New book outlines coping strategies

Toni Lindsay with her new book

Following the success of her first two books outlining coping strategies for cancer patients and their families, Dr Toni Lindsay of Ettalong has published a third – this time appealing to a wider demographic.

The Certainty Myth follows Cancer, Sex, Drugs and Death (2017) and The Cancer Companion (2021) and provides a guide for all in coping with the uncertainty of the past couple of years.

“This book came about as I reflected on the work I do with people living with serious illness and approaching end of life,” Lindsay said.

“It made me think about what’s happened to all of us in last couple of years and I decided to give people ideas for how they might manage the feeling of uncertainty.

“It’s not only COVID-19 – that also has flow on effects.

“People are worried about finance and are rethinking what it means to be doing what they do at work.

“People have been changing jobs and finding different value in the work they do.

“It’s reflective of the big changes around the world in the past three years.”

Lindsay said the human brain tries to hold onto certainty but with people being forced to come together in different forms, many things seem uncertain.

“The book has been coming together over the past 18 months but it really solidified at the end of last year,” she said.

“It examines what it means to sit with yourself and gives options on coping with feelings of exhaustion and how to manage things in this new space.”

The book is very much based on the therapy style Lindsay uses with her cancer patients and gives practical advice and options on how to accept difficult things which show up in our lives and keep doing the things that are important.

“We often have no control over circumstances – but we can control our reaction,” she said.

“It’s about trying to be present and not focus on the future.

“A simple thing like walking on the beach can help – concentrating on how the sand feels on your toes.

Lindsay said she had noticed that people living with cancer have a heightened sense of what is important in life.

“It is a universal issue – we sometimes struggle with how to prioritise what it is important in the bigger scope of things.”

“Whether you are coping with cancer or with uncertainty the way of managing is the same.”

The senior clinical psychologist works at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney and has also worked at the Gosford Cancer Clinic.

The Certainty Myth is available for purchase wherever good books are sold (including Booktopia and Amazon).

Terry Collins