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Two approaches which counselors and therapists use to help people who are dying are being the hopeful voice of the family and the realistic friend who listens. The therapist's personality is of huge importance because if you are dying, you don't want to spend precious time with someone who doesn't help nor with one who doesn't fit what you want as the link to the family. I believe that the realistic therapist who is honest without being so pessimistic is the best approach as most patients realize that they are dying long before the family is ready to believe that death is near. Having been the one who listened to both of my sisters as death came ever nearer, hospice took over with the therapist being able to listen and care without the grief I felt as I truly said a long goodbye. They were able to change medications to ease comfort, listen to family members as they grieved the coming loss, and listen and advise the dying person.
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