Tom joins us today to discuss denial and why it is a fundamental part of the human experience. He describes how denial, while unhealthy in some situations, can be a healthy coping strategy when facing difficulties. He also explores different strategies to overcome unhealthy denial, underscores the power of having a trusted supporter when facing fear, and highlights how overcoming denial gives individuals confidence and mastery over hardships.

Tom Bekkers, MSW, APSW, is an oncology social worker and the facilitator of the monthly cancer support group at Green Bay Oncology, which offers psychotherapy related to the challenges of adjusting to new health situations, lifestyles, and interpersonal relationship dynamics, as well as therapy to cope with death, dying, and grief—available to patients and loved ones. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Marquette University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Tom co-authors The Widower’s Toolbox: Repairing Your Life After Losing Your Spouse.

“Overcoming denial allows you to develop confidence and mastery over your situation.
You start feeling like you don’t have to live in fear and can trust again.” – Tom Bekkers.

This week on Cancer Covered:

  • The meaning of denial
  • How denial can be a healthy coping strategy
  • Why denial is a fundamental part of the human experience
  • How denial is almost always portrayed as a negative thing
  • Denial of diagnosis and illnesses
  • Denial of unhealthy lifestyle choices or unhealthy behaviors
  • Accepting or denying new physical limitations due to aging or stress
  • Denial of early symptoms and the “neglected breast cancer” phenomenon
  • Strategies to overcome unhealthy denial and acknowledge your fears
  • The good that comes from facing denial

Connect with Tom Bekkers:

  • Tom Bekkers on LinkedIn

Book: The Widower’s Toolbox: Repairing Your Life After Losing Your Spouse

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