PSMB032 Thanatology

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2021
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Teacher(s)
doc. PhDr. Slávka Démuthová, PhD. (lecturer), PhDr. Zuzana Slováčková, Ph.D. (deputy)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Slávka Démuthová, PhD.
Department of Psychology - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jarmila Valchářová
Supplier department: Department of Psychology - Faculty of Arts
Timetable
Wed 10. 3. 8:00–15:40 C51, Wed 17. 3. 8:00–15:40 C51, Wed 24. 3. 8:00–15:40 C51
Prerequisites
Pre-requisites: Ontogenetical psychology
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 40 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 34/40, only registered: 1/40
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to focus student´s attention on the problems of death and dying that are tabooed in our culture. Attendants should get acquainted with the death concept development throughout the life cycle, with the common problems connected with life-threatening and lethal illnesses and diagnoses, as well as with the possible ways of handling this situation by dying person, his relatives or wider surroundings. Final topics are concentrated on the process of dying (e.g., on the trajectories of the terminal phases of the diseases, signs of collapsing organism etc.). Students will gain information about the typical ways of coping with the death of the close person and basic signs how to distinguish the normal grieving process from the problematic or pathological grieving. Each lesson contains an open discussion leading to the direct confrontation of students with the themes of death. The goal of such activity is to unbundle the topic, which should lead to the ability to talk openly about it and to express hidden questions. Lessons also include experience teaching methods that should lead to better self-discovery of students in the area of attitudes towards the death and individual fears of death and dying.
Learning outcomes
The graduates of the course should: - have the basic information about the death concept development throughout the life cycle;
- be aware of the common problems connected with life-threatening and lethal illnesses and diagnoses, as well as with the possible ways of handling this situation;
- understand the final phases of life and processes of dying;
- distinguish the normal grieving process from the problematic or pathological grieving;
- be able to talk openly about the topics connected with the death and dying;
- know their own attitudes towards the death and individual fears of death and dying;
- understand and help clients to cope with the problems connected with the topics of death and dying.
Syllabus
  • 1. The place of thanatology in the science system (links and relations between thanatology and the directly adjacent psychological and non-psychological areas; the question of multidisciplinarity within gaining and providing information from and to other sciences).
  • 2. Historical and religious influences of death concepts and death attitudes in our culture (questions of im/mortality, general and personal death attitudes, burial and funeral ceremonies over the time…).
  • 4. The development of the death concept in ontogenesis and its specificities within „different“ developmental abnormalities (apprehension of death before „self-revelation“, components of death concept and its changes – finality, universality, nonfunctionality, irreversibility, causality…; MR, autism, high IQ…).
  • 5. The most common problems of deathwards from the psychological point of view and the possible ways of their moderating (fear, helplessness, depression, interpersonal problems, hyper- or hypo- protectivity, environmental factors…; hardiness, psychological intervention, communication, social nets…).
  • 6. The most common problems of the family and environs of dying (ontogenetical (child, adolescent, adult, senior) and personal (member of the family, friend, classmate, colleague) specifics, acceptation of lethal illness, lack of information on deathward´s diagnose, medical treatment…, uncertainty on death concept, knowledge, actual attitude… of the dying).
  • 7. The role of psychology in the handling the somatic complications within the care of the dying (relapse of the disease, the problem of pain expression and its suppression, lassitude, dyspnoea, dysorexia…).
  • 8. Units for dying and home palliative care (specifics of palliative care units at hospitals and hospices, advantages, and disadvantages of the home care, possibilities of help with the care of dying).
  • 9. The dying – trajectories and phases (cooperation between professionals and the dying person (his/her families), possible trajectories of dying, symptoms of the terminal phase of illness according to the diagnose, last hours of the life…).
  • 10. The problem of normal and pathological grieving (common reactions to a death depending on the relationship and situation, normal (non-pathological) ways of handling the death, complicated grieving and pathological features in grieving).
Literature
  • Dolista, J., Skořepa, L., Pána, L. (eds.): Člověk ve stínu svého konce. České Budějovice, Vysoká škola evropských a regionálních studií 2007.
  • Gulay, J. E.: The dying child. McGraw-Hill Company, Inc. 1978.
  • Journals: Death Studies; Journal of Palliative Care; Journal of Palliative Medicine; Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
  • Kübler – Ross, E. (several editions of books): On Death and Dying; On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss; Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living; ...
  • Selsby, J.: Traumatic grief: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention. Philadelphia, Taylor and Francis 1999.
  • Kupka, M.: Psychosociální aspekty paliativní péče. Praha, Grada Publishing, 2014.
  • Kastenbaum, R.: The Psychology of death. 3. ed., New York, Springer Publishing Company, Inc. 1999.
  • Andrášiová, M.: Keď do života vstúpi rakovina. Bratislava, Landy 2009
  • Foster, S., Smith, P.: Brief lives. London, Arlington Books 1987.
  • Démuthová, S.: Keď umiera dieťa. Praktická tanatológia I. Pusté Úľany, Schola Philosophica 2010
  • Journals: Death Studies Journal of Palliative Care; Journal of Palliative Medicine; Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
  • Kübler – Ross, E. (several editions of books): Death: The Final Stage of Growth; Questions and Answers on Death and Dying; ...
  • Démuthová, S.: Vybrané problémy tanatológie. Brno, Masarykova univerzita, 2015.
  • Kübler – Ross, E.: Odpovědi na otázky smrti a umírání. Doplněno samostatnými příspěvky a komentáři. Praha, Tvorba 1995.
  • HAŠKOVCOVÁ, Helena. Thanatologie : nauka o umírání a smrti. 2., přepr. vyd. Praha: Galén, 2007. 244 s. ISBN 9788072624713. info
  • O'CONNOR, Margaret. Paliativní péče : pro sestry všech oborů. Translated by Jana Heřmanová. 1. české vyd. Praha: Grada, 2005. 324 s. ISBN 8024712954. info
  • KÜBLER-ROSS, Elisabeth. O dětech a smrti. Translated by Jiří Královec. Praha: Ermat, 2003. 311 s. ISBN 8090308619. info
  • Encyclopedia of death and dying. Edited by Glennys Howarth - Oliver Leaman. 1st ed. New York: Routledge, 2002. xxii, 534. ISBN 0415188253. info
  • Hovory s umírajícími. Edited by Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross. 1. vyd. [Hradec Králové]: Signum unitatis, 1992. 135 s. ISBN 80-85439-04-2. info
Teaching methods
The lessons are carried out in the form of seminars using introductive lectures, class discussions, case studies, scientific papers analysis, literature reading and the experience teaching methods.
Assessment methods
The final evaluation is based on the activity of the student on all seminars and contains 40% of the overall evaluation. The second part of the evaluation (60%) is based on the quality of the written essay based on the scientific paper analysis (topic: thanatology) submitted after the course. Student receives positive evaluation if gaining the minimum of 70% of the evaluation.
Language of instruction
English
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2020, Spring 2022.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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