In the Face of Death: Professionals Who Care for the Dying and the Bereaved [NOOK Book]


"Danai Papadatou [presents] an approach of Relational Care, care based on an understanding of relationships, that should be essential reading .[S]he writes in an engaging and non-technical language, and ...

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In the Face of Death: Professionals Who Care for the Dying and the Bereaved

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"Danai Papadatou [presents] an approach of Relational Care, care based on an understanding of relationships, that should be essential reading .[S]he writes in an engaging and non-technical language, and manages to convey complex ideas in a manner that is accessible to all."

--Colin Murray Parkes, OBE, MD, FRCPsych

President, Cruse: Bereavement Care

(From the Foreword)

"[A] wonderful contribution to the literature on caregiving and her well thought out ideas about relational caregiving are on the cutting edge. Congratulations."

-- Lynne Ann DeSpelder

CoAuthor, The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying, 8th edition

"This is no ordinary academic textbook. It is nothing short of a masterpiece in which Papadatou provides the field of death, dying and bereavement with invaluable and constructive insights into the world of caring for the dying and bereaved."--Grief Matters

"This is a fascinating book, applying important theoretical models in order to describe and speculate about how professionals manage to work in an environment where suffering and grief are constantly present. This is an important and substantial addition to the mostly self-help literature about self-care for caregivers."--Doody's Medical Reviews

In the Face of Death explores the experiences of health care professionals who care for the seriously ill, the dying, and the bereaved. In this book, Danai Papadatou offers a practical approach to caregiving, as well as a breadth and depth of insight into both the patient's and the caregiver's responses to death.

The author discusses the issues and challenges health care professionals face when treating dying and bereaved patients. Topics include: compassion fatigue, the inevitability of suffering and the potential for growth, suffering in the workplace, team functioning in death situations, and team resilience.

The main themes are:

  • The Caring Relationship focuses on the relationship between the care provider and the person who is dying or grieving, and proposes a new, relationship-based model of care

  • The Care Provider in Death Situations addresses the health professional's personal responses to death, using a model that illustrates the grieving process of the health professional

  • The Team in the Face of Death provides recommendations for effective, interdisciplinary care services that support dying or bereaved patients as well as the health care provider
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Risa Denenberg, MSN, ARNP, ACHPN (Harborview Medical Center)
Description: This book addresses the suffering of caregivers who provide professional services to persons who are dying or in the process of grieving a death. The author provides a theoretical framework to understand individual caregiver responses, as well as the response of caregiver teams in the face of death, dying, and bereavement of their clients. The framework includes the author's models for professionals' grieving process; team functioning in death situations; and challenges of educating healthcare professionals.
Purpose: The author poses that in order to ensure humanization of care to the sick, dying, and bereaved, guidance is needed to humanize the role of professionals who provide this type of care. She states that the book is addressed to all types of professionals including clinicians, researchers, trainees, and educators whom she feels can benefit from a better understanding of the processes involved in professional grieving. This is clearly a worthy objective, but the book meets its objectives well for educators and less well for clinicians.
Audience: According to the author, this book is addressed to a very wide range of readers, including nurses, physicians, psychologists, social workers, chaplains, and bereavement counselors, as well as researchers, health managers, trainees, and even volunteers. This audience is too broad for a book that is highly theoretical and would be of most interest to those who supervise, train, or teach those in this audience. The author is certainly an expert and writes with passion, using many examples and case scenarios.
Features: This book covers a range of topics including descriptions and theories about the relationships between professionals and their patients; descriptions of tasks of professionals who work with dying and bereaved individuals and families; a paradigm for understanding grief reactions among professionals; a model for understanding how different care teams cope with loss; and ideas for educating health care professionals who work with this population. One shortcoming in the book is that the author has primarily worked with a pediatric population, and primarily uses pediatric narratives as examples.
Assessment: This is a fascinating book, applying important theoretical models (such as attachment theory; developing a holding environment; group theory, etc.) in order to describe and speculate about how professionals manage to work in an environment where suffering and grief are constantly present. This is an important and substantial addition to the mostly self-help literature about self-care for caregivers. I am not certain that the whole range of professional caregivers would want theory in such depth, but for those with an interest and background in psychology, this is an important and useful book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826103406
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/6/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Danai Papadatou, PhD is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Faculty of Nursing of the University of Athens. Her clinical experience, research interests and publications focus mostly on issues related to pediatric palliative care, bereavement support, and health care providers' responses to the death of their patients. Her work is known internationally through her publications, presentations at scientific meetings, and active involvement in international work groups and societies. She has organized several conferences and symposia and along with her father Costas Papadatos organized in 1989, the 1st International Conference on Children and Death and subsequently edited the book "Children and Death" (1991). She has received an award from Children's Hospice International (1989), and the 'Death Educator Award' by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (2001). She had the honor to serve from 1999 to 2004 as chair of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement, an organization of leaders in the field of thanatology.
Dr. Papadatou is also the founder and president of a Greek non profit organization ("Merimna") which provides services to children and families who are coping with illness and death experiences, offers training to professionals who support seriously ill and bereaved children and adolescents, organizes psychosocial interventions in disaster situations, and sensitizes the Greek public on issues related to death and dying.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Section I The Caring Relationship 1

