Exploring Counseling Sessions For Parents

Exploring Counseling Sessions For Parents

Dignity Therapy Can Restore A Little Life To The Dying

Rebecca Pena

Death is a train that comes for everyone at one point or another. Unfortunately, the act of dying can be fraught with numerous indignities that leave the affected person in such a state of depression and anxiety that they are unable to enjoy their last days. However, a form of counseling called dignity therapy may help a dying loved one cope a little better with his or her passing. Here's more information about this option.

What is Dignity Therapy?

Dignity therapy is a combination of psychotherapy and biographical recording. During sessions that can last up to 60 minutes each, the therapist asks the patient a variety of open-ended questions designed to get the individual discussing his or her personal history. For example, the therapist may ask the person to talk about:

  • The most memorable parts of his or her life history
  • What the person felt was his or her greatest accomplishment(s)
  • Things the individual wants friends and family members to know
  • Parting instructions for loved ones
  • Important roles the person had (e.g. volunteer, business owner)
  • His or her wishes for the people the person loves

The person's answers are recorded during the sessions and later transcribed. The person is given the opportunity to read (or listen to) what was written and approve of the document, which is then passed on to loved ones.

The Benefits of Dignity Therapy

The goal of the therapy is to help the individual confront and wrangle with the fear, existential distress, and other psychosocial issues associated with passing away while also making the person feel as though he or she was leaving something meaningful behind. The sessions give the person the opportunity to reflect on what the individual has accomplished in life, reconcile mistakes that he or she may have made, and apologize to or make amends with others the individual may have fallen out with.

Dignity therapy can provide both the dying person and the individual's loved ones with a sense of closure that may help everyone involved better deal with the pain of death.

This type of counseling can also help improve the person's well being in his or her last days. A survey of 326 terminally ill patients found that people who underwent dignity therapy reported a better quality of life and more positive relationships with loved ones.

The cost of dignity therapy varies depending on the counselor and the number of sessions required. For example, one company charges $397 for about 2 ½ sessions and a transcribed document. The service may be covered by health insurance if it is positioned as end-of-life counseling.

Helping a loved one come to terms with his or her terminal condition can have a positive impact on the person and the people around the individual. For more information about dignity therapy or other helpful counseling services for terminal persons, connect with a mental health professional near you.


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About Me
Exploring Counseling Sessions For Parents

Hey everyone, my name is Lori Grffin. When my son was born, I was completely unprepared for the difficulties of raising a sensory deprived child. The stress of trying to parent a difficult child definitely takes its toll. Eventually, I had a nervous breakdown and ended up enrolling in individual counseling sessions. The counseling appointments helped me work through the emotions generated while coping with fits and meltdowns from my son. I emerged from each session better prepared to provide my son with the support he needed. I also learned how to pay attention to how I was feeling during the process. I created this site because I want to share the benefits parents receive from going to counseling sessions. Thank you.