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Dignity Therapy is an empirical, brief therapeutic approach that can improve the quality of life of palliative care patients as well as those affected by dementia or cancer. 

Patients in old age or with a serious illness often suffer from a loss of quality of life, joy and a sense of purpose. This is where Dignity Therapy comes in: In a conversation, the therapist guides talking about memories, life experiences, relationships and interests and records the narratives in a document. The empirical, brief therapeutic approach was developed by Professor Dr Harvey Max Chochinov.

Supports quality of care and patient well-being
Dignity Therapy can provide strength and guidance to patients and their families. Studies repeatedly prove the positive effect of dignity therapy and dignity-preserving action on the quality of care and patient well-being.

Effectiveness clearly proven 

Die Wirksamkeit der Dignity Therapy wurde ursprünglich bei Krebskranken und deren Angehörigen The effectiveness of Dignity Therapy was originally tested with cancer patients and their relatives. The results in numbers:  

  • 91% of patients reported that the therapy had been helpful,

  • 76% reported an increased sense of dignity,

  • 68% reported that the therapy had given them more meaning in their lives, 

  • 47% felt a greater desire to live, and

  • 81% rated the intervention as helpful for the family. 

Dignity Therapy also reduces sadness and depression and improves spiritual well-being, according to a 2011 study by Chochinov. Patients also felt that the treatment helped family members. In general, they felt differently perceived and more appreciated by family members.



For caregivers, pastors, therapists and other professionals who work with people in old age or with a serious illness such as cancer or dementia.

Course objectives 

  • Encourage self-care in patients

  • Relieve anxiety and depressive feelings

  • Support relatives 



Supports people with terminal illnesses such as dementia or cancer, as well as nursing home residents and relatives:  

  • To draw orientation and strength from one's own life experiences

  • To get over feelings such as anxiety, depression and grief

  • To hold on to personal wishes and values so that they are not forgotten  



Drs. Peter Muijres, MA., MSc., PhD. cand.
Psychologist and medical anthropologist 

+41 (0) 79 955 90 90

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