If you have never heard of thanatology, you aren’t the first. Known as the practice of exploring death and grief, thanatology studies the science behind dying from numerous perspectives. Whether it’s psychological, physical, medical, or spiritual, professionals in all kinds of fields use thanatology to help with their work, such as doctors, grief counselors, and coroners.
For those who are looking for a new career path, there are various professions that you can go into that link to thanatology. Read on to find out more about thanatology and how thanatologists work with those who are facing the death of a loved one or their own.
Since human history began, death has been one of the most complex and puzzling concepts to comprehend. The reason for this is because no two people approach death in the same manner, making it hard to know how you will react when faced with the death of a loved one or your own terminal illness. There are two key psychology concepts that thanatology depends on, with the first revolving around denial, and the second associated with how individuals emotionally progress through grief.
In today’s world, thanatology is beneficial in several practical applications. Whether you work as a hospice care consultant or a psychologist, thanatology heavily focuses on ethical and social questions. For example, discussions on assisted suicide are provoked by thanatology. There are other debates that are led by thanatology such as euthanasia and the right to die.
Types of Thanatologists
There are several types of thanatologists that span a variety of services. Whether it’s religious counseling or music, each individual is different and may need distinct coping strategies to deal with grief and the loss of a loved one. For example, biological thanatalogists tend to operate in forensic sciences as a medical examiner and coroner, whereas a psychological thanataologist can be a counselor or therapist who is specially trained in dealing with individuals who face death.
Duties of a Thanatologist
The responsibilities of a thanatologist can widely vary. This is because they can use their skills and attributes in a number of different roles. Regardless of the specialty, the main duty of a thanatologist is to act as the bridge between the living and the dead. Individuals who are facing a terminal illness require a professional who can guide and support them through their emotions. To flourish in a thanatology role, it’s vital that you have excellent communication skills, active listening skills, and most importantly, have empathy and compassion for those you are helping.
Becoming a Thanatologist
If you are interested in a career in thanatology, there are certain colleges across the country that have specialized courses in the field. For example, you can earn your MS in Thanatology at Marian University, which can help you form professional connections and networks through hospices, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations.
If a career in thanatology sounds right for you, there are numerous rewarding roles that you can go into, which can help others learn more about death and strategies to accept it.