By Karen Anderson, Edith Cowan University
Dying doesn’t disappear at Christmas. For those who know death will come soon but don’t know exactly when, the festive season, when the air is thick with “joy”, can be particularly unsettling.
As a psychotherapist working in palliative care, I often see distressed patients in the lead up to Christmas. Patients can find decorations and carols being played in shopping centres particularly triggering, reminding them this may be their last Christmas.
The dying person may...
Edith Cowan University
Karen is an individual, couple and family therapist with extensive experience working within educational, welfare and health sectors throughout the past 40+ years. She is employed with Edith Cowan University as a Practitioner Scholar. As well as lecturing, Karen conducts a private practice in counselling, psychotherapy, training and professional supervision. She has fulfilled a variety of professional positions including: Senior Counsellor, Cancer Council of Western Australia – Cancer Counselling Service, and Trainer in Cancer, Palliative Care, Psychosocial and Family Issues with the Cancer Council of Western Australia and the WA Health Department. Karen’s original training was in educational psychology, teaching and cross-cultural communication and she has lived and worked internationally in Malaysia, Singapore and Papua New Guinea. She was jointly responsible for the establishment of the education system on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands between 1978–1981. During the 1980’s Karen worked with the Western Australian Education Department developing and implementing training programs in cross-cultural awareness, communication and TESL across primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Throughout the 1990’s Karen focused on developing her clinical counselling skills within the welfare field, working in child and adolescent residential settings and in the prison system.