by how patients who underwent similar treatments for similar illnesses experienced different outcomes.

Patients obviously needed to have medical treatment, but this was enhanced if they had a healthy attitude to life. This led to Carl studying the mind-body connection between health and illness.

He worked together with Stephanie Matthews-Simonton, to whom he was married at the time, to pioneer methods of helping patients to take more control of their futures.

This included improving their sense of well-being and, more controversially, using imagery to harness their positive energy.

These ideas reached a wider audience with the 1979 book Getting Well Again. The approach was well received by many people, but also attracted controversy.

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Carl emphasised that the mind-body connection could affect our health. The reality was that people got ill, however, and all of us would die.

The key was to develop a healthy approach to our lives, well-being and, ultimately, to our death.

This called for taking more control, enjoying life and helping other people. Appreciating these things would, in turn, improve the quality of our lives.

Carl moved to California in 1984 and founded the Simonton Cancer Counseling Center. This continues to help people to take control of their lives.

You can discover more about The Ten Tenets of their programmes at the official site. Here are some of the principles.

Our emotions significantly influence health and recovery from disease (including cancer). Emotions are a strong driving force in the immune system and other healing systems.

Our beliefs and attitudes influence our emotions thereby affecting our health and healing systems. We can significantly influence our beliefs and attitudes. As a result we shape our emotions, and therefore, significantly influence our health.

Harmony is central to health – balance among the physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical aspects of being. This extends to relationships with self, family, friends, community, planet, and universe.

Ways of influencing beliefs, attitudes and emotions can be readily taught and learned by using a variety of accessible methods that are presented in this program.

We can learn skills that help us to develop our genetic tendencies that aid us in moving in the direction of health and harmony (physical, mental, spiritual/philosophical and social). The result is greater harmony and improved quality of life, which significantly impacts one’s state of health.

These skills and insights also change our relationship with death by lessening our fear and pain, and freeing more energy for getting well and living life more fully today.

Even though he was relatively young, towards the end of his life Carl talked readily about his own death. In June 2009 he died suddenly from choking during a family meal.

His final book, The Healing Journey, was co-written with one of his patients, Reid Henson, and Brenda Hampton.

Written in a caring and practical style, it provides an overview of his approach. Carl left an enormous legacy that enables people to enjoy the quality of their lives.

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