E. Becker argued that life is an unordered chaos without predictability or control and that psychological intervention, unless it is oriented totally toward allowing the client to lower psychological defenses, is inappropriate in death. C. E. Preston has discussed a behavioral approach that is designed to increase staff awareness and understanding of self-statements about death. With regard to biomedical practice, protecting a dying individual from the knowledge of his physical condition or preventing his active participation in treatment and care decisions may promote feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and may even hasten death. From any therapeutic perspective, dying is not a pathological problem behavior to be remedied. The ability of the individual to control the experience as well as the actual trajectory of self-health also has important ramifications for psychological therapeutic interventions with the terminally ill. An adaptation of behavioral self-management procedures for use with terminally ill clients is described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas