The Role of Mind-Body Medicine in a Cancer Survivor’s Experience


  • Taylor Gill Student



This paper tells the personal story of a cancer survivor and her experience dealing with death. It analyzes Ernest Becker’s thesis, The Denial of Death, by examining the solutions, which he suggests humans use to cope with the fear of death by establishing a sense of purpose and control. The author identifies examples of Becker’s solutions by looking at the mechanisms she used to cope with the possibility of dying through out her journey with cancer. With a tendency toward secularization and a focus on psychology in present day, the solutions people use to deal with death are changing. The author looks at how self-help, in the form of mind-body medicine, is a new solution that is used to deal with the fear of death in the present day socio-cultural landscape. While providing control, this way of dealing with the fear of death can be isolating and lead to self-blame.

            Keywords: Ernest Becker, Denial of Death, mind-body medicine, psychologize death, self-help.