When Professionals Weep

Emotional and Countertransference Responses in End-of-Life Care

About the Course:

Can a professional’s personal feelings and life experiences affect the helping process? This important volume courageously explores this issue and focuses on the use of countertransference—the powerful linkage between a professional’s personal feelings and his/her professional work.

Full of thought-provoking and practical information, When Professionals Weep guides professionals in confronting and examining their own denial, grief, and anger, fears of suffering, deterioration and loss, and their needs for control, love and admiration. Contributors address such issues as how practitioners “overhelp” and “underhelp” some clients because of their feelings and experiences; how personal, societal and family biases can contribute to inappropriate diagnosis, referral, and treatment; why service is prolonged with some and terminated too soon with others.

When Professionals Weep is an easy read—concise, clear, and captivating. Moving case studies are woven throughout and practical tools are provided for immediate use. A “must read” for the seasoned practitioner and novice, alike.

Publication Date:

2006

Authors

Renee S. Katz, PhD, FT; Therese A. Johnson, MA

About the Authors:

Renee S. Katz, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Fellow in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement in private practice in Seattle. For over 25 years she has worked with the dying, bereft, and those living with life limiting illness. Dr. Katz consults, teaches and trains locally and nationally in the areas of grief and bereavement, gerontology, countertransference, and the addictions. She received the American Cancer Society Leadership Award (l985) and the American Cancer Society Division Award for Outstanding Program Development, (Northern California, l984). Dr. Katz chairs the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee of the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and is Co-Chair of the Washington State Psychological Association (WSPA) End-of-Life Task Force. The author of many articles and chapters, Dr. Katz is co-editor of two books: Countertransference and Older Clients (SAGE Publications, l990) and When Professionals Weep: Emotional and Countertransference Responses in End-of-Life Care.

Therese A. Johnson, MA is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has worked in the health care field for more than 35 years, with the last 10 years concentration in hospice care. Currently in private practice, she enjoys working with issues of anticipatory loss, bereavement and loss through trauma. A strong advocate for teenagers, she is a frequent presenter and speaker on the impact of loss in adolescence. Ms. Johnson has served as a member of ethics committees at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Washington and the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for practitioners in the fields of medicine, mental health, social work, nursing, the allied health sciences, psychology, and psychiatry. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Enhance understanding of the impact of cultural, social, spiritual and lifestyle diversity on one’s own assumptions in professional interventions.

  2. Learn specific techniques to address one’s own or supervisee’s countertransference.

  3. Identify personal-professional interactions that reflect three different types of countertransference.

  4. Identify the most common emotional “hooks” when working in end of life care.

  5. Understand and identify countertransference vulnerabilities when working with the dying, bereaved and those living with life-limiting illness.

Exam Questions

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