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About Thanatology

Thanatology is the academic study of death and dying. Thanatologists study, teach, and conduct research into cultural patterns, attitudes, antropology, sociology, and psychology of death and dying. Reading In Thanatology Thanatologists do not provide medical care. Thanatology is not the same subject as palliative care, which is a medical specialty covering pain and symptom management in dying patients. Thanatology also differs from non-specific grief support, a general service which many psychologists, clergy, and health care personnel may provide. While many care providers may provide grief support from time to time, not all have received special training in thanatology.

A small number of universities provide academic training leading to a degree in Thanatology. The Last Dance The Last Dance: Encountering Death And Dying is a popular textbook for college-level death and dying courses that is written for a general audience. It gives a comprehensive and readable introduction to the main issues in contemporary thanatology. Over the course of four editions this book has become a well-rounded introductory text that covers all the bases in enough detail to wet the appetite of serious students.

The best-known professional organization that provides training and certification in the non-medical aspects of death and dying is the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), which offers workshops and publications for academics and counselors.

One of the most important aspects of our work at Growth House is to help thanatologists, hospice professionals, grief counselors, and educators quickly locate the best resources for professional use. We encourage you to bookmark our search engine as a first step in finding specialized professional resources.