Home Research Case Studies Breast Cancer and Coaching. An experience of great value.

Breast Cancer and Coaching. An experience of great value.

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In October 2007, I was working as a leadership coach for three multinationals, as well as doing the first course of ontological coaching at Newfield (Boulder, Colorado) when an interesting conversation arose between the President of the International Lions Foundation Spain and the breast surgery coordinator of one of Spain’s most important hospitals.

In the conversation, the surgeon commented that, in her hospital, interesting practices in the treatment of breast cancer were being developed. She shared the indicators of excellence that she was tracking, with respect to surgery as well as chemotherapy and radiation. She said that the therapeutic results showed very high technical levels. She also noted the excellence of the patient’s breast reconstruction and stated that “in this aspect of the treatment the best techniques worldwide were being used.”

However, the surgeon also noted that once the patients interrupted their regular relationship with the hospital, something happened which often had negative influence on continuing patient outcomes.  She observed that the discharged patients felt alone and hypothesized that these feelings could affect the patient’s post-hospital recovery. She realized that something different had to be done to help the patients make a complete recovery, once they had been discharged from hospital.

Inspired by this  conversation, the President of the Lions Club announced that he was setting up a breast cancer association called the Bruno Salvadori Lions Foundation, whose mission was to offer support to breast cancer patients. He invited my firm (RhoConsulting) to consider how they could offer this support through coaching.

In the course of the conversation, both the surgeon and the President posed questions which were charged both with a certain skepticism and a degree of disbelief…… “Those things you do with company leaders and teams, you know…coaching… Do you think it would serve as a tool to accompany our patients? Would it help to improve them after their treatment? Would it help them emotionally? And …therapeutically? Could it help to bring forward their discharge?”

Our response was clear from the beginning. Although our coaching services had been and are generally oriented towards leadership, team and organization development, after hearing what these professionals had to say, we deeply believed that coaching could help these people to work through a very difficult situation.

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