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Mental and Emotional Renewal in Chronic Illness

A transformative, coach-facilitated program


This coach-facilitated program, based on the published book ‘This Strange Land’© a Reluctant Pilgrimage, has been created in response to some of the most desperate questions voiced by many people who live with a chronic health condition, pain and/or disability:

Is it possible to live a life of quality and meaning in the context of living with a chronic illness?

How can I still have joy within the context of living with a chronic condition?

How can I accept my permanent losses?

Is there any meaning to my suffering?

If full participation in life is no longer possible, what is still possible?

What lies on the other side of my changed life?

When, after many years of doctor’s visits, experiments with medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, domestic adjustments, functional and financial losses and emotional roller-coasters, it must finally be admitted that one's condition(s) will be permanent, a threshold is crossed:

The quest for doing differently becomes
a quest for being differently.


Each one of the 10 Modules consists of:

  1. Text as a pdf document
  2. Audio recording
  3. Comprehensive Worksheet s
  4. Unlimited email consultation / facilitation

Carefully-designed tasks, such as Reflective Practice, Therapeutic Writing, and a range of creative exercises allow you to work with your challenges and questions.

In addition, this course includes coach-facilitation through email exchanges, supplemented by articles and other resources that might be appropriate for your particular needs.  

This beautiful program guides you on your personal pilgrimage through a world you now inhabit. In truth, you are an unwanting traveller, but a traveller nonetheless, and your journey here will take you by the hand and lead you from a place of grief, despair and hopelessness to renewed hope and inspiration, culminating in the encounter with you own Wounded Healer dynamic. This course will be instrumental in you coming to peace with your fate.

This coaching focuses less on the medical aspects of living with a chronic condition and a disability. Rather, the deeper emotional and psychological ordeals are recognised and explored with compassion.

Total duration:  10 Weeks


Module 1: Arrival

Having been severed from your world, you feel as if you are in a place where you do not belong; a world entirely alien in just about all aspects. You are becoming a citizen of a strange land.

Module 2:  At the Court of your Illness      

This court is the first portal through which you enter this world. Here you are allowed to present your witnesses, such as ‘Anger’, ‘Depression’, ‘Defiance’ and any other witnesses of your choice.

Module 3:  The Keeper of the Land    

The second portal is guarded by the Keeper, who will prepare you for the world that lies ahead with his words of wisdom and compassion.

Module 4:  The Islands of Identity

Your sense of who you are is irrevocably connected with your ability to express who you are. But when that ability is severely limited, what remains of your identity? In this, you will see that every limitation brings its equivalent depth of experience.

Module 5:  The Mountains of Meaning    

How can there still be a meaningful life, when so much of what constituted meaning and purpose has been taken away? Or is it possible that your very specific and unique life purpose is hidden within your illness?

Module 6:  The Savannah of Suffering

How is suffering different from pain? Can there be meaning in suffering, or must it be avoided at all costs? Here it is proposed that suffering is maybe, at its very core, a creative force, like love and light.

Module 7:  The Soul’s Waiting Room       

Every journey has a turning point. At that turning point, things momentarily come to a standstill. In that pause a transformation takes place. If you allow for that still place, you will be guided into new light.

Module 8:   The Trees of Tertium non Datur   

The opposites between what appears to have no solution on the one hand and a pull from your future on the other hand, create a tension. In this tension, The Third is not Given – Tertium non Datur. Out of the descent experience an entirely new reality emerges that did not exist before.

Module 9:    The Expanse of Expression     

How can it be that what seems to only restrain you, carries within it the very expression of who you are? Every artist needs a medium to give shape to his inspiration. But that very same medium will restrict him. Without it, however, expression would be impossible altogether. Could your ailing body or your vulnerable mind be the medium that belongs to you, the artist?

Module 10:  The Waters of the Wounded Healer     

This Strange Land functions along very different lines of dynamic forces. And through it all, the being that imbues its energy is the archetype of the Wounded Healer. The Wounded Healer archetype represents a profound and deeply transforming hidden dynamic within human existence in general and within each of us in particular.


Some passages from the journey:

This then, summarizes your journey through this Strange Land – the ordinary is lost so that the extraordinary can emerge.

Before this is over, you will learn that love is not a feeling in the first place, but a force that is accessible at any time.

Plato called man’s body the tomb of the soul. Therefore, he says, when we awaken the life of the soul, we cause something divine to rise out of the grave of our body.

In this Strange Land, your shadow is not here to bring darkness but to allow you to find your light behind it.

It is the place reserved for only those who have it within them to bear the highest task a human being can possibly bear: to create meaning and purpose and light when they appear to be missing most.

Or did your sorrow, in some mysterious manner, refine and strengthen everything that is best in you? Did it not shape in your soul the things that really matter?

In the vast universe that surrounds us, there are nebulas and enormous areas without clear form. These are the realms that exist between being and non-being. And it is in these nebulas that stars are born. They are like cosmic incubators, shining with brilliant light. They have no substance of their own. Likewise, it is within your seemingly inner formless experiences where your stars are born.

Shadows are caused by the light behind them. And so, the capacity for suffering intensely reflects also the capacity to love intensely. The door within you that opens into the abyss of your suffering is also the door that opens unto the summit of your love.

In the world you now inhabit, what you want and what you can are two entirely different realities, separated by a vast space.

Paradoxically, it is in that space where you can develop your highest values and your greatest strength.

Let go of your sorrows. Do not lament the passing of what was transient all along. Travel this Strange Land.
This is now your special world.
Because you have been found sufficient.

(from ‘This Strange Land’ © Arjan Bogaers 2019)

This deeply moving journey will leave a lasting impression and help you find new hope and purpose when you most need it.