Self-Healing Expressions
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Bringing the self to healing, one lesson at a time.
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Disability and Coping


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A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
With Spring, Spring flowers pop up and look around. And I, with my neuropathy, wobble around my pool tending to my plants with hope that I will not lose balance and fall into the pool. Neuropathy symptoms are.  [More. . . ]

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
What does it mean to be disabled? Is disability a medical diagnosis? Is a person diagnosed with cerebral palsy or with cancer disabled? And if the person's prognosis is probable death in six months, is the person disabled? These are questions, which penetrate the soul. I have been told that my spinal stinosis  [More. . . ]

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Disability is a major inconvenience! It takes me so much longer to accomplish the task I set out to do. On the other hand, disability affords me time to enjoy the journey. I agree that the journey to task accomplishment may present painful obstacles. But with each painful obstacle, I learn about my strengths and about my limitations…what I can and cannot do. And the mindfulness of the journey is joyous.

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Serious illness or disability is a family affair. It reaches out and like a powerful magnet it pulls the emotional strings of all who live within its reach. My disabilities affect my wife's daily life as it does mine. We no longer are able to take long walks due to my poor balance . . .  [More. . . ]

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
This course is for those struggling with the disabling effects caused by cancer, a brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, stroke, anxiety. . . to name a few. Lessons support and guide learner to reclaim their dignity and life after a debilitating illness has occurred. Lessons can also help caretakers, spouse, and family of a disabled or seriously ill person better understand and support their loved one.  [More. . . ]

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
YOU CAN, a slogan on the National MS Society website says it all. For too many of us, our disabilities are viewed at the expense of our abilities. The LA Times wrote of persons with disabilities who learned to ski. You never know what's possible until you try. While coping with difficult situations, we can experience joy when we discover new skills, talents and strengths we have overlooked. I can't play ball or run around, but when I discovered I could write poetry, wow, my day changed from gloom to joy. Learn how to change gloom to joy. Build your abilities. Put some fun in your life.

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Who am I? How do I describe myself? I enjoy being with friends. I do not need to compete with others. I connect with their stories and with the emotions they express. I enjoy solitude at my computer and in my garden where I tend to my cacti or smile at Eddie, my hairy white bichon-poodle who barks at the squirrels. They tease him mercilessly until he gives up and walks away. I enjoy connecting with my spirit, that inner part of me that reflects on my many connections with family and friends. Felicia, my wife, worries about my health - more than necessary, I think - but I understand that, it is one soul caring for another. These are connections that matter to me. More than vitamin pills, these connections bind me with love and satisfaction. I am the sum of my choices to lead the life I live. As Thomas Merton suggested, "No man is an island."

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Amazing! I found my soul. Where was it? I don't know. My soul turned up some time after brain surgery. I didn't call for it, but there it was. Suddenly, my life changed. I connected to my plants and began to speak to them. When I walked Eddie, my Bichon-Poodle, I smiled each time he sniffed a blade of grass. I spoke to other dogs and to birds. My family took on new importance; they are special. We connected. I connected to myself and to others. I wanted to give to others, so I did and I continue to. Blame my transformation on that silly old brain tumor. I'm told that disability of any type reveals the origins of the soul and paves its healing journey.

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
We all have had experiences, which have challenged our ability to enjoy living. We have all lived with stressful physical and emotional pain. Healing occurs when we permit moments of joy and meaning to disrupt our stress. Healing does not deny pain. Rather healing allows one to experience pleasure and mastery.

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
After back surgery to treat a spinal stinosis, I discovered that merriment and silliness are great healing tools. For eight weeks, I lived in a convalescent hospital. Eventually the back pain left and I discovered that I could help myself as well as others laugh. I would stroll in my wheelchair through the corridors singing old time favorites. Eventually other patients and staff joined my silliness and for a few moments, we had fun.

