"Why should we be talking about death and dying? For the first episode of our new series, we talk to two people who have decided to spend their time helping others to have those difficult conversations. Megan Mooney, who runs a death cafe, and Barbara Altounyan, the Hospice Biographer, tell us about their work and explain just why having these conversations is so important for all of us."
Gerald's note: The second part of this interview, with Hospice Biographer Barbara Altounyan, was inspirational. I have been considering options for the use of Narrative Therapy and podcasts for the dying for a few years and this interview had me on the edge of my seat. I would like to be able to provide therapy while giving clients the option to share their stories and this podcast has me considering new options.
"At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life."
Gerald's note: BJ Miller sparked my interest in working with the dying. His passion and compassion are inpirational and encouraged me to start following Zen Hospice and other social media sites. BJ's call for a rethinking of how we die is sometime I hope to consider on this site.
"Alan Dein meets doulas in Lewes, Sussex, who are companions to the dying. We listen in on a Death Cafe they are hosting, where strangers gather to talk about death."
Gerald's note: It is interesting to hear the doula work through the options for extending life, the ceremony and similar with her clients. It is very gentle, presented in a way they can work through for themselves and over a series of visits.
Frank spent years in hospice work, helping thousands of people during their last moments, before getting cancer and finding himself on the receiving end of treatment. Frank shares his insights on illness and death and what he thinks he has learned from these experiences.
Gerald's note: Frank is compassionate, insightful and has the ability to reserve judgment when dealing with others. I first encountered Frank on Jack Kornfield's podcast and then bought his book. Well worth a read.
Our services involve providing facilitation, education and mindfulness training to individual clients, couples and groups. While my background includes counselling and there are techniques I use in helping others which come from various therapeutic models, the approach I use in helping others includes the place of the person whose issues are central to the discussion being the expert in their own problems. This is something I encountered in Narrative Therapy and which quickly became central to my work.
So, if you are looking for someone to help you work through your own problems, you have come to the right place. If you are looking for someone who considers themselves an "expert" in your problems, you have not. This distinction is part of why I prefer the terms facilitator, doula and teacher to therapist or counsellor.
My approach is very eclectic and borrows from a number of modalities, including Cogntive Therapy, Mindfulness and Compassion practices, Narrative Therapy, Gestalt Therapy and a number of pedagological approaches and techniques.
You can contact me for facilitation services using my email address, by putting my name "gerald" in front of this domain (nocturnalworks.com).
The content on this site is provided to give resources and support to those dying, their loved ones and those
providing death doula (end of life) support. When we find out that death is near and the initial shock wears off,
emotions and questions flood into our minds. Noctural Works exists as place where you can find out about mental
health issues and therapy related to death, dying, grief and bereavement - as well as more practical support, such
as planning for death and supporting others on their journey.
The resources on this site are provided by Death Doula Ltd, a company in Aotearoa New Zealand which provides end of
life doula support online, in Wellington, Blenheim and Picton (New Zealand). These resources are not legal or
medical in nature, so do no rely upon them, but seek legal and medical advice, as required. If you are interested in
counselling resources not focusing on death and dying, you can visit our other site, Therapy Aroha.