Someone needs to encourage us not to brush aside what we feel.
Not to be ashamed of the love and grief that it arouses in us.
Not to be afraid of pain.
Someone needs to encourage us:
that this soft spot in us could be awakened,
and that to do this would change our lives.

— Pema Chödrön (2005). When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Season 2 Episode 10: C. Elizabeth Dougherty

Inspired by the emotional aspects of caring she joined the Psychosocial Oncology Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and supported individuals and families from time of diagnosis through to end-of-life.
Elizabeth becomes the first Palliative Social Worker at the largest cancer treatment center in Canada and was part of the interprofessional team on the Acute Palliative Care Unit from its inception. As the designated Palliative Social Worker, she specialized in therapeutic interventions with individuals and families facing complex illness, uncertainty, and grief in the Acute Palliative Care Unit and in the Outpatient Palliative Clinics. Grateful for the experiences of working in Acute Palliative Care, but wanting to broaden access to Palliative Care in the community, Elizabeth launched her private practice in 2015, offering psychosocial support to individuals and families of all ages facing complex illness, dying, grief and bereavement.
An experienced educator, Elizabeth highlights the value of compassion and communication in the context of coping with complex illness, grief, and loss. She teaches courses and workshops to the general public, health science learners and healthcare professionals. She collaborates with numerous local, regional, provincial and national Hospice Palliative Care initiatives and has examined access to care and quality of life with findings published in peer-reviewed journals. Elizabeth is an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) with the Department of Family Medicine, Division of Palliative Care, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.