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Some people believe that being disabled is equal to being unhappy. I felt that way after being hit with a brain tumor, spinal stenosis, and neuropathy. Then I learned that happiness is a myth. We tell ourselves that happiness is dependent on the presence of certain conditions. However, we create those conditions. Happiness is an attitude we evolve. We can develop that happiness attitude.

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Although I have survived a brain tumor, I can enjoy the dazzling display of multicolored leaves as I push my walker through parks and tree-lined streets. Opportunities of being a slow walker are having the time to enjoy my surroundings. Affirmations for coping: I enjoy myself and I will find many abilities. I will be in charge of my abilities.

A Coping Blurb from Art By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
I've learned that in order to cope with my brain tumor and my neuropathy, I had to remake myself. I had to become a new person, one who lives with new abilities. I had to relinquish the old me, let it go; he is no longer here and that is okay, then I can enjoy the new me.

A Coping Blurb from Art ~ Making Room for Happiness By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Happiness is my goal. Everyday I look and find happiness in life. Sometimes it's my dog wagging his tail or my wife's reports of the day. It's so easy to experience happiness yet some people never do. The morning e-mail can bring joy and laughter... laughter so hard your face hurts. Other sources of happiness: no lines in the supermarket; favorite songs on the radio; lying in bed listening to the rain outside; friends. Some of my happiness moments: listening to the birds each morning, discovering new buds on my cacti, and hot tea. What makes you happy? Care to share? [Visit the Happiness Room and share what makes you happy]

A Coping Blurb from Art: 10 Tips for Coping with Dis-ease or Disability By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
  1. Be an expert on your medical condition. Gain information from doctors, scan the internet... Ask questions. Don't give up.
  2. Learn new skills. You have abilities. Use them!
  3. Exercise, walk, stretch and be active.
  4. Practice pain control
  5. Watch you're self-talk. Give yourself positive beliefs.
  6. Discourage learned helplessness. Do you really need the offered help?
  7. Express your feelings, they are normal. Join a support group.
  8. Help others. Be a volunteer.
  9. You are more than your disability.
  10. Build a new normalcy.
A Coping Blurb from Art: Family Support: Finding It & Keeping It By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
You are not alone in your aftermath of dis-ease or disability. There is much love out there. It may seem far away. Perhaps you don't recognize it, or you are not able to feel it. Reach out to connect to family, to friends, to God. Reach inward to connect to your soul. Whispers draw you to experience God's love. Inhale God's energy. Breathe deeply, feel how good that feels.

Disability in itself is not responsible for the family system break down. Rather, it is a faulty connection between family members that is chargeable for the situation. Systems thrive on love and on shared goals. System members are dedicated to their system's survival. The strong system vigorously resists threats of demolition. Yet these same systems still have an urge to grow and to expand. The family in crisis remains strong if it is bonded with love and shared goals for the present as well as for the future.

© Excerpted from The Joy Of Coping: Overcoming The Stress of Dis-ease. by Arthur Soissons-Segal.

Coping with Illness: A Coping Blurb By Arthur Soissons-Segal, Ph.D.
Serious illness or disability is a family affair. It reaches out and like a powerful magnet it pulls the emotional strings of all who live within its reach. My disabilities affect my wife's daily life as it does mine. We no longer are able to take long walks due to my poor balance, a symptom of neuropathy and of spinal stinosis. I fatigue easily and may show exhaustion by 10 p.m. This limits our participation in...  [More. . . ]

About the Instructor

Dr. Arthur Soissons-Segal


Dr. Arthur Soissons-Segal has been active in the field of rehabilitation for over 50 years. He has been on both sides of the healing experience - as a brain tumor patient and as a therapist. Dr. Soissons-Segal is the author of The Disability Experience: A Healing Journey and has published articles for various trade publications. He has a private practice to help people with disabilities take the healing journey and is available to agencies as a speaker on disability and healing issues. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a PhD in Psychology. He is based in California and is reachable at .

About healing Dr. Soissons-Segal says, "healing is a process of revealing the You that wants to be."