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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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Towards a changed outlook

Towards a changed outlook

(p.27) Chapter 4 Towards a changed outlook
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how people manage to shift their worldview from chaos and crisis and how they struggle to find meaning and make sense of it all. Talking about their life and experience can help people recognise the purpose in their life. New understandings and priorities can emerge along with the discovery of previously unrecognised strengths and determination. Fresh hopes can arise with the acceptance of a different future along with a realism about the past. Some fear leaving no legacy, others have no such feelings. They have lived, have a sense of achievement and that is enough. How illness can be a stimulant, even amidst weakness, to look at life anew and to recognise one’s identity and status, even beyond the grave, is considered as well as how counsellors can help in this. Through open and healthy relationships and the clearing of unfinished business dying can become more of a natural process.

Keywords:   discovering meaning, life review, counselling the ill, narratives, sense of self, resilience, sense of achievement, legacy, realism about the past

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