1 Society, Science, and Death 3

The Medical Model of Care 5

The Biopsychosocial and Holistic Model of Care 6

The Relationship-Centered Approach to Care 9

2 A Relationship of Care 21

Partners in Care 22

The Attachment Bond 24

Request for Services in Death Situations 25

The Person's Attachment Behaviors 28

The Professional's Caregiving Behaviors 32

Bond Affirmation Through Belonging 35

3 Distinct Features of the Helping Relationship 39

Exposure to Death and Mortality Awareness 40

Inevitability of Suffering Versus Potential for Growth 47

Experience of an Altered Sense of Time 50

Involvement in the Caregiving Relationship 54

4 The Accompanying Process 61

The Myth 61

From Myth to Reality: Assuming a Companioning Role 67

Condition 1 Establishing an Appropriate Frame 70

Condition 2 Being Fully Present 79

Condition 3 Being Vulnerable Enough 92

Condition 4 Developing a Holding Environment for Ourselves and Co-Workers 103

Working in Private Practice 105

When the Care Provider Is Seriously Ill or Dying 108

The End of Accompaniment 110

Section II The Care Provider in Death Situations 113

5 The Wounded Healer 115

From Myth to Reality: The Suffering of the Care Provider 117

Aspects of Care Providers' Suffering 120

Grief: A Healthy Response to Death Situations 128

6 A Model for Professionals' Grieving Process 131

Proposition 1 Professionals Who Experience the Death of a Person as a Personal Loss Are Likely to Grieve 134

Proposition 2 Grieving Involves a Fluctuation Between Experiencing and Avoiding Loss and Grief 139

Proposition 3Through Grieving, Meanings Are Attributed to Death, Dying, and Caregiving 146

Proposition 4 Personal Meanings Are Affected by Meanings That Are Shared by Co-workers, and Vice Versa 155

Proposition 5 Grief Overload and Grief Complications Occur When There Is No Fluctuation Between Experiencing and Avoiding Loss and Grief 159

Proposition 6 Grief Offers Opportunities for Personal Growth 163

Proposition 7 The Professional's Grieving Process is Affected by Several Interacting Variables 167

7 The Rewards of Caregiving 175

Obstacles to Rewarding Experiences 178

Conditions That Promote Rewarding Experiences 179

The Wisdom of the Wounded Healer 186

Section III The Team In The Face of Death 189

8 Caregiving Organizations and Death 191

Suffering in the Workplace 193

The Organization's Myths and Ideals 196

The Organization's Primary Tasks and Mode of Functioning 198

9 Team Functioning in Death Situations 203

Principle 1 Team Functioning Is Affected by the Organization's Culture 206

Principle 2 Team Rules Determine How Professionals Should Care for Dying and Bereaved People and Cope With Suffering 209

Principle 3 There Are No Functional or Dysfunctional Teams-Only Teams That Use Functional and Dysfunctional Patterns to Cope With Loss, Death, and Suffering 217

Principle 4 The Chronic Use of Dysfunctional Patterns Renders a Team Vulnerable to Various Types of Disorganization 230

Principle 5 Crises Are Inevitable; They Hold the Potential for Team Disorganization as Well as Team Growth 236

Principle 6 All Teams Have the Potential to Function With Competence 242

Principle 7 Interprofessional Collaboration Is an Unfolding Process That Is Reflective of a Team's Development and Growth 256

Principle 8 Resilience Is Enhanced by the Team's Ability to Cope Effectively With Suffering, and to Creatively Use Its Resources to Foster Change and Growth 260

10 The Good-Enough Team 269

Team Narratives of Traumas and Achievements 271

Leaders in Good-Enough Teams 275

Supervisors and Consultants 278

Toward a Community of Support 281

11 The Challenges of Educating Health Care Professionals 285

Challenge 1 Develop a Philosophy of Teaching That Promotes Relational Learning and Reflective Practice 287

Challenge 2 Develop Curricula That Include Goals, Learning Objectives, and Methods of Teaching That Focus on Relationships With the Dying, the Bereaved, and Co-Workers 288

Challenge 3 Integrate Current Knowledge Into Educational Programs and Supervised Clinical Applications 290

Challenge 4 Evaluate Training Outcomes as Well as the Context and Process by Which Learning Occurs 291

Challenge 5 Integrate Formal and Informal Learning Activities Into the Work Context 293

Epilogue 297

Appendix: Brief Description of Bowlby's Theory on Attachment 301

References 305

Index 321

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