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Endings in Life and in Therapy: Confronting mortality, separation, dying and death as part of living – Josefine Speyer

June 16 @ 10:00 am-5:30 pm


Josefine Speyer

Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. Death is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most.” Frank Ostaseski

Today, many more people live to old age and tend to die outside the home. This means that many people today do not experience a family member or close friend dying until they are into their mid-life, and it is even less common to have seen a dead body. Society as a whole has never been less exposed to death. As a result, fear of the unknown means that people sometimes avoid people who are ill or dying, and do not feel able to support them. From Dying Matters website




Death is a subject that touches everybody. Yet in our society, talking about death, especially our own or of people close to us, is mostly avoided. In psychotherapy too, dying and death have largely been ignored. In our training as psychotherapists preparing for dying and the psychological implications of facing death were not included, though hopefully this is changing.

Death is a very emotional subject and usually these emotions are rather complex as relationships are complex and often unresolved. As we age, we know that our bodies will eventually stop working. We know we are going to die eventually. Dying is a built-in factor. Likewise, ending and separation are part of the psychotherapeutic process from the beginning. Difficulties in attachment will show up in ending. What kind of difficulties come up? What can we learn from these? What can be learnt from facing our own mortality? How can we make use of this knowledge in our work with clients? Together I hope we will be able to think about some of these or other questions arising and that this will help shed some light.

During the morning we will think about death from a personal point of view, and in the afternoon we will consider issues arising in our work, with time to reflect on and discuss areas of concern. A model of preparing for death will be presented which also correlates in some ways with facing and working through endings in psychotherapy.

We will:

  • think about what might be involved in preparing for our own death
  • talk about how personal experiences have formed attitudes to dying and death
  • reflect on our work with clients who are faced with death, either their own or that of someone close to them
  • learn about end-of-life experiences and after death communications and their use in alleviating distress in the dying or bereaved
  • think about the possible issues involved in achieving a ‘good’ ending or a ‘good’ death

Josefine Speyer is a UKCP registered Integrative psychotherapist, supervisor and death educator based in London. She holds death education workshops, Natural Death Salons and death cafés. She was a co-founder of the Natural Death Centre (1991) of the Befriending Network (1994). She was co-editor of the Natural Death Handbook (2005) and a contributor to the 2012 edition. After death communications following her husband’s death in a car accident in 2001 led her to research these phenomena. A paper “Psycho-spiritual transformation through bereavement’ was published online with Dr. Mary Murray, Royal College of Psychiatry, London, in 2011. She is a contributor to Rosalind Bradley’s book ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, (Kingsley, 2016).

View Flyer (PDF file – printable)

This seminar will be suitable for psychological therapists from all modalities, complementary therapists and health professionals.

Tickets: £99, Early Bird booking before 16th May 2018 – £90

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Includes parking and refreshments but not lunch. CPD certificates and handouts will be supplied.

Alternatively to book: email or phone 07599 369566 with the name of the event(s) you wish to attend plus the following information: your full name; postal address; best contact telephone number and job title.

Postal address for cheques: Wendy Bramham, 47C Kingsbury St, Marlborough SN8 1JE.
A confirmation and receipt will be emailed to you.


June 16
10:00 am-5:30 pm
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Wendy Bramham
07599 369566


St George’s Centre
206 Andover Road,
Newbury,BerkshireRG14 6NU
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