Contraindica Tions

The predominant contraindication is in the person of the therapist. There are situations that require self-knowledge accessible on short notice. A member may discuss suicide or the cessation of active treatment. This can certainly cause discomfort, fear, and even anger for some of the group members who are focused only on survival. The therapist needs to examine his or her own beliefs, values, and ethics, in responding to this difficult, but vitally important group exploration. Keeping calm, buying time, assessing whether or not there is a viable plan are necessary while within the group. Therapist consultation is almost always indicated. Knowing enough about the critical illness at hand is not necessarily a discussion between choosing life versus death, but rather, at times, control of when or how the patient is going to die.

Living with Dying 37

REFERENCES

Frank, A. (1991). At the Will of the Body: Reflections on Illness. Boston: Mariner Books.

McKusick, L. (1992). Earlier Intervention, Earlier Care: The Role of Support Groups. HIV Frontline, 1, 4.

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