Review of the first course and new dates!

It’s done! After five years of „Story Care“ on palliative care wards and in hospice homes in Hamburg, I have taught my first own training course in palligraphy. While Story Care remains the umbrella term for my work, I have been calling the resulting document palligraphy for some time now, a play on the words „palliative“ and „biography“, inspired by palligraphy, the art of beautiful writing.

In April and June 2024, I presented this literally wonder-ful work to 18 participants from all over Germany over two consecutive weekends – both from a palliative care perspective and from a storytelling perspective. Palligraphy is based on elements of „Dignity Therapy“ according to Professor Harvey Chochinov, which I have translated into narrative structures. In addition to an appreciative and dignified review of a life lived, it also includes personal thoughts about dying.

From left to right: Janett Peters, Sabrina Görlitz, Dr. Markus Faust

This „pilot course“ took place on the grounds of the Asklepios Klinik St. Georg. I was supported on the first weekend by Dr. Markus Faust, head of palliative medicine there, and Janett Peters, ward manager and palliative care specialist. We looked at how palligraphy came about, i.e. we first looked at Chochinov’s dignity-centered therapy, on which palligraphy is based. Real-life examples were used to illustrate similarities and differences. While I mainly talked about the art of classic storytelling and how archetypal narrative patterns can help to close circles of life, the Faust/Peters duo spoke about the special features and challenges of working with palliative patients. They also gave all „palliative newcomers“ an overview of the history and division of modern palliative care.

This was followed by the practical implementation of palligraphy. The participants became more familiar with the format by means of an intensive partner exercise, and after finally being taught the necessary manual and technical requirements, they were well prepared for the practical phase. By the second weekend of the course, all participants were expected to have completed a palligraphy independently. Which most of them did with great success!

I can’t put into words how wonderful it was to see the booklets of people with a terminal illness from very different parts of Germany! What’s more, all these people gave their consent for their palligrapher to talk about them and even read from their palligraphies. That’s how much they enjoyed it – I couldn’t wish for a better reference.

And so, on the second weekend of the course, there was an inspiring exchange of experiences and the different case works were talked about in depth. We also looked at the role of the palligrapher and how it differs from other professions. Finally, we discussed the establishment of a network and how this special end of life biography work can be spread more widely. You can find out more about this on this page after the summer holidays.

And yes, there are new dates! For the new Masterclass Palligraphy, I used the valuable insights from the first session to make a few adjustments. The main focus was on the entry requirements and the associated opportunities to actually get into practice after successfully completing the course. It turns out that participants without previous experience in palliative care and who are not affiliated with an institution or organization find it difficult to make the lateral entry. Even though we included a small palliative care section in the pilot course, this proved to be either insufficient or redundant. I am therefore dispensing with the palliative care overview in the upcoming training course and concentrating even more intensively on the practical teaching of palligraphy. Unfortunately, I can therefore only accept interested people who already have demonstrable previous experience in a palliative setting. (See also below „admission requirements“)

New dates


Friday, 11/8/2024, 6 – 8 pm (getting to know each other)

Saturday, 11/9/ 2024 10, a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sunday, 09/11/2024, 9.30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Discussing of practise projects 

Saturday, 12/14/2024, 9.30 am – 7 pm

Course fee: 550 €

Course size: Max. 14 participants

Venue: Aurum Cordis, Stader Straße 32, Buxtehude

Seminar room at Aurum Cordis

Prerequisites: The Masterclass Palligraphy is aimed exclusively at people who already have previous professional experience with people with palliative illnesses – e.g. nurses, psychotherapists or psychooncologists, occupational therapists, art or music therapists, social workers or trained hospice volunteers.

Journalistic skills are not necessary. What is more important is the ability to meet people in an existential situation at eye level and not to be afraid of difficult and sad topics. A good sense of language and good PC skills are very helpful.

If you would like to register for the Masterclass Palligraphy, please write me a few lines about your reasons for taking part in the course. I look forward to hearing from you!