Sitting Still with Illness and Dying

presented by Lauren Cates

Accreditation Check:

The purpose of this course, with Lauren Cates, is to introduce essential internal, emotional and cognitive tools for staying present to what’s happening when what’s happening is not what we’d prefer or choose. Lauren Cates will discuss common pitfalls for people who put themselves in the path of suffering in a role of service, and explore basic concepts about the ways in which we share and receive information. She will also introduce some of the character traits that are common to “caregivers” and how those traits can lead to compassion fatigue. Additionally, this course explores the dilemmas, professional, personal and ethical, that are inherent in hospice and advanced disease/dying scenarios. Lauren concludes the course by presenting some introductory self-care strategies, and discussing issues around illness and dying with a practicing massage therapist.

For more information and resources on this and other important topics visit healwell.org.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Lauren Cates, LMT

    Lauren Cates, LMT

    Lauren is a Virginia-based graduate of the Potomac Massage Training Institute and the Metta Institute’s End of Life Care Practitioner Program. She has had unique opportunities to train with national leaders in the field of oncology massage and end of life care and has built an intensive clinical massage therapy program at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. Lauren also co-founded a non-profit organization which provides clinical education for massage therapists, participates in massage therapy research and provides service to people (pediatric and adult) living with acute, chronic and terminal illness. Lauren is a certified massage therapist, Reiki practitioner and volunteer massage therapist with Capital Caring hospice. In addition to continuing education courses for massage therapists and social workers, Lauren is one of a teaching triad completed by two seasoned hospice nurses which offers workshops to educate and support caregivers of all kinds.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. The Distance

    1. The Distance

    Moving towards emotions is the way to understand and live through them. The first chapter of this course introduces the emotional aspects around end of life and dying for therapists, as well as essential emotional tools for addressing these aspects of life.

  2. Making Sense of Pain and Suffering

    2. Making Sense of Pain and Suffering

    In the second chapter of this course, Lauren Cates discusses the differences between noticing and judging, and the value in being able to adjust in real time. She also introduces the simple, powerful tool of letting feelings happen, as well as the three main channels of information receipt and transmission in human interaction.

  3. Namaste: The Soul to Soul Connection

    3. Namaste: The Soul to Soul Connection

    The third chapter of this course introduces common attributes shared by caregivers and the concept of “being as doing.” This chapter also tackles the implications of being “caught learning” and embracing “not knowing.”

  4. Self Care: It’s Not a Vacation

    4. Self Care: It’s Not a Vacation

    The final chapter of this course is designed to help therapists confront their own doubts about addressing serious illness and dying, and to provide practical self care strategies to preserve therapist health and well being.