By Gabriella Otty
Post Conference Resources
Audio Presentation – listen here
This paper is my personal attempt to explore and conceptualise the profound psychological and spiritual transformation I have witnessed in my father during the course of the illness that would eventually lead to his death. I will discuss how, in so far as it acts as an existential crisis – by confronting an individual with their own mortality and forcing them to re-evaluate the assumptions and beliefs on which they have based their life – illness can become a turning point, a life-opening experience; how those who choose to accept, rather than fight, their physical illness, may embark upon a path to self-discovery, self-acceptance and spiritual healing. I will also consider the challenges posed to therapists by the work we do with clients affected by an illness or terminal disease and the way in which, as we sustain them throughout their journey, as fellow travellers and, ultimately, as human beings, we are transformed ourselves.