What Are the Themes in the Psychoanalytic Literature on Assisting People With a Terminal Diagnosis? A Thematic Analysis
Abstract Terminal illness and knowledge of imminent death can evoke intensely painful and overwhelming feelings of fear, despair and terror. Accounts in the psychoanalytic literature on work with dying clients are infrequent however much of the material that is available provides the foundation for this research. This dissertation is a qualitative study using thematic analysis to identify and analyse the themes in the psychoanalytic literature on assisting dying clients. The research findings demonstrate that practitioners writing about therapy with terminally ill people reveal the immense vulnerability of dying clients, and describe the development of a powerful and often deeply intimate connection within the therapeutic relationship which can mobilise and support the resilience of clients in close proximity to death.