Palliative Care Queensland

Tom is a Nurse Practitioner and psychotherapist who has provided primary, palliative and hospice care for over 40 years. He is a Marriage Family Therapist (inactive) and had a psychotherapy practice focusing on multiple losses and quality of life. Tom worked as a hospice nurse early in the movement and was the Charge Nurse of the world’s first AIDS and cancer in-patient hospice.

In this episode Tom reflects on decades of working alongside people experiencing grief in diverse contexts. Drawing on principles of Existential therapy and the work of Swiss Professor Verena Kast, we discuss the role that elevating emotions can have in supporting grieving people to reconnect with a sense of meaning, identity and belonging in the world. This episode also explores how it might be possible to approach suffering not as a symptom to be instantly minimised, but rather as process which can be dynamically engaged in therapeutic settings, as grieving people face the daunting task of reconstructing their world in bereavement.

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