Thank You, Elisabeth: Self-awareness when working with people

Book Author Sue Marsden
Rights Available World excl. NZ

When beginning her career in Palliative Medicine, the author first met Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. This meeting introduced her to the importance of being aware of one’s own emotional issues when working with people who are suffering. As Elisabeth said, “You need to deal with your own shit first”.

The book relates stories of people at the end of life who have continued to teach the author the importance of self-awareness.

With more awareness there is less likelihood of projecting one’s own issues into the situation and less likelihood of developing compassion fatigue or ‘burnout’. It is also more possible to facilitate hope, healing and meaning for the dying.

About the Author

Sue Marsden is a Palliative Medicine Specialist, moving into palliative medicine after 10 years as an Oncologist, and establishing the first palliative care service at Waikato Hospital. About the same time, she met Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, world renowned thanatologist. This was a pivotal experience both professionally and personally.

Dr Ross introduced her to the vital need for self- reflection and self-awareness when working with those approaching the end of life and indeed anyone with loss and grief in their lives. Sue went on to become part of Dr Ross’ Australasian facilitating team for her ‘Life Death and Transition’ workshops. She facilitated at these and similar workshops in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Zimbabwe and South East Asia. At the same time Sue taught palliative medicine, as well as in Australasia, in South East Asia and Samoa. She has served on the Hospice New Zealand Council and the Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Network Council while working in various hospital, hospice and community settings in New Zealand and Australia as a palliative medicine specialist.

Sue has three children and four energetic grandchildren. Whenever she can she skis, walks, travels and reads.



Mary Egan Publishing


185 x 134mm (portrait)



Memoir & Biography

Publication Date
October 2022

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Sophia Egan-Reid

Contact Mary Egan Publishers about this book

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Thank you, Sue, for this compelling and compassionate reminder of the importance of self-awareness and self-reflection to not only serve patients and their families at the end of their life’s journey, but also to truly live authentically and be fully present in all aspects of one’s life.
Highly recommend this beautiful book.


Thank you, Elisabeth is an exquisitely honest and moving account of the journeys a palliative care physician and her patients travel together.
It is an insightful book that highlights the importance of the practice of self-reflection, where there are new learnings in every encounter.
I honour Sue Marsden for the wisdom, insight and experience she brings to the field of Palliative Care.