This book presents a point of view based on my observations of those who have come to me for help. But because the observer always influences what is observed, served, I turn in Chapter Six to an examination of the observer and offer a memoir of my personal experiences with death and my attitudes about mortality. I, too, grapple with mortality and, as a professional who has been working with death anxiety for my entire career and as a man for whom death looms closer and closer, I want to be candid and clear about my experience with death anxiety.
Irvin D. Yalom. Staring at the Sun (Kindle Locations 104-106). Kindle Edition.
Beyond the symptoms, difficulties in functioning, interpersonal conflicts lurks the fundamental question of mortality. For the psychotherapist, countertransference arises in working with clients who struggle with the existential question of their own mortality and death. All psychotherapists encounter these questions which usually get framed as management of grief and trauma. And yet little attention is paid to how therapists manage their fear of their own death.
At times like this, one does not need a psychotherapist as much as a philosopher.