Understanding and Treating Death Anxiety
All health care professionals encounter patients and their families that are struggling with the fear of impending death of one’s self or loved ones. In addition, death anxiety is a common experience for everyone across the life span. The deaths of friends and loved ones, health scares are something we all experience. Fears of death can also have a powerful impact on ones personality. Pervasive fears about mortality may lead to persistent, unrealistic health concerns or to lifestyles that are overly cautious, constricted and anxiety ridden. Such fears can stifle aliveness and sometimes lessen attachments to others.
How we interact both with loved ones and our patients matters a lot when it comes to certain times in life when we are confronted with human mortality. This is even more salient as “baby boomers” now are entering old age.
Cultural attitudes about death, fears and denial, and even healthcare systems and practices often set the stage for these experiences becoming even more distressing.
Maybe there is a better way. This workshop focuses on understanding and treating death anxiety from a number perspectives including strategies drawn from psychology, spiritual and cultural traditions and from neurobiology.