chapter  5
12 Pages

Living in the shadow of death

ByLynda Snowdon

A number of clients who were referred to the counselling service were young men and women in early adulthood who were HIV-positive or who had already developed AIDS and therefore faced a premature death. How they managed this difficult life experience was dependent both on their inner resources and on the external support they received, including a long-term therapeutic relationship. This chapter examines the case study of Chay, who had suffered from HIV. It is within the therapeutic relationship that individuation–separation develops, the struggle for the one reflected in the struggle of the other. This account highlights the two major processes that made this possible for Chay. As he began his therapy, his health had improved and he was able to end his first course of drug treatment. The negative transference was faced in reality. Chay was feeling very depressed, with no hope for the future.