The video series
Important information to read before watching the video series
These videos were made in response to a lack of publicly available psychological support services for families touched by brain cancer. They aim to provide an introduction into how 3 families have been affected by having a family member diagnosed and treated for brain cancer.
The videos were filmed in Melbourne, Australia, with psychotherapist Ron Ingram.
One family had a parent/husband who died; one family had a child who died; the third family has a member who has been living with a spinal tumour for many years.
The videos only represent these families’ experiences. They do not, and are not intended to, represent a solution or give a full representation of a family or individual’s grief.
Recommendations for viewing
As you view these videos, we recommend that you bear in mind the following:
The participants are all at different stages in their journeys of dealing with the grief; your personal experience and the grief you experience will be unique to you.
The videos depict some examples of what people may experience; they are not the only possibilities. Our aim is to provide some information that may be useful and educative.
Particularly if you (or your family member) have recently had a diagnosis, we strongly recommend that you do not watch the videos alone and that you have someone with you. The videos are divided into chapters, so they can be watched in [bite size doses]. The videos are intended to be watched in order so that the experience of these families flows and makes sense.
Ron Ingram developed and uses a 5 stages of grief process model which is derived from the well-known model originally conceived by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
According to the Ingram model, the 5 stages of grief are as follows:
1. Debrief – families have often been traumatised by a child’s situation & trying to get help for the child; GP’s, Hospitals, often don’t respond until there is a diagnosis; families benefit from their story being heard & shared.
2. De-grief – families are helped to grieve the loss of their ‘well’ family member & face their fears of further deterioration.
3. De-guilt – whatever theory is proposed, families can still feel guilty – parents fantasise their part in it, however unlikely, this is best put into words & shared.
4. Demystify – the nature of the illness; diagnosis & causes; medication & treatment; phases of the illness; prognosis & negative stereotypes.
5. De-vorce – parents often don’t know what to expect the patient to be able to do; if expect dependant behaviour, then that’s what they get; put parents in charge of making the patient as independent as possible.
Ron is a psychotherapist working with individuals, parents, couples & families. He has trained in Family Therapy, Developmental Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.
[Ron has lectured & supervised at Melbourne University at Mindful in the Developmental Psychiatry Course & the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Sciences (Child, Adolescent and Family Therapies) in metropolitan & regional Victoria, and Tasmania for over 30 years.]
The videos are not, and are not intended to be, a source of personal or professional advice. They are merely a tool which it is hoped will assist families facing up to the grief associated with a brain cancer diagnosis.
Although it can sometimes be difficult to find, we strongly recommend you seek early expert help to manage the grief and other symptoms you or other members of your family may experience.