Counselling Skills in Palliative Care

Counselling Skills in Palliative Care

Counselling Skills in Palliative Care

Counselling Skills in Palliative Care

Synopsis

"The health care professional working in a palliative care setting may be familiar with a professional counsellor working as a member of the care team. They may not always recognise the empowering effect that the use of empathy and counselling skills can have in their own encounters with patients and families. This book will give them the insight they need, the encouragement to apply skills, and the satisfaction that can come from the 'emotional holding' of distress, as well as the practical interventions that are a familiar part of clinical care." - Margaret Potter, Freelance Lecturer/Counsellor, Bereavement Studies

"This is a very empowering book. With its emphasis on all health care professionals having an important role in listening, accepting and eliciting the feelings and fears of patients as they face the end of life. After reading this book, I felt reassured to see some of the ways that I handle these difficult issues illustrated, and stimulated to reflect on alternative ways that might be of help in the future. The text centres around a series of carefully drafted vignettes, which are then skillfully used in the subsequent text to illustrate issues in a grounded and relevant way" - Dr Stephen Barclay, General Practitioner, Honorary Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Health Services Research Training Fellow, University of CambridgeThis book is for people working in palliative care, helping patients and families to manage and live with chronic and progressive illnesses where treatment is no longer aimed at a cure. Palliative care professionals are encouraged to work holistically, viewing themselves and their relationships with patients as significant therapeutic resources in their own right. The authors argue that sensitive counselling skills need to be used effectively by all palliative workers, not just by counsellors. The book discusses the place of counselling skills using an integrative biopsychosocial model of family systems medicine, taking into account interactions between family life cycles, social conceptions of illness and treatment, the psychosocial typology of particular diseases, and family/professional belief systems. Each chapter considers counselling skills in relation to the overall care system (including the professional team and the family), not just the patient with the disease. Ideas are explored through clinical vignettes of common scenarios in palliative care.

Excerpt

Case note 1

Linda walked unsteadily out of the hospital doors, wander
ing over to the car park as if in a dream. She sat in the car
for almost an hour without turning the engine on, tears
streaming down her face and breathing raggedly. She kept
hearing the doctor's words again and again: 'I am very sorry,
Miss Henry, I really am. I'm afraid there is nothing more
that we can do.' 'What am I going to do?' she asked herself
over and over. 'What am I going to tell the children? Why
me, why terminal cancer? Shit, shit, shit.'

This is a book about counselling skills that healthcare professionals (HCPs) can use in their work in palliative care. We begin our book by outlining the development of palliative care within the UK since the modern hospice movement began, and comment on the different and sometimes problematic meanings of terms such as 'hospice care' and 'palliative care'. We introduce the reader to some of the complexities facing HCPs working in teams to provide palliative care, and to the major existential dilemmas which are likely to face people dealing with life-threatening illness. The last part of the chapter offers a conceptual framework for thinking about counselling skills and supportive roles in . . .

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