Death & Dying

The Therapy Beat November 3, 2023

Let's Talk About Death—and Pass the Cookies

How Death Cafés Can Enrich Our Lives

What is a death café? And why do so many people find them therapeutic? Read more

Family Matters September 1, 2023

Just This, Nothing Next

Facing Old Age with Trepidation and Grace

Getting old is often a surprise, even when we’ve spent decades trying to get comfortable with the vicissitudes of aging. Read more

Death and a Lifelong Love

Bracing for a Future without Marilyn

A psychotherapy icon grapples with the imminent death of his wife as she moves from palliative care to hospice care. Read more

Debunking Myths About Aging

The Benefits of Therapy for Older Adults

Some older people sink into states of depression, apathy, or agitated irritability, but emotional distress in this population is too often seen as part of an... Read more

Shattered by Suicide

Helping Families in the Aftermath

Suicide isn't simply the tragedy of someone taking their own life: it's also the long, excruciating nightmare of being left behind. Read more

In Consultation March 22, 2022

Unshed Tears

Helping Kids Work through Unresolved Grief

Many of the ways that children grieve differently from adults can go unrecognized and unprocessed. Read more

Clinician's Quandary March 7, 2022

Is There Meaning in Loss? (Part 2)

Four More Therapists Weigh In

Our last Clinician’s Quandary on helping clients—and ourselves—navigate grief work received an overwhelming number of responses. So many, in fact, that... Read more

This special edition of the Networker came together because of the great love so many people feel for Rich. Read more

On the Death of My Friend

A Reflection on Bipolar Disorder and Suicide

Helping our community understand the suicide of one of modern psychotherapy’s most cherished public figures. Read more

Open Book December 27, 2019

Out of Sight

Are Prisons Modern-Day Asylums?

Author Kenneth Paul Rosenberg explores the catastrophic inadequacies of our mental healthcare system that have led to “the greatest social crisis of our... Read more

Point of View July 3, 2019

Terminal Illness and the Choice to Die

What's the Therapist's Role?

A number of states have passed legislation giving terminal patients the option of medical aid in dying. What therapists need to know about helping patients and... Read more

Welcome to Holland

When Life Takes a Detour

What do you do when your life’s expectations get turned upside down? Read more

Dying Well

Humanizing Our Overmedicalized System

Hospital protocols have replaced the time-honored customs that once enabled the dying to be lead actors in their life’s final drama. Why do we spend so much... Read more

Remembering Catherine

Coming to Terms with a Client’s Murder

Over the course of my career, numerous world events have entered my office. But none of them prepared me for grieving the murder of Catherine, my client of 15... Read more

Open Book July 6, 2018

When Is Enough Enough?

Our Obsession with Longevity May Have Gone Too Far

Bestselling author Barbara Ehrenreich believes that our obsession with longevity may have gone too far. Read more

Symposium Highlight June 20, 2018

VIDEO: David Kessler on Coming to Terms with the End

A Special Storytelling Piece from Our 2018 Symposium

When our clients are facing their own mortality, how can we guide them in a way that's both compassionate and realistic? In the following video, therapist... Read more

Open Book January 1, 2015

Who Failed Robert Peace?

Even a Yale Degree Couldn’t Save Him

Why did a seeming rags-to-riches story of a young man’s triumph over poverty and the lure of the streets end so tragically? Read more

Editor's Note: July/August 2011

Extended Life, Elongated Grief

As the writers in this issue powerfully demonstrate, medical science has made extended dying and its impact on relatives and loved ones—what psychologist... Read more

Is Enough Ever Enough?

The Right-to-Die Debate

We’re living longer and longer, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’d choose to live through a painful terminal illnesses. Do we have the right to... Read more

Unhappy Endings

Death as Technology’s Slave

A perverse set of financial incentives within the medical system too often leads to the promotion of maximum treatment, no matter what. When this happens... Read more


Each of Us Owes the Universe a Death

In a very dark corner of each of our minds is a voice that says, “I’m going to die. One day, I’m going to die.” How we react to this voice determines... Read more

Reliable Witness

What it Takes to be With Your Clients to the End

Few of us instinctively know what to do and say when families are confronting the death of a loved one. But we can start by being with them in the struggle. Read more

Winter Passage

Acknowledging Spirituality in Life's Final Journey

Drawing on spiritual resources can ease the pain and sorrow of death for client and therapist alike. Read more

Family Matters September 1, 2007

Our best teachers aren't always the two-legged kind. Read more

Family Matters July 1, 2007

The Last Word

The difficulties of summing up a lifetime

Grieving the departed will always elicit startling feelings and strange behaviors. It may be less about truth than about timing. Read more

Tarnished Crown

Discovering momma and the meaning of life

Therapists who can surf the transference and countertransference of chronic disappointment by being mindful of their own inner states can find creative... Read more

In our technological society, real death is hidden away while fantasized deaths are available for viewing in dizzying numbers. It's time to separate our... Read more