Workshop Dr. Anna Paul and Prof. Dr. Gustav Dobos:

Strengthening Self Healing – Mind-Body Medicine in Oncology

Cancer patients often perceive themselves as radically limited in their capacities to self-regulate their health and well being. Their mind literally feels betrayed by their bodies. This situation of hopelessness diminishes their self-efficacy and greatly adds to their suffering. At the Clinic for Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Essen we have developed an eleven week outpatient Mind-Body Program, which empowers patients to regain responsibility for their own well being.


It draws on Jon Kabat-Zinn´s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and the Cancer Program by Herbert Benson at the Mind/Body Medical Institute of Harvard Medical School. In addition to their conventional therapies patients learn during our group program to use self-help strategies, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet as well as relaxation and mindfulness techniques. Most of our cancer patients experience that by applying these measures in their daily lives, they can positively influence their condition, which offers a new dimension of well being, strength and hope.


The mindful reflexion on self-harming cognitive processes and the practice of a more accepting and caring attitude towards themselves and others within a supportive group setting adds to this healing experience. During the program many patients become able to truly change their lives. The Workshop introduces our Mind/Body Cancer Program “Essener Modell” and a practical Training in Mind/Body Intervention.

Dr. Anna Paul

is Head of the Mind-Body Medicine Department of Internal Medicine V.: Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte. After gaining her master´s degree in social work with specializations in adult education and theology she worked in the Catholic University Community in Munich. She further specialized in Psychosomatic Health Training based on Yoga and Ayurvedic principles.


At Harvard Medical School she trained as a Mind-Body Medicine Instructor and continues her training in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Her main focus is the development and integration of Mind-Body methods into clinical patient care including scientific research and teaching of Mind-Body Medicine in the contexts of prevention and health promotion.