About Christine

Christine Nachmann is a counsellor and educator with a focus on the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of palliative care, a
field she has been active in since 2005.

Christine was part of the education department at a Cape Town hospice for many years where she also served as a spiritual counsellor. She has facilitated workshops for a wide range of participants from volunteer to postgraduate levels and topics include

  • Loss and grief
  • Spirituality & cultural diversity in healthcare
  • Self-care for the caregiver
  • Mindfulness
  • Basic counselling skills

She was involved with counselling and supporting coma patients and their families in the ICU neurosurgery ward at Groote Schuur hospital, where she also co-ordinated the neurosurgery outpatient clinic.

Christine’s workshops are very popular and she continues to offer the essence of her courses in her online workshops.

She has also been teaching at the University of Cape Town as part of the Palliative Medicine Diploma since 2016.

In addition to her private counselling practice, Christine is also interested in assisting healthcare professionals in cultivating better coping strategies in the face of inherent job pressures. To this end,  she offers individual debriefing and mentorship sessions.

Most recently, Christine has presented a 2-part webinar series entitled “Grief & Spirituality in the Face of COVID-19” for the WC Department of Health.

 

Some of the influences that shape my life and work…

Zen

To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things.” -Dogen Zenji

I have been practicing Zen for about 25 years and in many ways it is the engine and the fuel that energise my life and give it direction.

In addition to regular longer retreats with my teacher Antony Osler on his farm in the Karoo, a group of us also gather for a morning of silent meditation near Cape Town every month.

The world being what it is, these half-day mini retreats have taken the form of online zoom events for most of 2020 and will continue in this fashion until further notice. 

Everyone with an established meditation practice (or an interest to start one) is welcome to join us and share in the quiet joy of dharma friendship.

For more information, or if you would like to practice with us, please get in touch.

Focusing

Focusing was developed by the philosopher and psychotherapist Prof. Eugene Gendlin (1926 -2017).                       A collaborator of Carl Rogers, he got deeply interested in the question why psychotherapy worked for some clients but not for others. Gendlin discovered that the people who were able to grow and heal through therapy were those who had a vague, inner awareness, a hard-to-describe, bodily felt sense of their issue or problem. He then developed a way to teach this skill and it is called Focusing. 

Focusing is a way of sensing into the quieter wisdom underneath the story we already know and tell. With Focusing, you return to a source of knowing that has always belonged to you but is rarely attended to. 

It works because life naturally wants to move forward and find new possibilities. It is an active receptivity to what lies just outside of our awareness, and a way to move towards that.

Focusing is simple, natural, and in a way also revolutionary – because you are learning to trust your own inner knowing instead of relying on outside sources of guidance.

I have been studying with Lynn Preston, a focusing-oriented relational psychoanalyst and teacher, since 2018. Lynn was a student and close friend of Gendlin’s for over four decades. She has brought his process model alive for me and continues to deepen my understanding and enrich my work.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is an approach that aims to improve the quality of life and holistically assess and relieve the suffering of people who are dealing with a life-threatening illness. 

In palliative care, we view death as a normal process rather than something to be denied or feared. Palliative care is provided by a multidisciplinary team which together address a wide range of issues from psycho-social to physical and spiritual.

I have worked as a counsellor in the palliative care context for over a decade. I have trained the general public, hospice volunteers, prison staff and professional health care providers in the psycho-social and spiritual aspects of palliative care.

To find out more about palliative care or to locate a hospice near you in South Africa, visit HPCA or Palprac.