Psychological support in terminality: a lesson for life

Érika Arantes de Oliveira Manoel Antônio dos Santos Ana Paula Mastropietro About the authors

In the middle of the growing denial of suffering in contemporary society, death is increasingly banished from the daily reality and confined to hospitals. This study aims to describe an experience of psychological intervention with a patient with acute lymphoid leukemia, a potentially fatal disease, focusing on the monitoring provided throughout their treatment, from diagnosis to lack of therapeutic possibilities, until the moment of his death in a ward of a general hospital in the context of palliative care . The body of the study consisted of the clinical material systematized on the basis of the psychological interventions carried out over a period of two years (2001-2003). An effort was made to understand the phases of mourning experienced by the patient and the possibility of psychological intervention as death approached. The possibility of being present throughout the stages of illness culminating in the moment of death represented a unique and transforming experience both for the patient and for the psychologist who assisted him at the time of his departure.

Terminality; general hospital; palliative care

Universidade Estadual de Maringá Avenida Colombo, 5790, CEP: 87020-900, Maringá, PR - Brasil., Tel.: 55 (44) 3011-4502; 55 (44) 3224-9202 - Maringá - PR - Brazil