Getting Well Again (Carl & Stephanie Simonton): Book Review


Transforming hopelessness to hope is the key to healing. In their book ‘Getting Well Again’, Carl and Stephanie Simonton introduce us to their powerful and proven approach – based on visualisation and affirmation – which reactivates the ‘will to live’. They have an astonishing success rate with thousands of patients at their world-famous Simonton Cancer Center in Malibu, CA, USA.

Ask Dr Carl Simonton and Dr Stephanie Simonton, they will take you on a tour of their unique and powerful therapeutic approach to Cancer. In the four decades after setting up the Simonton Cancer Center in 1972, they have received international recognition from countries such as Japan, Poland, Germany and Switzerland. Carl was also honoured by the American Medical Association in 1997 for his film “Affirmations for Getting Well Again”.

“No matter how sick you are, it is possible to get well” has been his mantra, which has lit up thousands of devastated souls by them showing a ray of hope.

The Role of Attitude & Emotion

The Simontons were early proponents of the hypothesis that a person’s attitude played a major role in his/her response to treatment and also in the course of the disease.

“Anyone who has had extensive experience in the treatment of cancer is aware that there are great differences, among patients. I personally have observed cancer patients who have undergone successful treatment and were living and well for years. Then, an emotional stress such as the death of a son in World War II, the infidelity of a daughter-in-law, or the burden of long unemployment seemed to have been precipitating factors in the reactivation of their disease, which then resulted in death. There is some evidence that the course of disease in general is affected by emotional stress. It is my sincere hope that we can widen the quest to include the distinct possibility that within one’s mind is a power capable of exerting forces which can either enhance or inhibit the progress of this disease.”

An extensive study of psychiatric literature from several journals from the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, etc. convinced them of the direct correlation between a cancer patient’s psyche/emotional state and their healing response.

Shifting Orientation: From Loss To Expectancy

The Simontons’ focus on an attribute called “expectancy” as the means to shift the individual’s life orientation.

When a patient starts to say “I know I have participated in the development and the progress of my disease. I know there are some deeper factors at work and I need help in dealing with them”, that’s the moment they start to heal

In this way, the individuals themselves begin to take responsibility for the problem as well as for the solution, this change of orientation is the key to healing.

The perspective of “giving up” gives way to the “horizons of hope”.


  • Your reactions to stress and other emotional factors can contribute to the onset and progress of cancer. How are you dealing with your emotional stressors?
  • Positive expectations, self-awareness, and self-care can contribute to survival. What steps are you taking to get over any negativity and remain in the positive space?
  • What self-help techniques would you like to try:  learning positive attitudes, relaxation, visualization, goal setting, managing pain, exercise, and building an emotional support system?


Book“Getting Well Again” by Carl Simonton, Stephanie Matthews-Simonton


This article was written by Deepakshi Mishra, a student pursuing her Mass Communications degree at Mt. Carmel College, Bangalore.

More from this series

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The China Study In his landmark book ‘The China Study’, T. Colin Campbell presents strong evidence, which correlates dietary habits with breast cancer.
One Renegade Cell In his riveting book One Renegade Cell, leading scientist and cell-biology expert Robert Weinberg reveals the internal ‘thrust-and-parry’ that goes on between a cancerous cell and the immune system, with stunning precision and clarity.
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As A Turning Point Lawrence LeShan is considered the father of cancer psycho-therapy. His practice and research over 40 years shows how changing our approach to life together with medical treatment mobilises a compromised immune system for healing.
You Can Conquer Cancer Ian shares his personal experience as a cancer ‘thriver’ in this practical and inspiring guide for recovery and healing.
The Healing Power Of Illness Essentially, Dethlefsen and Dahlke show us that illness is a physical manifestation of our unresolved problems or unhealthy lifestyle.
Anatomy Of The Spirit Myss considers disease as being caused due to disruptions in one’s “energy field”. She illustrates how even cancer can be cured merely by creating positive energy through thought, word and deed.
Reinventing Medicine Based on the (re)discovery that our mind has a profound effect on one’s body/ health, medical practice now involves the ‘whole-person’, at all levels of their being, to participate in the healing process.
Spontaneous Healing Dr. Weil reiterates how our mind plays a key role in both causing and healing illness; and gives us a few anecdotes on how little precautions and altered mindsets that have changed peoples’ lives.
The Budwig Diet Dr. Johanna Budwig discovered in the early 1950’s, that a specific combination of flaxseed (linseed) oil and low-fat cottage cheese significantly increases the absorption of fats in the body’s cells. And when fat absorption improves, there is a corresponding reduction in tumor growth
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