Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

David Carter

Second Advisor

Elliot Ostler

Third Advisor

Paul Barnes


As people approach the end of their lives, many experience anxiety throughout the dying experience. This research investigated the death experience of terminally ill patients and the best counseling practices among licensed mental health practitioners. The questions developed by the researcher served as the measure, which was developed specifically for this research. The questions were given to a small purposive sample of counselors (N=10) who work in hospice settings, private practice, and oncology clinics. This research found that counselors focus on the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of dying, and observe patients having less death anxiety when they are comfortable with who they are and what they believe in. The counseling approaches presented in this research help to enhance quality of life, maintain a purpose in life, and manage death anxiety.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Counseling and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Masters of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Copyright 2011 by Helen Jackson Bleicher.