C NVERSING WITH DEATH
What is Conversing with Death?
I founded Conversing with Death (CD) back in 2013 and after fifteen years of experience with hospice patients, personal experiences of loss and years of specialized training. This existential exploration is educational in nature and process-oriented to help with those wrestling movements with inevitable human decline: aging, illness, and dying.
What makes Conversing with Death Different from, say, grief groups?
CD attends to one's own existential phenomenon. There are many groups that help others grieve; good ones at that. But CD nudges us to look at ourselves, first and foremost.
It can be, but then again death is no light topic. This is why I have people take the Conversing with Death Intro Workshop, which introduces one to a unique method of talking about death-and-dying.
What is the overall goal of thinking about death?
CD has much practical value. When done correctly, death reflection and awareness can nudge us to live with more intentionality, gratitude, kindness, and contentment. Knowing we don't have forever can motivate us to live!
How does Conversing with Death do this?
CD uses imaginal and simulated exercises to bring out a felt sense experience. We also do lots of sharing and processing. As far as "how-tos" go, we don't put much weight on trying to find solutions, simply because you can't fix impermanence. When we are in our last days or weeks from transitioning, solutions won't help. Only by being with your experiences do you stand a better chance at entering a more peaceful transitioning.
Who is eligible for this training?
I designed CD primarily for mental and healthcare professionals, clergy, and other care-giving professionals.
While I may use CD to complement therapy sessions, I have prioritized equipping caregiving professionals from various disciplines for a couple of reasons. Fist, they are at the forefront of the struggle, helping others prepare for the changes. And to do this professionals must do their own work first. If avoided, the professional is likely to inhibit the client or patient's own process. Second, working with death can take a toll. It is imperative for caregiving professionals to manage death awareness so as to not lose balance.
Is there anyone who the groups is not for?
Yes. I would not recommend this group with anyone who has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, certain anxiety disorders, recent trauma, a personality disorder, or who has a suicidal history. I strongly encourage potential members to check in with their mental health professional and/or physician to ensure this unique and intense method will not inhibit their mental or emotional health.
Is Conversing with Death a form of psychotherapy?
No. While CD can complement therapy, it doesn't take the place of psychotherapy.
What is Conversing with Death Beyond?
CD Beyond is an honest and bold inquiry into ongoing Consciousness. For serious measures and sometimes for personal interest, I explore, consult, and investigate possible activity once a person dies.
Does that include reincarnation?
Yes. Reincarnation is an interesting topic that has walked alongside of human experience for a long time.
Why didn't you include the afterlife from the start?
From the beginning, I was much in tune to how our culture avoids thinking of the mental, emotional, and physical processes of dying. It seemed to me that many could quickly resort to themes of the afterlife as a means for comfort, but couldn't or wouldn't entertain conversations about what happens to us here and now.