In and Out of Place II: International Lecture Series

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk


Schwellenangst: Exploring thresholds in the lived experience of hospice patients and workers

For the terminally ill and people with life limiting conditions accessing hospice care can be a traumatic experience. Societal attitudes to death and dying complicate the image of hospice care, and they are often seen as ‘dying places’, or ‘end places’, despite the context and nature of the specialist care they provide. In this presentation I will explore the idea of thresholds and boundaries in the context of a palliative hospice day care setting focussing on patients’ lived experiences of initial entry into hospice care, and the anxiety experienced in crossing its physical and symbolic thresholds. I will explore patients’ changing sense of place, and how particular aspects of the physical, social and symbolic environments are used to create a therapeutic landscape which helps to mediate the anxiety of traversing these thresholds. I will also explore the lived experiences of the health care professionals and therapists who work within the hospice, and the thresholds and boundaries they perceive in their everyday work. Drawing on notions from existential and health geography I hope to show how thresholds pose a particular problem for accessing health care spaces, whilst hopefully offering some solutions.
Period8 Jul 2015
Event typeSeminar
LocationEichstatt, Germany, United KingdomShow on map


  • palliative care
  • hospice
  • Qualitative Research
  • therapeutic landscapes
  • phenomenology